The Canterbury "Club Fields" are ski areas operated by small ski clubs for their members, however anyone is welcome.
The club ski areas weren't intended for the weak hearted as some effort is involved, chairlifts are something you will never see and the access roads will humble any city driver.
The majority of the ski fields have no grooming, and lift access is by rope tows accompanied by a "nutcracker". Some of the fields also involve a walk even to get to the lifts.
On mountain facilities range from rustic to comfortably basic.
Sounds challenging? It can be! But the rewards for a bit of effort can be amazing.
Deep untracked winter powder that lasts for days, wide open bowls, steep challenging chutes, easy hiking access to extensive out of bounds bowls, peaks and ridges. A relaxed atmosphere and lifts that run late into the afternoon make for sensational spring skiing.
Crowds are rare and the fast moving rope tows ensure you'll hardly ever have to wait. The friendly staff and locals have some great yarns and will often happily share their favourite lines.
Vehicle access is on scenic alpine tracks often through dense native Beech Forest.
The club fields open their doors in July and shut them by early October.
The best months are usually August and September.
Mountain accommodation is limited during these months so an early booking is recommended.
Methven gateway to Mt Hutt and the clubfields