MOUNT LYFORD TRAIL GUIDE
Located on State Highway 70, smack bang between Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura, Mt Lyford is a fun and friendly family operated ski area for all abilities. The upper slopes bask in sunshine and in recent years it’s consistently been the first to open. It’s an uncrowded mountain and a favourite of locals and Christchurch residents alike. A fleet of groomers keep the piste in great condition and wide open faces let you open up your riding on powder days.
A variety of lifts service the area, including a long fixed-grip rope tow for first timers. Two platters service either side of Paradise Valley and a T-bar opens up plenty of sunny groomed slopes. For those wanting a powder fix the Terako Rope Tow offers 450m of vertical drop. From the top of Mt Terako there’s a choice of an intermediate sunny slope which is a great pick in spring or the slightly more challenging shady side leading back to Paradise Valley.
If you make the mistake of leaving home without your skis never fear, the rental centre can kit you out. The Terako Day Lodge and Chamois Café provide a great spot for lunch and oozes character with the exposed timber beams a focal point.
The access road ascends through native Black Beech and Totora Forest, providing amazing views over the Amuri Plains. A 2WD with chains and a competent driver is all that’s required, but if you’re unsure you can jump on board the low cost shuttles leaving Mt Lyford Lodge and Reserve (by the access gate), booking is essential.
Terrain and Weather Tip
Mt Lyford is one of New Zealand’s sunniest ski areas and even though it’s the second northern most mountain on the Chill pass, it receives plenty of snow. Watch out for early winter south/south-easterly storms that head up the east coast and unload on Mt Lyford, while missing many of the other mountains.
Wax your skis and snowboards pre-season ready for an early opening.
Be prepared for mountain driving with a quality set of chains. It is worth spending the extra bucks to not having the hassle of chains that fall to bits.
For Beginners: Carve up the groomed slopes down Cloudy T-bar.
For Overnighters: Stay in the Log Chalet Village or Mt Lyford Lodge and make the most of 2 days riding.
For Rope Tow Virgins: Master the art on their mellow tows.
Pistes Main Runs Groomed
Main Lifts 2x Rope Tow, 1x T-Bar, 2x Platters
Learner Lifts 1x Fixed Grip
Terrain Park Yes
Top Elevation 1750m
Bottom Elevation 1420m
Skiable Terrain 75 hectares
Ski/Board Hire Yes
Access 4WD or 2WD with chains when required
Day Pass Rates
Under 7 & 70+ FREE!
Draw Card: Sunny slopes and often the first mountain to open.
Chill Pass Offer: Non-Ski Day Offer: Private lesson (weekdays & excludes School holidays)