The Remarkables ski area has opened with further upgrades across the mountain and a brand new learners’ area that increases novice terrain by 30 per cent.
About 1700 skiers and boarders turned out for the opening day, enjoying the groomed trails accessed via the Curvey Basin Express, Alta Quad, Sugar Bowl Quad chairlifts and four conveyors in the learners’ area.
Fresh snowfall over the past week – including 15cm falling on Thursday night – provided The Remarkables mountain with a 60cm base on groomed trails, with the exception of areas accessed by the Shadow Basin quad, which will open with the arrival of more snow.
Novice skiers and boarders relished the opportunity to experience the new 160m-long conveyor lift, which opens up a whole new learners’ area, The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence says.
“This lift – the second covered conveyor on the mountain – is particularly significant, as it connects people with the Alta beginner chairlift in a more user-friendly way, providing a really easy progression from conveyor to chairlift,” Lawrence says. “We really wanted to develop the advancement for the novice skier and boarder and this new conveyor totally enhances their experience.”
In developing the expanded learners’ area terrain, the team at The Remarkables undertook a major wetlands restoration project over the past 12 months. The wetlands vegetation was dug out, protected and propagated and has been re-established back into a new, sustained environment close to the learner’s area. Over summer the new wetland area flourished, with new growth and reinstated wetland flora thriving.
“Our commitment is to leave the environment in a better place, so anywhere we get these sorts of environments, we make sure the landscape is reinstated with the aim of enhancing it,” Lawrence says.
Other improvements for 2019 include the reconfiguration of the kitchen to better-meet lunchtime demands – providing more efficient recycling processes, faster delivery of hot food and better seating areas. Extra ski racks have been added to accommodate more skis and snowboards during the lunchtime influx.
The ski and snowboard rental equipment fleet has had a $200,000 upgrade. External heaters have been added to the outdoor waiting areas for bus patrons before they board the bus.
“We are always striving to make our guest experience the best it possibly can be, and the investment we’ve made in these areas are all designed to improve every aspect while people are on the mountain,” Lawrence adds.
A state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient PB600 level red winch groomer fitted with V3 Snowsat has been added to the grooming fleet, which maximises snow cover and offers a closer ‘shave’ of terrain. Two brand new MAN 4WD buses have been added to the bus fleet.
The Remarkables has also installed new education panels for Kea conservation awareness at the base building as part of the mountain’s commitment to bring back the birds, in its platinum partnership with the Kea Conservation Trust.