Hometown Mountain Shoutout: Treble Cone, Home of New Zealand’s Freeride Community

Nathaniel Lewis |
Freeride Paradise Treble Cone, New Zealand. | Picture: Treble Cone Facebook Page

Treble Cone (TC) is the largest Ski field in New Zealand’s South Island. With an elevation of 2,088m (6,851 Ft) and lift elevation of 1,960m (6,431 Ft), TC is well known for its long ungroomed runs and renowned off-piste, jaw-dropping views of Lake Wanaka. Treble Coble, in the translation of New Zealand’s native language, Te Reo Maori, is called ‘Kapakapa Toi Toi.’

TC is only a 40-minute beautiful and scenic drive from Wanaka looking over Lake Wanaka, with a steep rigorous road at the end to reach the Base of 1260m. The long lift elevation of 700m (2,297 Ft) accesses a stunning 550 hectares (1,360 Acres) of terrain. Across the resort are three basins, Home, Matukituki, and Saddle Basin, with two lifts to access them, Home Basin Express (6 seater) and the Saddle Quad. TC is well known for its incredible terrain and natural features, making it the home of freeride in New Zealand.

Freeriding is spectactular in Treble Cone, New Zealand. | Picture: Treble Cone Facebook Page

TC, now for a decade or so, has naturally become the hub of freeride in New Zealand. With steep terrain across the whole mountain ranging from natural half pipes, drops, chutes, and back bowls, there’s a never-ending playground of fun to explore. From the chairlift, you scope out lines and hits on the way down, looking for transfers and landings. At the summit of TC, there are a set of rocks famously known as the ‘Summit rocks.’ Here on a powder day, you’ll often find an incredible display of freeriding as all walks of earth congregate at the summit to show their bags of tricks off one of the natural features.

Treble Cone
Pick your line! | Picture: Treble Cone Facebook Page

At the top, everyone assembles either scoping lines or supporting friends and catching a beautiful view of Lake Wanaka. Looking down at the options, two main features are known as ‘Summit Rock’ and ‘Diving Board.’ Summit Rock is about a 4-5 meter (16 FT) drop with a two-meter wide landing between two rocks. The feature on the skier’s right of the landing is Diving Board which has a lip and kick to it. Smaller features to the left and right of these two monsters make a good build-up if you feel you aren’t capable yet.

Treble Cone is a national park as well as a ski field. It is home to the Kea, considered the only alpine parrot in the world. The Department of Conversation enforces the protection of Kea at Treble Cone. Although Treble Cone operates the ski field, the access road to the ski field is privately owned and used by a farmer. The road is leased to Treble Cone to open each winter but under a fixed term which finishes at the beginning of October each year.

Wanaka locals in their best attire for closing day. | Picture: Marian Krogh/SnowBrains

The end of the ski season is always sad, as spring is so good. However, one thing to look forward to is ‘TC Closing Day.’ It is the day some drive from all over the country to come and drink in a car park at a mountain. TC, over the years, has gained a reputation for hosting rowdy closing day parties, and university students from Otago drive in the masses to attend. Groups dress up in themed outfits, go ‘Hotdoggin’ around the hill and drink on the chairlift. It’s always absolute carnage on those snake lines, there are always a few unlucky ones, but the party must go on.  

  • Treble Cone was founded in 1968
  • First double chairlift installed in the Home Basin in 1983
  • Longest Run: 4 Kilometers (2.5 miles)
  • Base buildings: 1260m (4,110 Ft)
  • Summit elevation: 2088m (6,851 Ft) 
  • Top of 6 Seater Express: 1760m (5,774 Ft)
  • Top of Saddle Quad Chairlift: 1960m (6,431 Ft) 
  • Overall Lift elevation: 700m (2,297 Ft) 
Treble Cone
Treble Cone Trail Map. | Picture: Treble Cone Website

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