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post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi, can anyone tell me anything about Craigieburn NZ?
post #2 of 17
Hi Bec

Craigieburn Valley Ski Club

I've been skiing there for about 25 years. What would you like to know?

Glen Plake used to vist every year for a while, and called it the "best ski terrain in the southern hemisphere". When it's good its awesome, like this:
Powder Day!!
and when its bad, well, it can be horrid, but at least you're in the real mountains with real people, and we have a mind blowing new day lodge on top of a ridge to hang out in.

I could tell you more, but then I'd have to kill you

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Grum,

It's just the one place to stay there then? If you catch a train to Cass is there a way to get to Craigieburn?

Do you live there?

Is there any point organising a day at Porter Heights as well?

I've never been to any of the club field in NZ only Hutt, TC, Cardrona and Remarkables (Coronet always sounds like sheet ice when I'm over there).

And what is a triple black diamond like?! I've skiied couloirs and stuff in Canada and red runs in Austria (not sure what they were about) is it much the same?

post #4 of 17
OK lets see...

Just the one place to stay, awesome setting in the beech forest 5mins stroll from the bottom tow. You're either in 6-bunk rooms, or for about $15 more per person can have a double room (either double bed or double plus a bunk for the kids). Highly recommend the double rooms if you're coming as a couple. Everyone eats/lives/drinks (mostly drinks) together in the main lodge. The bar goes off, especially after a powder day.

No way to get there from Cass AFAIK. I'd forget the train. I'm pretty sure you can find a commercial operator to give you a return trip from Christchurch (4WD Hi-Ace type of thing). There might be a phone number or link from the CVSC website. I could find out for you if not. Some people rent a car in Chch but I'm not sure its worth the hassle and it just sits in the carpark costing you money all week.

No I don't live there :-( I live in Christchurch. Spent most of a season there once tho' which was pretty cool.

A day at Porters on the way home could be good - maybe wait til you get here and see what condx are like. If Craigieburn is good you wont want to leave, trust me on this. And Porters can be struggling for cover sometimes. You can also ski Broken River from Craigieburn - hiking required is about 10 mins on the way over and 40 mins on the way back. There will probably be other people doing this during the week, I recommend it. The two fields are promoting themselves as one large backcountry area this year. Also you might easily meet someone on the skiweek who is keen to drive to another field for a day.

Ah so you've seen Mt Shut, Coronet Creek, Cardrongo, and The Regrettables. All OK on the right day, but NOTHING like Craigieburn. You are heading in the right direction, grasshopper.

Triple Black Diamond - I might give that one a miss. But I'm sure your skiing will be fine for most of the field - I've seen a few of your postings in here over the last year or so. Most of it is no harder than the Towers or the South Face at Mt Hutt. And there ARE some easy(ish) runs, mostly its the snow conditions that can be tricky - no grooming so you have to be prepared to "enjoy" whatever nature provides. Popular skis are Mod-X, Intuitive 74, R:EX, G3 etc. Quite a lot of helmets too.

Oh, and its opening day tomorrow

Hope that helps, feel free to ask for more info.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks again.

Did you head out there on the weekend? It sounds like there's a bit of snow already.

So is a triple really that much harder than a double?

I think my skis should be OK (Volkl T50's) they have a wide shovel otherwise I'll just cope.

My friend booked us into the accom today and we booked flights on the weekend so all set to go! Can't wait. Thinking of spending a night in Arthurs pass as well and going for a walk. Have you walked around that area?

The other field sounds interesting too. I'll keep it in mind when I'm there and see what happens.

In the meantime it's super mainstream Mt Buller for me this weekend. Oh well it's all snow and it's all good.
post #6 of 17
Ended up going to Broken River (right next door) on Sunday. Early season cover but the snow was in great condition. Craigieburn's report this morning says they got another 10cms on the upper field last night, with a bit of rain at base level. Typical Nor'West precip pattern.

That Triple Diamond has really got your attention, hasn't it? I don't think the grading is meant to be too scientific. More like just "Oh f..., you want me to ski THAT!!?" One of them is called 210, I think 'cos that's the width in cms. :

I've seen some T50's up there. They should be great for the chutes.

Arthurs Pass is a good idea. Lots of walks to choose from. The park info centre there will be able to advise you where to go. Avalanche danger can be an issue above the bushline. I've done a bit of tramping in the area, it's spectacular. Bring some good footwear - you might be walking in the snow. There are a couple of nice bush tracks at Craigieburn too - a good option if the field is closed for a day.

Which week are you guys booked on? - I get up to Craigieburn quite often - we could hook up for a run or two if you like.

post #7 of 17
Craigieburn is awesome. Grum encouraged me to go last year and it is everything he says it is. If you are willing to sacrifice the rest on the chairlift and the latte, for wide open slopes, no crowds and 100% off piste, then Craigieburn is the place for you.

And rumour has it the day hut now has a flush toilet, a big step up from the 'long drop' hidden away behind the tow shed out of sight and out of smell range. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

[ July 14, 2003, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: julie from nz ]
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ahhh ... the drop toilet.

The place I lived in, in Niseko only had drop toilets (internal), Japanese style - ie a hole in the floor. It wasn't too bad until spring and then everything began to thaw...

By then the globe had gone out so you couldn't see and I was on crutches. Most definately do not recommend.

The stuff we do for un-crowded slopes

Soooooooo excited about Cragieburn. Do you get there much Julie?
post #9 of 17

I was at Broken River last weekend, which is just over the ridge from Craigieburn. You can apparently ski between the two and their passes are transferrable.

For some more info on the club fields, check out www.chillout.co.nz.

If you like being adventurous, you might want to enter the chill sessions while you are here. If you are female (Bec sounds short for Becky?), they are looking for females willing to participate, so they can give away all the spot prizes they have from the sponsors for the womans section. Unfortunately I won't be about the weekends they are on. The Craigieburn chill session is this weekend July 26/27, Broken River is August 16/17.


Broken River was just as awesome as Craigieburn, so make sure you go for a look. Alains Basin is very similar to Middle Basin at Craigieburn. I took some photos, which I will put up on image station some time next week. Grum put a link above for my Craigieburn photos.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
What's the update guys?
post #11 of 17
Hey there. I'm heading over there next week with Bec. Just checked out your photos on imagegallery Julie and there's some awesome shots on there.

I'm kind of worried about the snow. Is it OK now or is it still really sketchy there? If you guys are around it would be cool to have a few runs and some drinks. I've been told the club races are on the 30 & 31 so we might stick around for them too. I hear it's a pretty big weekend.

Looking forward to it all.
post #12 of 17
Bec & Mick

Skied at the 'burn on Sunday. Yes the snow is, er, sketchy, but we still had a good day. You can ski Hamilton Face on the main field top to bottom (1500 vert), and also Middle Basin right down to the road (unusual in a low snow year). What snow there is is a mix of quite nice windpacked with large areas of easily avoidable ice. There are some areas where you just can't ski at all, but you can get to see most parts of the field with a bit of route finding. The base is quite solid so the rocks are easy to see and avoid. I got my new skis out for the first time and didn't put a mark on them all afternoon.

So its not quite like Julie's photos, but could be a lot worse. And the deck is in great condition

I'll find you guys if I get up there next week.

post #13 of 17
For a recent picture of conditions go here and check the Craigieburn Range report.
The picture is actually mostly of Alains Basin, which is between Craigieburn and Broken River. You can see some of Broken River skifield in the left 1/4 of the photo, including their day lodge if you look hard. Craigieburn is out of sight behind the peak on the right.
Also the Craigieburn snow report has a recent picture of the field.

post #14 of 17
Bec and Mike - I am planning to go to Craigieburn on Sunday, conditions permitting. Will you guys be there by then?

grum - do you want come up with me Sunday, conditions permitting? I may also have one or two other chicks with me, but we could make room for you [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

[ August 20, 2003, 06:13 PM: Message edited by: julie from nz ]
post #15 of 17
Hey Julie & Grum. Thank god it's starting to look like a season over there. I was thinking that we were going to have to head off to do cave rafting or something down the west coast.

I'll be heading up there Sunday morning from the airport cause my flight gets in really late Sat night. You guys don't know anyone else heading up with room cause Black Diamond Safaris haven't called me back yet? Otherwise you might see me standing on the side of the road hitching. I'll definately be there sometime on Sunday (look for the person in the day hut looking lost in black pants and jacket at lunch time). Bec will be there on Monday afternoon.

We think we might stick around for the next weekend too (aug 30 & 31) for the club races. My mum's cousin has one of the private huts up there which she offered to us if there's no room left in the lodge (they'll be up there too that weekend).

So I imagine I'll see you (both??) sometime on Sunday for some much needed freshies.

[ August 20, 2003, 07:46 PM: Message edited by: Mick C ]
post #16 of 17
Mick - I've sent you a PM re a ride..... Julie
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Craigieburn ROCKS!!!!!!!!!


What an experinece! I have skiied at over 35 mountains around world and this place taught me what skiing was again.

Even in it's worst season in years and with a lot of the mountain not open, this place just blew my mind. Not the just the terrain (which was mega cool by the way esp the chute on castle something), but the people, the atmosphere, the experience and most importantly the raw energy of the mountain. It made me remember the true essence of skiing.

Those nutcrackers suck! But it's all part of CV.

Great to meet you grum, sorry I was mega trashed at the time. Will be back next year and hope to meet you then Julie.

CV just has THE best attitude in the world!

[img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]tongue.gif[/img]

Luving it

[ September 01, 2003, 05:57 AM: Message edited by: Bec ]
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