Mt Hutt Gears Up to Open on Friday 11 June – Press Release

June 9th, 2021
Mt Hutt, blanketed with fresh snow on June 1 after a strong system dropped 2-3 metres. Photo:

Mountainwatch | Press Release

Mt Hutt is ready to spin the lifts this Friday 11 June, kicking off the 2021 ski season. It’s shaping up to be an epic day on the slopes with all three chairlifts set to open, including the new Nor’west Express, New Zealand’s first 8-seater chairlift.

With an average base of 80cm snow across the mountain, Ski Area Manager James McKenzie says they have great early season conditions.

“Guests will be able to enjoy a broad range of groomed terrain on the upper mountain from day one. The Summit Six chairlift will be spinning, the Triple will be running from Mid-Station, and we’ll have the best offering in our terrain parks for an opening day in well over a decade.

“We also can’t forget the new Nor’west Express 8-seater will be moving guests up the mountain for the first time.”

The new lift will transform the way people access and use the mountain. It follows the same path up the mountain as the old Quad did, providing faster access to our terrain parks, and a more comfortable ride to the beginner slopes for those new to the sport.

“We’ve seen some sustained growth up here over the past five years so we can’t wait for our loyal community of skiers and riders to experience such a significant improvement to our facilities from day one of the 2021 season. This new chairlift is world-class and comes with very clever features that will help us deal with some of the more challenging weather conditions that we get up here from time to time,” James says.

The lifts will start spinning at 9am on Friday 11 June and James expects it could be a busy weekend on the slopes.

“We’re encouraging everyone who’s keen to come up over opening weekend to consider finding friends to fill their car. We will be working hard to make sure everyone gets up here safely to enjoy the first turns of the season,” he says.

Mt Hutt is working with this year to help snow lovers find a ride to the mountain in a bid to reduce carbon emissions and ease congestion.


The new Nor’West Express, set to upload guests for the first time this Friday, June 11. Photo:

More information about the Nor’west Express chairlift

  • – The chairs have padded seats and headrests along with small, raised seat dividers to indicate where guests should sit
  • – Foot-rest bars will go between guests’ legs providing extra safety particularly for kids
  • – It will be the preferred lift to access terrain parks allowing guests to enjoy faster park laps and reducing queues for the Summit Six
  • – Each chair weighs nearly a tonne and comes with a chair swing dampener meaning it will be able to run in higher winds – reducing closed days
  • – All the chairs can stow in the bottom terminal so chair clamps and seats will stay free of ice. The cable also has a de-icing system and can be run at night allowing staff to get the lift operational faster after snowfall
  • – A loading carpet with access gates will assist guests loading onto the chair
  • – Compared to the Quad, the chair speed where guests load and unload is half, and the time interval between chairs is about double. This gives guests significantly more time to prepare for loading and to clear the ramp at the top – making the transition for beginners progressing from our conveyer carpets far safer and less stressful
  • – The lift can run at 5m/s and comes with 6 extra chairs that can be rolled on to increase the capacity from 2400 to 3,000 people per hour to meet demand whilst minimising power requirements on quieter days