Mt Lyford ski area sits in the Kaikoura mountain range which runs the east coast of the northern part of the South Island. The field was built in the 1980’s by farming family on a few of their hillier paddocks, in the days before DIY resort building required a resource consent. Although small, Lyford offers a number of lifts, 200 ha of skiing, a park and even a alpine village. Lyford is probably best suited to intermediate skiers with plenty of fun open terrain, with a few steeper lines on offer from the top tow.
Snow and Weather:❆❆❆❆
Lyford seems to do pretty well for itself snow wise as it picks up both southerly and easterly storms. Being almost entirely on tussock the field requires little snow to open.
Lyford’s terrain is best described as a series of snowy hills, with a series of valleys and steep faces. Apart from this the field is almost featureless with only a few small rock outcrops. You will find the steepest terrain is off the top tow, which is in the 30-40 degree range. Although the terrain is quite mellow at Lyford there is normally enough to keep most people happy. Terrain wise Lyford is very similar to Round Hill.
lift system and crowds:
When you arrive at the field you find that there are a series of lifts going in various directions.
There is a small terrain park, with a number of organic wooden features and even an old truck.
Lyford is on private as opposed to lease hold land, this means you can’t just rock at Lyford and head to the back country without first obtaining permission.
The Lyford road can a be a little sporty at times however it is nothing the confident driver can’t handle.
Lyford offers some fairly lush accomodation partly down the access road in the form of the Lyford alpine village. Alternatively, the field is only 40 minutes from Kaikoura which is ideal for an after skiing surf, as well a having a range of accommodation and being a pretty amazing spot in it’s own right.
Bottom line:Overall stoke factor 3.5
Lyford is a fun family field with a chilled rural vibe and if you’re in the area is worth checking out.
The Lyford snow report can at times be a bit optimistic