This is your all access pass to the Craigieburn Range, home to awesome backcountry touring, rad small ski areas, and local ski culture that’s a blast from the past in all the right ways.
We’ll stay in AirBnB style accommodation in Castle Hill Village, within striking distance of six small ski areas and an entire mountain range of epic backcountry touring. Five days gives us time to explore, and gives you a real shot at some of the most prized objectives along the range. Whether it’s bagging peaks, first tracks in some steep chutes, or putting turns into basins that will be the envy of everyone in the valley, this is the way to do it.
Group size: Maximum 5 people, but we recommend no more than 4.
Rider ability: Strong intermediate or above.
Fitness level: Moderate or high level of fitness (able to hike uphill on skins or a splitboard for 4 hours a day).
Backcountry experience: This trip is suitable for enthusiastic backcountry beginners and grizzled veterans alike.
Make sure your group is all at a similar level of fitness, ability and ambition.
Location and accommodation:
Based out of Castle Hill Village in Canterbury. Our day-to-day schedule will vary according to the weather, the group, and how everyone’s feeling.
Ski areas within striking distance are: Mt Olympus, Porters, Cheeseman, Broken River, Craigieburn Valley and Temple Basin.
Accommodation is in AirBnB style accommodation. We’ll cater for you.
The Craigieburn Range is perfect alpine ski terrain. It’s like a museum of skiing above the treeline, with every conceivable combination of wide open bowls, steep chutes, big faces, and mellow benches represented. At the northern end of the range, the mountains meet the Main Divide at Arthur’s Pass, offering some real big-mountain adventures for strong groups in good weather.
The Craigieburns have options for all kinds of groups. Rad lines for those who want to push themselves, big faces for those who just want to smash out perfect turns, peaks to climb, ridges to traverse. Whether you’re in it for the journey or all about the descent, there’s something here for you. Unless you’re a squirrel. There are no trees.
This trip is focused on backcountry skiing. Some of that will be accessed from or adjacent to ski areas, other days we’ll hike for most or all of our vertical. If the weather and conditions aren’t amenable to the backcountry we’ll make use of the huge range of inbounds options as required.
Expect to bootpack as well as skin. It’s often easiest (and incredibly scenic) to move along the ridges and occasionally that means walking rather than skinning. Don’t worry - we’ll break trail. A typical day involves around 1200m vert, but days can range from laps off lifts with a bit of hiking mixed in (for a rest day or during a storm) through to 2000m+ stairmaster workouts on the biggest, baddest faces we can find. We tailor the terrain we use to the group’s ability and the weather and snow-safety for the day. Usually we try to spend a day or two staying close to the ski areas so you can hang out with the locals and soak up some of the local mountain culture. It’s well worth it.
January through March subject to guide availability.
We’re a small company with good guides in high demand. Book early so you don’t miss out.
Bookings closed for 2019. Prices for 2020 TBA.
The trip includes:
Transport to and from Christchurch (or similar in the region) to start and finish your trip.
Transport to and from trailheads/resorts to ski each day.
Four nights’ accommodation in AirBnB style accommodation.
Five days guiding.
We plan to ski or board every day, so make sure you plan to meet us early on day 1 and finish your trip late on day 5 so we have time to go riding.
Tips, tricks and local knowledge from genuine guides with a passion for backcountry skiing.
Daily avalanche safety briefing plus rescue training as required throughout your trip.
It doesn’t include:
Rental gear (we don’t have any but we can help you find it - let us know).
Lift tickets (we never know if we’ll need them, so it’s easier to get them as we go).
You can extend this trip for up to a total of 7 days, prices TBA. Let us know if you’re interested in extending the trip when you fill in the booking form below.