Off-piste is undoubtedly what TC is known for, first and foremost. With 550 hectares of terrain and only 5 or 6 groomed runs, there is a ridiculous amount of freeride exploring to be done and something to suit every level of off-piste skier and rider.
The Motatapu Chutes is well-known as one of the more serious “side country” spots to ski and ride in New Zealand. The terrain is steep and challenging and it requires a hike to get back to the lift. There are dozens of lines to be had through here, some more challenging than others and some with longer hikes out.
Note that, with fresh snow, the Motatapu Chutes can often be closed due to avalanche danger and will only be opened when they are considered safe by patrol.
This is place to head on a powder day! When the Saddle Basin opens on a fresh snow day, it gets a little crazy and the race for first chair is often rather wild. Advanced skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the steeper chutes of Mine Shaft and Payback, or the natural half pipes found on runs Shooter and Superpipe. With open faces like Cloud 9 and Wide Glide, there are still options for intermediate skiers and riders too.
TC’s Home Basin still offers plenty of off-piste terrain, with the likes of Powder Bowl, Gun Barrel, Side Winder and Magnum. Alternatively, the options right off Easy Rider and Main Street can be extremely fun too. If it’s been a cold storm and the snow line is low, it’s also worth heading out far looker’s right to the Matukituki Basin.
Hike to the Summit
From the top of the Saddle Chair it’s a 10-15 minute hike to the Treble Cone summit. From here it’s a glorious 10 huge powder turns (or 20 smaller turns) before re-entering the resort boundary, with a couple of different aspects to choose from.