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 1920’s 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 learner’s 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 Fox.