Spectacular alpine scenery, warm hospitality and the chance to get into the mountains are the draw cards during Mt Hutt Ski Area’s annual Open Day to be held this year on the 15th of February.
The summer day out is a community effort with Methven Lions Club, Mt Hutt ski area staff and the bus drivers of Methven Travel giving their time to welcome visitors to the high country resort and to raise money for Methven House - the aged person’s home run by the Methven community.
Mt Hutt’s massive six-seater chairlift will carry guests to the summit where views can be had of nearby mountain ranges, the Southern Alps, including Mt Cook, and the Canterbury Plains from Christchurch to Timaru and out to the Pacific Ocean.
Dave Wilson, Ski Area Manager for Mt Hutt said people could either return on the chairlift or walk or bike down from the summit.
“Most can cope with the walk and it is well worth doing but we recommend that people wear sturdy shoes. We will be providing water stations on the way down.”
“Visitors on foot will have priority in the morning and mountain bike enthusiasts will be able to take the chairlift in the afternoon. As the terrain is steep and erosion likely, riders must descend the summit on the four wheel drive tracks.”
Café seating will be open for those wanting to watch proceedings and visitors can either bring their lunch or enjoy barbeque food cooked by Methven Lions.
Admission is $20 per person or $40 for a family. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult go free. The admission price includes free travel on the chairlift. All proceeds will go towards Methven House.
Ken Lowe, President of Methven Lions said the event provided a great day out for tourists and locals while raising money for a very worthwhile cause.
“We are especially grateful to everyone who is donating their time to make this a fantastic event, with a special thanks to Mt Hutt Ski Area and staff, More Fm, Grant Hood Contracting and Methven Travel,” he said.
The access road will be open from 9am and the chairlift will be running from 10am.
Walkers will have priority until 1pm and mountain bikers able to use the lift from midday until 4pm.
For those wishing to see the sights in style, scenic flights in a helicopter will be available from the ski field car park.
Methven Travel is running a bus service from the square in Methven from 9.30am onwards to the base of Mt Hutt. The cost is $25 per person and bookings are essential (phone 03 302 8106).
If the weather is unsuitable, the open day will be held the following Sunday on 22 February. Information will be available on the Mt Hutt snow phone (03 308 5074) and at www.nzski.com.