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Craigieburn, NZ Aug 2008

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well I finally got myself sorted enough to post some pictures.

Last weekend (August 10/11) I went to Craigieburn which is a club ski area in Canterbury, NZ. This was my favourite local ski area when I lived in Christchurch. It is 90 minutes from Christchurch so you can do a day trip, but why would you go home on Saturday night when you can stay on the mountain for $85 for dinner, bed and breakfast - almost cheaper than the fuel to go home and back.

Don't let the 'club' tag fool you, it is not exclusive or or expensive. In NZ this is a ski area run by skiers, and a member is anyone who can afford the $125 NZD annual sub (about $80USD) . Members get cheaper lift and accomodation rates, but they need paying public to survive. They want you to come ! If members attend work parties over summer you get free skiing in return. More work days = more free days skiing.

Facilities are probably not what most are used too, but if your fitness and skiing can hack the pace, you can enjoy the benefits - uncrowded slopes - a busy day is 100 riders at Craigieburn. Mid week there are probably only 30 or so, and you get to know the staff on a first name basis. Don't come here is you need groomed slopes, there are not any, there are no snow groomers, and there are no beginner slopes.

This Picasa web album has some pictures to give you some idea of the facilities at Craigieburn.

Why would you leave the chairlfits and come ride a rope tow........
this album has some pictures of the skiing, note the lack of people..... who needs heli-skiing when I got this for $60NZD (about $40USD) a day.

I'll insert some of my favourite photos soon, I just wanna check the links to my public album work first
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
The Sunday of my weekend was a stunning day, blue skies, and plenty of fresh snow. Got fresh tracks for the whole weekend, was not snowing but a little wind on Saturday blew them smooth, and the lack of crowds meant there was plenty for everyone.

I don't have any photos of me cause I was always on the end of the camera. This is my ski buddy, also called Julie.




For those who wanted to hike Hamilton Peak, the reward was worth it


And for a hike along the ridge line you could ski North peak



View of North Peak from the deck of the day lodge. This shot give you some idea of how expansive this place is with a bit of hiking. Well, expansive in NZ terms anyway



This year is shaping up to be one of the best snow years for quite a while. I tried to ski Craigieburn the same weekend in August last year and they had not even opened for the season due to lack of snow. I think they were only able to open for a few weeks last season. This year is completely different with a 2 m base at the top tow. That might not sound a lot to some, but it is heaps for NZ. In the last few days it has been snowing heavily and they have had even more. They are closed today, and they now say the base is 3m at the top. I suspect they are closed at the moment cause the main road is closed, no one can get there, and more importantly, the avalanche conditions are 'extreme'.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
woops the photos did not work as I expected ....look better now
post #4 of 18
Pictures still not working jules.
post #5 of 18

Nz

Julie, thanks for the pictures. Looks like some great powder fun.
post #6 of 18
I saw them all the day you posted them . The wide open spaces are very cool indeed. What kind of depth have they accumulated so far ?

Thanks for sharing.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
There was a 2 m base at the top and about a metre at the bottom, which is good for here. They have had a lot more snow since and 2008 is now officially one of the best snow years for ages. Our seasons frequently follow the Northern hemsphere trends and they had a good season last season. They don't publish 'total season' snowfalls in NZ like they do in North America, they just report what the current base is (before it gets packed down by skiers).

It does mean it has been the wettest winter for ages, so we are all a bit water logged below the snow line. I definitely need the gum boots to go out on the back lawn, or down the paddock. Bit I don't mind cause it means snow, and as a lot of the NZ power is generated by hydro, it means our winter power crisis has been averted, the lakes are filling up.

Now I gotta figure out why my photos don't work.....
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
If all else fails the earlier links to the picasa albums work, the photos are there and more.....tme to go watch more olympics
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by julie from nz View Post




For those who wanted to hike Hamilton Peak, the reward was worth it



Thanks for the pics, Julie.

I would love to be one of those tracks
post #10 of 18


can you see this?
post #11 of 18
Great stuff, Julie! Would have loved to go back this season but my ACL had other ideas. Almost healed, though! Are you skiing in the States next season?

Be well!
Mike
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post


can you see this?

yessss
and I can even love it
Long live Belgian summer while studying
cold 20°C and rainy
post #13 of 18
That place looks just about perfect. Is there a long hike from the parking lot to the tows? Is there a ski patrol?
post #14 of 18
Craigieburn would be a very cool throwback in time for us raised on US resort skiing. Check-out the trail map http://www.craigieburn.co.nz/flash_trailmap.htm including some pop-up photos. Vertical appears to be around 1700 feet, but a lot of terrain in horizontal direction. Top elevations only around 6000 feet, surprising.
post #15 of 18
That looks pretty sweet from where I'm sitting.

How are things at TC? And is it true that Mt Lyford has the deepest snowpack in NZ at the moment????
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
Craigieburn would be a very cool throwback in time for us raised on US resort skiing. Check-out the trail map http://www.craigieburn.co.nz/flash_trailmap.htm including some pop-up photos. Vertical appears to be around 1700 feet, but a lot of terrain in horizontal direction. Top elevations only around 6000 feet, surprising.
not really NZ ski areas arent built anywhere near the ceiling of the country.
post #17 of 18
That ski area looks great. I am impressed with it's size and steepness.
post #18 of 18
Rope tow, nutcracker grips, no grooming. Other than heading BC and earing your turns, skiing as it should be.
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