Mt Hutt on New Zealand’s south island opened for a day of summer skiing following a storm system over the southern hemisphere.
The one-day event was a community fundraiser run in partnership with the Lions Club of Methven, with all proceeds going to The Methven Lions Club and The Westpac Rescue Trust. Initially, the plan was for a summer event on Saturday, February 25, 2023, with paintball and off-road vehicles by local supplier Dirt Bandits, but the plans got thrown out the window when a big storm hit New Zealand and covered the resort in 12 inches (30cm) of snow.
Several cyclones have hit New Zealand over the last few weeks, one of which — Cyclone Gabrielle — caused massive devastation on New Zealand’s north island, leaving thousands homeless and destroying between 70-100% of seasonal harvests. Meanwhile, the south island was blanketed in snow and ice, and the resort was forced to push back the summer open day by one day.
“We get maybe a little bit of snow most months of the year, but to get this amount of snow, where you can actually ski, is pretty rare for summer,” said James McKenzie, Mt Hutt Ski Area manager.
Mt Hutt was forced to postpone the event by one day due to rime build-up on the summit lift. On the upside, people could bring skis and snowboards to make the most of the open-day fundraiser. Unfortunately, the off-road vehicles were no longer safe to use, but visitors seemed not to mind, instead stoked to get some unexpected turns in the middle of summer.