The 'last bastion of snow' remains optimistic that there's life in the 2021 season, as ski fields wait for the Alert Level forecast to clear up.
Alpine Guides at the Tasman Glacier say snow conditions will be ready and waiting for skiers, when alert levels allow.
The move to Alert level 4 stopped New Zealand's ski fields in their tracks amid some of the best snow conditions for years. Commercial ski fields from Queenstown, Canterbury to Ruapehu all share the frustration of a 2021 season that stopped as soon as it got going.
Ski areas are only able to operate under level 2.
With snow being the temperamental substance it is, some worry the chance of restarting may melt before alert levels allow Kiwis to return.
NZ Ski who operate the Remarkables, Coronet Peak in Queenstown and Mt Hutt in Christchurch are making some difficult decisions.
Paul Anderson CEO of the company, says that the lockdown is necessary but disappointing turn of events for Kiwi ski operators. Even with wage subsidies, it was a huge hit to not be able to get guests back up on the slopes and staff working the lifts. The closing dates are fast approaching.
"As we get closer to the end of the season we will have to ask ourselves if it's worth opening," Anderson said.
Backcountry skiing is out of the question.
Alpine sports and self-guided skiing tours definitely don't fall under the low-risk level 3 recreation threshold. This is only made more dangerous by the pause of mountain forecast coverage.
Yesterday the Mountain Safety Council announced that for the first time in their history, they would not be maintaining avalanche risk reports because of covid alert levels.
"August and September are also prime avalanche season," said Rebekah Wilson, MSC spokesperson.
Even in the event of a move to Level 3, she advised skiers not to get carried away.
"If there's further reasoning needed to prevent anyone heading out into the backcountry, then not having the avalanche advisory to support sensible decision-making is one of them."
Higher up the mountains in Mount Cook Village, some ski fields say they can weather out the storm.
Skiing on the Tasman Glacier is about as reliable as snow sport can be.
"During spring, we can still ski cold powder in the mornings," says Alpine Guides, manager Arthur McBride.
"As we have the highest terrain in NZ, with the most glaciation, we are the last bastion for snow."
With terrain meandering from easy, open snowfields to deep bowls, the 8km of glacier offers up NZ's longest green run. Although, at $749pp, club skiers may find the cost steeper than average.
In spite of being one of the of New Zealand's oldest alpine tourism areas, for years it has mainly been international guests on the glacier runs.
However the last couple of winters there has been a resurgence in domestic skiers in Aoraki.
Skiers have mostly been inbound from the North Island and Auckland, so McBride expects it'll be a while until things pick up again. But the snow will still be here when alert levels allow.
"It's amazing how it has taken a pandemic to get people back to skiing at Mt Cook."