CRAIGIEBURN VALLEY, New Zealand
Craigieburn Valley is not for the fainthearted, or even beginners for that matter. All of the terrain here is for experienced skiers and riders, split almost halfway between intermediate (55%) and experts (45%) trails. Highlights include easy access to advanced freeriding, steep narrow chutes, wide-open powder bowls and uncrowded runs. Terrain at Craigieburn Valley is varied, exciting and challenging with the infamous 600-meter (1,968-foot) vertical descent of Middle basin (which is often compared to a heliskiing experience) accessible by an easy traverse from the tow. The resort is a classic club field meaning that it is not for profit; rather it is run by dedicated club members. "Craiggie" is an awesome place to ski and remains largely undiscovered which means more freshies for you. It’s only a matter of time.
When to go: Mid July to Late September
Terrain: 988 acres: 0% beginner, 55% intermediate, 45% advanced/expert
Lifts: Three rope tows
Apres-ski: Head to the bar at Koroheke Lodge
Resorts facilities: The day lodge, located near the top of the mountain, serves hot food and fresh coffee. Craigieburn has two overnight lodges—Koroheke and Matuhi nestled away just below treeline. They offer a warm and friendly retreat right off the snow after a hard day on the hill. Note: there are no ski rental facilities in Craigieburn.
Ski pass prices: Lift tickets cost $72 (NZD) per day
Transportation: Craigieburn is located 68 miles/1.5 hours from Christchurch on highway 73. Independent operators, Smylies and Black Diamond Safaris offer transfers between Christchurch and Craigieburn.