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Mount Sutton

Riding in the Backcountry of Ohau Ski Field

Ski Touring Moderate

7.9 km
1.1 km
1 km
4-5 hrs
Low Point
1.4 km
High Point
2 km
Mount Sutton Map

In a place known for great and unique ski fields Ohau is a diamond in the rough. While you only have one ski lift the access it gives you with a 10 minute hike is hard to rival. While you could spend your whole day within the ski resort boundaries this is a popular side tour to get away from most of the crowds. From the top of Mount Sutton there are two main bowls and this ski tour involves both of them making your way back down to the road just below the parking lot.


Leaving from the Oahu ski resort get a one ride lift ticket to get just below the ridge line. From here take your board off and walk the well beaten path up to the high ridge and start making your way south. Going up and over point 1918 you will find yourself up the mellow northern ridge of Mount Sutton. Once on the summit you will see Dumbbell Lake to the south with a nice mellow bowl above it.

Ride down the South facing slopes of Mount Sutton until arriving on the shores of Dumbbell Lake. From here just retrace your descent route before arriving back onto the summit. While it is not a steep climb this is New Zealand so it is smart to bring crampons.

Back on the summit of Mount Sutton there is a great bowl heading East. This is a popular backcountry spot for a reason and is well worth descending. Drop into the mellow and open bowl and soon enough it will start getting gully like features. This area holds great snow and sees a bit less traffic than the main ski runs so there is a good chance you will be riding powder with Lake Ohau in the distance. From here you can ride all the way down to the access road where you need to hike a few minutes back up to the car.

For more pictures and the full story check out this link https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/new-zealand/backcountry-ohau-snow-field/



Slopes become slightly steeper at around 25-30 degrees.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between August and November


  • Bowl
  • Alpine
  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Crampons