Endless Witner


Dec 5, 2002
Outside Magazine

Snow kidding: New Zealand glacier skiing in August

Mount Hutt, New Zealand
A GIANT, GLACIATED BOWL at the foot of the Southern Alps on New Zealand's South Island, Mount Hutt is an above-treeline, alpine experience with New Zealand's most reliably dry and plentiful midwinter snow conditions. Stand atop South Face, Mount Hutt's best powder stash, and look far below to green valleys. No wonder national ski teams like the Americans, Austrians, and Swiss train here during their summers. New Zealand is also the land of reasonably priced heli-skiing. In this case, that's not an oxymoron. For about $325 a day (cheap by heli-skiing standards), Alpine Guides (011-64-3-302-8108, www.heliskiing.co.nz) will fly you into the Arrowsmith and Ragged ranges for runs totaling 10,000 vertical feet in above-treeline bowls and chutes.
COOL DIGS: Don't expect luxury—just standard, motel-room-like accommodations in places like The Lodge (doubles, about U.S. $81; 011-64-3-303-2000, www.thelodgenz.com) in nearby Methven.
MOUNTAIN STATS: summit, 6,806 feet; vertical drop, 2,148 feet; skiable acres, 900; annual snowfall, 156 inches
LIFT TICKET: about $31 (2002 price) Contact: 011-64-3-308-5074, www.nzski.com/mthutt