Thanks for the contributions. I'm more than happy to post in the main forums, now that I know you guys are still interested and they don't lie dormant and unvisited during your summer. I guess I was fooled by the eurozone being there as a separate thing.
We're in the final countdowns to opening for the winter here around Christchurch, with the first ski area scheduled to open on 12th June. Most open in late June or early July and operate through to early-late October depending on snow and skier numbers. Sadly we have a much shorter season here - I have been reading the trip reports with envy thinking are they STILL open over there?? At least I finally got to Canada this year for a month to feed the habit but unfortunately mistimed my trip to get NZ conditions with the pre-games pineapple express. Still, it was skiing - in January - so can't complain.
I normally ski at one of the so-called "club" fields (ski fields is what ski areas/resorts are commonly called in NZ - why I don't know!), Broken River, where I am a member of the club that owns and operates the ski area on land leased from the government. We plan to open on 3 July but are often the last ski area still open in October.
Broken River Ski Club is a not-for-profit organisation that was formed in the 1950s to promote the sport of skiing and social interactions between our members, with the early members starting to build the ski area facilities that we enjoy today. We still have an accommodation lodge in use that was built by early members who had carried the materials up to the site on their backs! We operate a small ski area (if you imagine the upper parts of Cedar and Lizard bowls at Fernie as far down as the bottom of the Bear thats probably roughly about the size plus adjacent backcountry areas) where we employ a handful of staff during the winter and the rest of the maintenance, administration, financial management and other stuff that a business like a ski area needs is done by club members over the winter and during the rest of the year. We have great summer weekend "work parties" at the ski area doing the maintenance work where we get to catch up with our ski buddies.
Our ski area is basic, no frills skiing as it used to be. No fancy cafes, no chairlifts, no grooming, no queues (having to wait for more than 4-5 people is a queue, often its straight onto the tow). Just good snow, friendly people who are passionate about their little ski area and ski club, and ski tows that are basic but work really well. I have put up a few photographs on the resort entry for our ski area , and there are some videos on YouTube (just search for Broken River). Some of the best are also linked from our website.
www.brokenriver.co.nz (new website coming soon)
So, yes, I will post lots of skiing stories here for you all and have my fingers crossed for lots of powder days this winter. I am sitting at home by the fire, after an indian summer that didn't seem it was ever going to end, we finally have cold (and wet) weather with a couple of hail showers today and snow forecast to about 400m elevation over the next couple of days - our first snows of the winter.