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|AWAKINO – ST MARY’S RANGE Ski Touring||2||600m||
Map I 40 Awakino skifield is a small club ski area in an east-facing bowl on the St Marys Range, accessed from the Waitaki Valley township of Kurow via Manse Road and Cattle Valley Road. The skifield access road is maintained by the club and cleared of snow, though 4WD is advisable for the upper section. The ski club operates the skifield on weekends only, and during weekdays the access road may be locked. There is an accommodation lodge on the skifield. http://skiawakino.com/ Awakino, and the St Marys Range, mostly get their snow from southerly and SE systems that move up the coast. The NW wind tends to strip the snow away. Get up there in winter after a southerly though and it can be magic. The St Marys Range is DoC land. From the ski tows it’s 3km distance and 600 vertical metres climb south to Mt Kohurau (2015m), about 2 hours travel. The views from Kohurau are spectacular, including the Hawkdun Range in Central Otago, Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring and on a clear day Banks Peninsula. The south face of Kohurau has a good ski basin that descends into the headwaters of Hut Creek. Also from the ski area skin up the main basin westwards to the crest of the range to spot elevation 1942 in about 30 minutes. Mt Bitterness (1910m) is about 3km north along the flat-topped range, and 400m ski descents may be made eastwards into basins that drain back into the Awakino River West Branch.