It's definitely a far cry from what international skiers would consider to be the perfect powdery slopes but that hasn't deterred Piera Hudson from carving up a career-best results at a South Island skifield.
The 17-year-old Alpine skier from Hawke's Bay last week claimed two fifth placings at the two-day Cardrona FIS Tech series event in Wanaka among more than 140 competitors from 30 countries, including Austria, Japan, Switzerland and Slovakia, competing in the giant slalom series.
"I'm really happy with how I'm going with two career-best stats so everything's coming together quite nicely," Hudson said yesterday from Wanaka, where she's based with parents Fiona and John Hudson in a region that is experiencing unusually T-shirt, shorts and jandals weather.
The balmy temperatures are shy of decent evening frost that would enable the ski resorts to whip out snow-making gear for manufactured top-ups.
"We could do with some s***** southerlies right now in Wanaka," John Hudson said last night.
"Cardrona is all right but the other skifields desperately need some snow."
John Hudson said it was too soon to tell although the farmers in the province weren't complaining.
"Everyone wants something different, I suppose, but it's early days here."
Piera Hudson, of Tikokino, was the fastest New Zealander, by three seconds, in an international field of 45 females.
A dozen female skiers represented New Zealand in the open international category with Hudson prevailing as the strongest female in the technical event of giant slalom.
The youngest member of the Kiwi National Alpine Ski team, Hudson is the second-best world ranked athlete of the entire team.
High performance alpine coach Jonny Rice said: "For a Kiwi girl at 17 years to achieve a 33 FIS [Federation of International Ski racing] point result against women much older than her is outstanding.
"This level of performance will improve her world ranking in giant slalom," Rice said.
Hudson has a world ranking of 297 from 2500 in the speed event Super G and is one the best female ski racing athletes from New Zealand in more than 20 years.
"I was so pleased to have scored a 33 FIS-point result so early in the season.
"The training and snow conditions have been great and I have had few difficulties making the transition to the new regulation ski radius which are harder to turn.
"I am skiing really strongly and I put that down to my intense pre-winter preparation coming into this season," said Hudson, who is training with Mandy Dirkzwager, of the Netherlands.
"Mandy's from Amersfoort and it's cool to have her around and living with us, too," she said of the 22-year-old Dutchwoman, ranked in the world top 200.
Dirkzwager is making the most of the strategic location of the Hudson property planted between Cardrona and The Treble Cone.
A Jarrod Cunningham Trust-supported athlete, Hudson will be representing New Zealand in Alpine at the 2013 Audi Quattro Winter Games at nearby Coronet Peak later this month.
Athletes from around the world will compete in all-winter sports from alpine, crosscountry, free-skiing, curling and snowboarding from August 15-25 at Coronet Peak, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Farm, along with the Maniototo Curling International Rink.
Video highlights of the games will be accessible to more than a billion households worldwide.
Hudson is up religiously at 5.30am, before the sun is up, most mornings to hit the slopes.
At 12.30pm she has a quick bite before a well-earned siesta until 5pm.
Pilates classes once a week and daily rigorous gym workouts beckon to strengthen and tone her muscles, especially her quadriceps.
The teenager is continuing her school studies via online correspondence.
She'll spend the winter in Central Otago before heading back to the Bay for a month.
From here she'll jet off to Europe in November where she'll be based in Austria.
Her dream of making the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, remains on track.