Fox Peak is easily NZ’s least crowded ski field. A club field located 37 km from Fairlie, in the Two Thumbs range. Skiing at Fox Peak is raw – the facilities are basic, it’s remote and only open weekends. However don’t let this put you off, Fox Peak is more than just an outdated backwater.
Firstly Fox Peak has a sizeable 500 hectares of good terrain. The tows head up the Shirt Front, an open face with a near perfect linear gradient. Off either side of the main face are the north and south basins. Here you’ll find a myriad of gullies and chutes that then feed back to the base of the field and a large groomed learner’s area.
Secondly the backcountry options above and around the field are very good. This is due to Fox Peak being in the Two Thumbs Range where the mountains are by no means small. The most popular backcountry foray is the hike to the summit of Fox Peak at 2330 metres. Once at the summit you have numerous lines to choose from, off both the front and back sides.
Lift rating:❆❆❆½ (NUTCRACKERS)
Fox Peak ski field has three nutcracker rope tows with a combined length of 2 km and a learners Platter. The lifts are well looked after and easy to ride due to the consists gradient of the field.
Snow and Weather rating: ❆❆½
There are no official statistic for average annual snowfall, however it is generally accepted that Fox Peak is not blessed with an abundance of snowfall. This is due to Fox Peak being easterly facing. Therefore it is best skied after a south easterly storm.
Fox Peak is located 37km (a 50 minute drive) from the farming town of Fairlie. The drive up to the ski field is a bit of an adventure though, but fine for most cars with a bit of ground clearance.
The Fox Peak Lodge is open on Friday and Saturday nights during the season. The accommodation is simple and the prices are appropriately inexpensive.
Bottom line Overall stoke factor: 2.5
In the right conditions Fox Peak is well worth the trip, and has some of New Zealand’s best slack country.
Average snow depth:61 cm
Top lift:1910 m
Vertical drop:580 m