The mountains of South Canterbury
are home to a large ski field with a distinguished pedigree, and
a rapidly growing fan club.
Fox Peak Ski Club has the distinction of being one of the oldest
clubs in New Zealand. It originated in the 1920s as the
Tasman Ski Club based at Mt Cook, but later relocated to Fox Peak
in the Two Thumb Range, to be nearer to Timaru.
The pioneering spirit is reflected in the development of this ski
field. Strategic placing of rope tows gives members and visitors
access to 650 vertical metres of terrain, and options for ski
touring well beyond the top tow lines at 1,850 metres. By fitting
ski skins and climbing 1½ hours to Fox Peak summit, you can take
in breathtaking views of Mt Cook. You then descend on untracked
snow through vast powder basins equal to the best in the country.
Heli-skiing is available here, and parapenting off the upper
slopes is an exciting option for the adventurous.
Fox Peak ski season runs from July to September and snow ratings
are 15% beginner, 60% intermediate and 25% advanced. Lifting is
provided by 4 rope tows and the learners tow is free. Ski
hire is available in the town of Fairlie, 29 kms away. Facilities
on field include a day shelter, canteen, and ticket office where
tow belts and glove protectors can be obtained.
The field is 1½ hours drive from Timaru and 2½ hours from
Christchurch. From Fairlie you take the Geraldine Road and follow
signs along Clayton Road for 22 km to a sign-posted gateway. From
here the unsealed access road winds up 15 km to the car park. Fox
Lodge, situated 3 km below the car park provides comfortable
bunkrooms for 50 people and has a well set up kitchen, hot
showers, and drying room.
Thanks to the foresight of the New Zealand ski field pioneers,
modern day powder pumpers can have a wonderful experience at the