This place is remarkable, for New Zealand!

New Zealand, The Remarkables -

This place is remarkable, for New Zealand!

Not the most popular mountain in NZ, and that is how I like it. The reason for that is it’s situated 26 kms from Queenstown. Not as close as Coronet Peak, so it doesn’t get the numbers, and that is its advantage.

The Peak is for beginners and they love The Peak as that is where the weekend warriors advance, but there is a stepping stone to bigger and better and it’s by far my favourite resort in NZ. I will give you the break down here. Here is one of the most photographed mountain ranges in the world due to the spectacular jagged shapes and the steep rise above the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

It still has its downfalls, but that is what you get with NZ resorts. The lift system is small, but it’s fast.

They have four chairlifts (a super speedy six-seater, three quad chairs) and three magic carpets. There are no accommodation options, but you have Queenstown. And that is all you need.

The roads are horrendous to get up, but there are plenty of bus options. They have an answer for every question. Don’t drive if you don’t have to. When it pows down the most dangerous run your will do is the drive down the mountain.

The official trail stats are 30% beginner, 40% intermediate and 30% black. It’s suited to the intermediate for inbounds and for the advanced to frother for out of bounds and backcountry. 


The annual snowfall is 3.7 metres. Never go expecting powder. There are loads of snowmaking guns to supplement cover. Like anywhere, if you want to get access to the best, you need to go backcountry and here is the best resort with the gateway. If you like to throw around dollar dollar bills, well get to the chopper.


The Remarkables is made up of three bowls. They have short steep chutes, cliff drops, powder runs, moguls, long linking wide trails and gentle beginner terrain. For me what sets this place apart is the ability to scale. Sure, the lift system is small, but it’s time to look past that. For me, this was my gateway drug to the backcountry.

So be careful about getting hooked on the most addictive white powder known to man! Off all the chairs that go to the peak, there is an option to boot pack or skin into side and backcountry. They stare are you and invite. There is no truer word spoken the by John Muir in his quote “The Mountains are Calling, and I Must go.” Here they call louder than ever and you must strap in and climb. The climbs are not difficult, and you will enjoy pure bliss riding back down. Be careful, you will get hooked. 

Turn left off the Shadow and hike 20 minutes up to the ridge to access the area known as Esclator and Elevator above Lake Alta. If you continue up along the ridge then the chutes get narrower and more extreme, so be bloody careful if you don't want this to be your last ever run. Go left off Sugar for the Toilet Bowl a freerides heaven, which again takes you to the access road and the shuttle bus.

For inbounds style terrain turn right at the top of the Shadow Basin Chairlift to access the Homeward runs; the Homeward Bound run is 1.5 kilometres long and has a 350-meter vertical drop.

Most of the advanced skiing and snowboarding terrain at The Remarkables is accessed from the Shadow Basin Chairlift. The Express Way, Hour Glass and Rainbow Warrior chutes are narrow and very steep leading down to open powder terrain.

For beginners, the gently sloping wide beginner base area has two magic carpets. So, you can avoid the dreaded lift take off for as long as you want. And don’t be worried, it rattled everyone at some stage in their progression.

Once you get off the carpet, the Sugar Bowl Chairlift will take you to the top of the wide Frog Leg trail, it is the longest beginner trail on the mountain and once you can ski or snowboard down confidently you should be able to tackle an intermediate trail.

Terrain Park and Halfpipe

The Remarkables has some of the better terrain parks. Cadrona still claims top dog status, but here you will find three terrain parks and one superpipe when conditions permit. The Up and Go Terrain Park, located at the top of the Sugar Bowl Chairlift has the large jumps, rails, boxes and kickers. Also, need to note that it hosts national freestyle events throughout the winter season.

Not there yet, and that is OK, start off on the Fruju Beginner Park, located on the Turquoise Trail. It has small rails and boxes just right for learning on.

The Superpipe when carved is 150 meters long it’s located at the top of the Sugar Bowl Chairlift. Here you can find your limit.

Enjoy Trendsetters.









1 comment

  • Elana Searcy


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