Mt Hutt Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
    Mt Hutt Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,404 - 2,086 (682)
  • Average Snow Fall
    4.0 metres
  • Lifts (5)
    1 High speed 6-pack
    1 High Speed Quads
    1 Triple
  • Ski Hours
    9:00am to 4:00pm
    Mid June to early October
  • Terrain Summary
    Longest run – 2.0 km
    Expert - 20%
    Advanced - 32%
    Intermediate - 37%
    Beginner - 11%

Mt Hutt Skiing Terrain

The Mount Hutt terrain is impressive by NZ standards and as such has been awarded the following Powderhounds best ski resort in New Zealand awards:
  • Best snow conditions
  • Best lift infrastructure
  • Best racing run
Whilst Mt Hutt isn’t a huge mountain, it offers varied ski terrain to suit all levels. The resort sits in the middle of an inactive volcano, with one huge bowl in the middle. The bowl contains zig-zagging green and blue runs, and some steep terrain drops from the ridges on either side of the bowl.

Mt Hutt is often used for race training because of the substantial vertical and steep pitch. It officially has 683 metres of vertical, but sometimes the skiing below the car park is not possible or worthwhile due to marginal snow conditions, which effectively reduces the vertical to about 500 metres.

Mt Hutt Lifts

Gone are the t-bars of Mt Hutt! The lift system has been streamlined and now there are only four well planned lifts that provide an efficient lift service. A new 6-pack summit express lift has replaced the old quad, and now a quad chair services the terrain parks and some of the intermediate terrain.

In addition to recent lift infrastructure development, excellent summer grooming and trail cutting has provided better access to the terrain on the outer parts of the resort without the need to traverse.

Lift Tickets

Lift tickets are not as expensive as those at Treble Cone or Coronet Peak, but they are still reasonably costly. Thankfully there are good discounts available on lift passes for families, beginners, multi-day tickets and combo packages. If inclement weather closes the resort and you’ve purchased multi-day tickets, a full refund is on offer.

Mt Hutt Snow and Weather Conditions

The “baseball glove” shape of Mt Hutt is great for catching the snow, and with its high elevation, the area typically gets more snowfall than some of its southerly neighbours. Some people would suggest that the quality of it is more “wet”, but perhaps that’s just a rumour spread by the southerly neighbours?! It also has a tendency to become icy, but all NZ resorts can suffer from that problem.

The last time the Powderhounds visited there was an amazing 3 metre base. Choice eh? Even with that much cover, rocks may abound with the Virgin Mile in particular having a bad reputation for keeping the ski and snowboard repairers in business. On the other side of the resort, the steep South Face runs probably accumulate better snow, particularly during Nor-Westers.

Mount Hutt snow conditions are enhanced through use of extensive snowmaking facilities on the main trails and in the terrain parks.

The weather is generally unpredictable from June to August, and with the fickle weather comes the potential of “Mt Shut”. On the plus side, June to August generally has more snowfall whilst September generally has less snowfall, but much nicer weather.

For Beginners

The magic carpet serviced run provides young children or first timers with a safe area to get the feel of sliding on snow. The next progression is the gentle Highway 72 that slowly traverses down from the quad chair and is as wide as a highway!

Mt Hutt Skiing - Intermediates

With 50 percent of the trails rated as blue, Mt Hutt is a great intermediate mountain with long cruisy (and reasonably steep) pistes. Broadway is probably the easiest of these, and for fast leg burning runs, try Hubers Run and Lower Fascination. When the snow is good, confident intermediates can also easily navigate runs such as Towers and the Virgin Mile Ridge.

For the Family/Kids

Mt Hutt is very family-friendly. The magic carpet at the base is great for young children, and because three of the four lifts originate from the base, everyone returns to the same spot so it’s very social and easy to keep track of the family.

Terrain Parks and Pipe

There is plenty to keep freestylers entertained. Mt Hutt has a FIS specification half-pipe and two terrain parks featuring a variety of tabletops, kickers and rails. The one to the left of the quad chair is the “Terrain Mini Park” with two lanes of easy hits. The Up and Go Terrain park is more advanced and is located to the right of the quad chair.

In getting around the resort, there’s a little bit of skating for snowboarders along some of the trails, but it’s not too troublesome.

Advanced Skiing Mount Hutt

When the snow is fresh, Mt Hutt rocks! The awesome terrain around the edges of the resort becomes a playground. For example the Virgin Mile provides access to the bowl into runs like Low Drive or Hydro Slide, which are quite steep and amazing with a fresh cover of powder.

On the flip side, if the snow hasn’t fallen for some time, Mt Hutt can be a bit boring or excessively challenging. The Virgin Mile becomes tricky to tackle especially if wind-affected or icy, or if the wind has exposed obstacles and hazards such as rocks. Towers has some fairly steep and often bumpy terrain, and when it’s icy it is definitely for experts only.

Expert Skiing Mt Hutt

Further afield to the left of the lift is the South Face, the piece de resistance of Mt Hutt. The runs have a good fall-line and if you are lucky to get there just after a big dump, it can be like an epic heli skiing run. The egress is via the bottom of the Towers triple chair, so if the snow cover is marginal it can be a bit treacherous for your skis or board. Keep an eye on the boundaries as these are not roped off, just marked with an orange pole.

For the Powderhound

If you are up for a short hike you can access the Rakaia Saddle Chutes at the end of the Virgin Mile Ridge, where you can often find fresh tracks even days after a snow fall. There are several pick-up points at the bottom of these runs where shuttle buses will drive you back up to the resort. Signage at the top of the 6-pack will indicate if this area is open and if the shuttle buses are operating.