Another skier has died from injuries after falling about 300 meters at Mount Hutt Ski Area last week, the third skiing fatality on the mountain this season. The snowboarder, about 30 years old, was with two friends when he slid while traversing back from groomed terrain to the bottom of the Triple chairlift, a ski area spokesman reported. He appeared to have caught an edge while traversing the area. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident, and suffered head injuries.
Mountt Hutt has the largest skiable area in the South Island of New Zealand (3.65 square kilometers), and a vertical height of 683 meters. It attracts a wide range of abilities, with a “magic carpet” lift for beginners, good intermediate and advanced runs, and access to large off-piste areas. The most advanced runs on the mountain are through the rock formations at the top of the field known as “The Towers”, and the South Face.
The snow season is from June to October. Mount Hutt prides itself on and historically has been the first ski area, or ski-field as it is revered to in New Zealand, to open at the beginning of each season in the Southern Hemisphere.
Prior to this season, the resort had no fatalities since 2005. But it has been a deadly year for the ski area. In July, a 54 year-old woman died while skiing with her daughter outside the skifield boundary. A month earlier, a 21-year-old American woman died after injuring herself while skiing, also off-trail. And in June, a 60 year-old man died after his car veered off the access road as he was driving home from a day at the mountain.