Treble Cone Lifts & Terrain Zealand/TrebleCone/Terrain/01.jpg

Treble Cone Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

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

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
    Treble ConeTrail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,260 - 1,960 (700)
  • Average Snow Fall
    5.5 metres
  • Lifts (4)
    1 High Speed 6-pack
    1 High Speed Quad
    1 Platter
    1 Magic Carpet
  • Ski Hours
    9:00am to 4:00pm
    Late June to Late Sept
  • Terrain Summary
    Longest run – 4 km
    Beginner - 10%
    Intermediate - 45%
    Advanced - 45%

Treble Cone Ski Field Terrain

The Treble Cone Ski Field terrain is very sizeable by New Zealand standards, but Treblecone is primarily only serviced by two lifts, so there can be a lot of traversing and transporting to get to much of the terrain. The size of the terrain can also shrink considerably depending on the snow conditions, and there are times when only one of the four basins is rideable.

The Treble Cone ski field can be very impressive, particularly the terrain for advanced and expert riders. As to be expected for New Zealand skiing, Treblecone is above the tree-line, so off-piste skiing opportunities are plentiful (pending snow conditions) within chutes, bowls, gullies and natural half-pipes. The mountain is steep, but winding runs have been carved out so that there is also terrain for beginner and intermediate riders.


The Treble Cone ski field is spread over four large basins. Home Basin, the lower zone, is serviced by the very speedy 6-person chair lift. The adjacent Matukituki Basin is accessed by traversing in and out from the 6-pack. A fixed grip quad chair services the upper Saddle Basin. The Motatapu Basin consists of double-black runs, and is accessible from the top of the Saddle Basin, although most of the chutes require a hike to get back to the lift.

Even though Treblecone only has 4 lifts (two of which are beginner lifts), they have been reasonably well planned and provide an incredible number of skiing and snowboarding options. The lifts are reasonably efficient and lift queues are generally a non-issue on the 6-pack. Sometimes on busy weekends or big powder days, long queues can develop at the top chair.

The major limitation of the Treblecone lift lay-out is that some of the ski areas at the top and bottom become a bit repetitive as you need to travel or traverse to get to the runs furthest away from the lifts. The other disadvantage is that it’s impossible to hide from your ex-wife!

Treble Cone Lift Tickets

Prices for one day passes at Treblecone are very high relative to some of the lower profile NZ ski resorts. Daily ticket sales are also capped to help manage the crowds, although it has added some layers of complexity to purchasing a ticket which needs to be done in advance. During peak times there is no longer the option to wait until the day to see what the weather’s doing or what mood you’re in.

Multi-day passes offer some savings, although if you want the flexibility to potentially also use the pass at Cardrona, you need to purchase a Flexi 5-day Pass which is more costly than a standard multi-day pass.

Treble Cone Snow

By NZ standards, Treble Cone ski field is renowned for a decent amount of snowfall with an average of 5.5 metres annually. Like other NZ ski resorts, the amount of snowfall varies significantly between seasons depending on the storm patterns. TC tends to get dumps from north-westerlies and westerlies, and very little precipitation from southerlies.

The powder that falls is far from blower powder, but it is pretty good for NZ. Treble Cone ski area has a variety of aspects so the snow quality varies. Unfortunately some of the best expert terrain has a sunny aspect, so you’ve got to hit it quickly on a powder day before the sun bakes it. Sure you have to pick your day, but at times there are some amazing powder runs. The topography of Treble Cone ski area provides many areas to catch the snow, rather than it blowing away as occurs at some resorts.

Like most other NZ ski fields, the Treble Cone snow cover can be highly variable. Sometimes the snow cover is good whilst at other times the lower half of the mountain (Home Basin) is sketchy and only has manmade snow on the main trails. The patrollers don’t necessarily provide signage to indicate marginal (or bare) conditions, so keep your eyes peeled. Snowmaking capabilities cover about 9% of the terrain.

Grooming is limited to only the main trails such as Easy Rider and Main Street, the beginners’ area and a couple of trails around the perimeter of Saddle Basin.

Treble Cone Skiing for Beginners

Treble Cone has a reputation for being inappropriate for beginners. Only 10% of the terrain is rated as “green” but this is more than enough for most beginners; well for novices anyway.

The purpose built beginners’ area near the base is fenced off from the main skiing area and features a very gentle slope on which to learn. It is serviced by a 25m magic carpet and the Nice ‘N’ Easy Platter lift. The next progression for confident beginners is the Easy Rider run off the top of the 6-person chair lift that snakes its way down to the base.

The inexpensive beginner lift tickets also make TC attractive for novice skiers and snowboarders.

Ski Treble Cone - Intermediates

There are several blue runs at Treble Cone ski field for intermediate skiers and snowboarders, accessible from both the quad chair and the 6-person express lift. The ski area is probably not well suited to low end intermediates as the groomers are steep and often fast. Considering the lift efficiency, you’ll get a huge amount of skiing in each day. A nice long run is from Upper High Street all the way down into Home Basin, providing 4.5km of thigh burn.

Terrain Park

Treble Cone has a little terrain park catering for advanced riders to beginners, which is situated in the Saddle Basin at the end of the Bullet run. Excavation works have enabled the park to open from the early part of the season. The park is somewhat limited, so shredders seeking lots of freestyle variety will be better off at The Remarkables or Cardrona. On the plus side, the natural terrain of Treble Cone offers lots of hits such as ledges and half-pipes.

Advanced Snowboarding and Skiing

Advanced runs are the absolute strength of the Treble Cone ski area. The black runs at TC are typically more difficult than those at most other resorts in NZ or Australia. Many of them are both steep and narrow. One potential limitation, especially on low vis days, is that there is no differentiation between single and double black runs.

Great areas include Powder Bowl in the Home Basin and the chutes above it, and Saddle Basin is an advanced rider’s dream with lots of lines to choose from along ridges and gullies that catch the powder and produce some nice stashes. Those on the skiers’ right are steep, and the gradient progressively diminishes as you move across to the skiers’ left.

If you follow Upper High Street you’ll get to several chutes which lead to Gun Barrel and Sundance. If the snow is icy (or marginal) these runs can be quite dangerous for the inexperienced rider due to their steepness.

Off the express chair, head along Expressway and drop into Solitude, Farout and Outer Limits (if the snow’s good and only if you don’t mind traversing). Because the 6-pack chair is so fast and there are negligible lift lines, you can get back up to the top almost as fast as you can ski down. By the end of a day (or lunchtime!) your legs should be very weary!

Expert Skiing & Boarding

Although not super extreme, Treble Cone ski resort provides some good challenges for expert riders. The terrain has lots of variety and is relatively steep wherever you go. From the Saddle Quad Chairlift, turn left at the top (skiers right), staying high until you enter the control gates of the backcountry area of Motatapu Basin. Here you will find some of the steepest and most challenging chutes in New Zealand. These areas can be dangerous and prone to avalanches, so always obey the signs (if there are any!) and only ski these areas with the appropriate back-country essentials. For the inner chutes a traverse is required to return to the quad chair, whilst the outer chutes will require a 15-20 minute hike. And if you get carried away with the moment and ski below the quad chair, it will be a really long walk/skin back!

Above the top lift is some amazing in-bounds hike-to-terrain that includes great rock features for launching if you wish.

Treble Cone Backcountry

There are also other side-country areas around the resort that can be accessed with a bit of a walk/skin.

The best way to explore the Treble Cone backcountry is to head out with Aspiring Guides.

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