A uniquely different ski field is set amongst the high peaks of a sheep station near the Rangitata Gorge in Canterbury.
Mt Potts Backcountry ski field and lodge offers superb skiing and snowboarding on virgin powder slopes that can only be accessed by helicopter and snow cat.
The field offers a European style of skiing holiday, where all meals, accommodation, transport and skiing are part of a daily package. Guests are woken at 7 am, given a hearty breakfast and then whisked by helicopter up to the top hut at 1,750 metres. A Snow Cat then transports up to 14 people plus a professional ski patroller, up to the highest point of 2,254 metres. There the clients are issued with avalanche transceivers before skiing or boarding down to the hut in time for the next Snow Cat run. The normal pattern is 7 runs in the morning and 7 after lunch. If conditions permit, at the end of the day guests are taken on a short hike up to the start of a 2 km run on fresh powder as a finale. On an average day you can ski or ride a total of 6,500 vertical metres.
For the less confident skier, there are wide open areas to cruise down at a more leisurely pace. But basically this is big country requiring at least intermediate off-piste experience in steep terrain.
Mt Potts Lodge has a resident chef, licensed bar, comfortable lounge and a roaring log fire. All meals are included in the price for overnight stays. The sleeping quarters are twin rooms with en suite facilities as well as 6 bed bunkrooms with shared bathrooms.
The Lodge is around 1½ hours drive from Methven, through Mt Somers. The road is flat and unsealed from Mt Somers, and leads to a distinctive Mt Potts signpost.
Mt Potts ski resort is ranked very highly by overseas visitors for its uniquely efficient operation. Skiing here is very similar to the heli-ski experience – fast access to incredible fresh powder slopes, with all the comforts of home just a short helicopter ride away. Don’t miss it!