A chilled out scene, sheltered basin and some great terrain make this field a quiet achiever on the Craigieburn Range.
 Mid morning on the best powder day of the season. Tracked out? Nope.

Mid morning on the best powder day of the season. Tracked out? Nope.

Broken River is a club field on the Craigieburn Range in Canterbury. Accessed from Highway 73, it boasts a sheltered aspect, great lift-accessed backcountry skiing, and the finest deck on the South Island. Better yet, BR's access road and lift layout make the field safer to access and easier to control after a big snowfall than many of the other fields on the range, so it's often open first after a big storm when avalanche hazards might prompt other fields to close.

BR's inbounds terrain offers options for all skiers with friendly locals and the least competition for fresh lines we have seen anywhere in the world. You can often find fresh powder inbounds when other areas are tracked out, and there are usually fresh lines outside the patrol boundary several days after a snowfall. Access to BR's sidecountry is easy and direct, although these areas aren't patrolled so you need to have your avalanche smarts and equipment ready to go.

Like most club fields, the ski club runs accommodation lodges on the mountain which provide reasonably priced rooms and food. BR's locals have a taste for the good life (the club has its own craft beer on tap) and is probably the friendliest and most chilled out of the fields we've been to, but (unless you hit White Star Chalet on the right night) doesn't offer much by way of a party scene.