New Zealand Ski Resort Ends its Season Early as Mt. Lyford Ski Area Closes

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Mt Lyford
Idyllic charm of Mt. Lyford Alpine Resort, picture: Mt. Lyford Resort

The small ski resort of Mt. Lyford, New Zealand, has been forced to close due to sub-par snowfall and recent rainfall. Mt. Lyford suffered from excessive rains and above-freezing temperatures which entirely eroded all of its existing snowbase.

Mt. Lyford is located on the South Island of New Zealand. However, unlike the famous resorts of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, or Treble Cone, who are all near Queenstown in the far south of the South Island, Mt. Lyford is about 375 miles (600km) further north, roughly 90 minutes from Christchurch.

It had been a promising start to the ski season but unfortunately, the last two weeks melted and then washed away the majority of the snow, exposing grass and rock. Mt. Lyford has no snow-making facilities.

Resort Trail Map
Trail Map Mt. Lyford, picture: Mt Lyford Alpine Resort

Mt. Lyford is a small, family-owned and operated resort in New Zealand is treated as somewhat of an insider tip for off-piste skiing. It is serviced by five surface lifts and there are 12.5 miles of runs (20km) across 145 hectares of terrain. The resort reaches from 3,940 ft (1,200m) to 5,740 ft (1,750m) in altitude.

The small resort issued a public statement on its homepage and social media channels, announcing the decision to close. It called the closing “frustrating” and “gut wrenching.” While the decision was hard to make, especially after two years of pandemic lockdowns, it is adamant that it will re-open in 2023.

“We run this mountain year on year no matter how it turns out because we enjoy the fun it gives everyone from the grass route beginners to the front face shredders and everyone in between.” 

Now that’s a spirit we can all get behind.

Two weeks ago it was still a bumper season at Mt Lyford, NZ

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