Mt Olympus is named for the 2096 metre (6880 foot) peak that stands over the ski area. Below it, the four high-capacity rope tows access 60 hectares of skiable terrain with plenty more available within a short hike from the lifts.
Skiing & RIDING
The ski area is set in a high, south-facing basin, shaped a bit like a baseball mitt. This is an ideal aspect for catching the big southerly powder dumps that give the Canterbury region its reputation for having the biggest and most consistent annual snowfall in New Zealand - over 4.5 metres (that's nearly 15 feet)!
Combine this with high, bluffed ridges to the north, west and east and Mt Olympus is well protected from the prevailing westerly and north-west winds. This means we hold our snow while other ski areas get stripped.
If you are a backcountry adventurer who likes to ski or board off-piste in awesome terrain, in great snow, with a few other like-minded individuals, amidst a friendly club environment, then Mt Olympus is the place for you. A proud groomer-free zone, skiing at Mt Olympus is all about embracing what Mother Nature gives us, and making the most of it. When it's on, it's REALLY on. A foot or more of dry, champagne powder (which can be a rarity in New Zealand) is not uncommon after a storm and the relatively modest skier numbers mean there are fresh tracks to be had well after the event. Later in the season, Mt Olympus offers some of the best spring corn around and the basin's excellent snow-keeping qualities mean that we can be skiing well into October most years.
For the keen backcountry skier, Mt Olympus has some incredible hiking and touring options available a short distance from the top of the lifts. Popular short hikes include Ardi's Peak, Little Alaska, the Back Ridge and the Sphinx. Longer hikes and ski tours can be undertaken to the summit of Mt Olympus and over into the 403-hectare Ryton Valley, which can offer over 1000m of leg-burning vertical in a good snow year. For those keen on longer trips, it is possible to tour the Craigieburn Range to other club ski areas like Mt Cheesemen, Broken River and Craigieburn Valley.
Mt Olympus is served by four high-capacity rope tows. These tows are electrically driven and run at between 4 and 6 metres per second - that's as fast as a high-speed detachable chair. Our lifts are the Access Tow, the Main Tow, the Top Tow, and the Learners' Tow which is situated in full view of the Top Hut.
2014 saw the completion of four years' work by club members and the Top Hut now offers the following to skiers visiting Mt Olympus:
• Space for 52 overnight guests in 6 dedicated bunkrooms
• Walk-in drying room
• Ski storage facilities
• First aid room
• Day lodge with full commercial kitchen, log fire and relaxing space
• Guitars for entertainment
• Hot Tub (free for guests. $5 for day trippers)
• Our own Far Canal Road Bar - fully licenced and well stocked!
The Top Hut
Situated at 1620 metres (5315 feet) above sea level, the Top Hut is home to New Zealand's highest hot tub! Fully insulated and centrally heated with separate areas for day visitors and staying visitors, the Top Hut is purpose-built as a fully self-contained alpine lodge. Staying at the Top Hut is all about mixing with visitors and locals alike, pitching in and helping the staff do what needs to be done and enjoying the legendary atmosphere and hospitality that Mt Olympus is renowned for.
The Bottom Hut
The Bottom Hut is located at the base of the Mt Olympus valley at 1050 metres (3445 feet) and offers a more affordable accommodation solution for those on a budget or for when the Top Hut is full or inaccessible. A basic single room 12-bunk hut, the Bottom Hut offers fully self-contained, self-catered lodging with plenty of parking just 10 minutes drive (or a slightly longer walk) from the main carpark at the base of the Access Tow. Thumbing a lift from here is an option as the access road goes past the door.