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General Climbing Discussion

NZ Club Fields

5:57:44 AM
I'm heading across the Tasman for some skiing this year, and I've heard about the club fields, and read a bit. Just wondering if anyone has any favourite fields to ski and stay in? We'll be skiing in the Craigieburns in Sept and hope to grab a few days at Mt Olympus. Be cool to have some beta...

10:57:16 AM
I spent just over a week at Temple Basin doing a climbing course last winter. Did a bit of skiing as well. I would STRONGLY recommend spending some time at TB if you're a reasonably advanced skier. The place is fantastic. There's a massive amount of accessible terrain. The accommodation was OK, the people were nice (real two winters per year follow the snow around the world types), the scenery is great. The meals completely exceeded my expectations.

You need to be prepared to walk a bit. It's a solid walk up to the ski field from the road, and from the top of the first main tow, it's an easy 10 minute walk up the hill to the second tow.

I didn't go to any of the other fields so don't know what they are like. If you are going to multiple fields, consider getting a Chill Pass (you need your own nut cracker). See

Note that most club fields use rope tows, which are a bit tricky and potentially dangerous by Australian standards. Also, most don't have groomed slopes.

After skiing at Temple Basin, it's not really apparent to me why anyone would want to spend twice as much money to ski at a commercial Queenstown field appart from having groomed slopes.

James Mc

11:58:41 AM
Andy I've done the club field thing 3 years running its the only way to ski NZ . Can vouch for Temple Basin it is a must do . A really unique experience a bit like school camp because you've got chores to do but you meet an interesting crowd, and the food is first class can still taste those parmesan and pesto scones.Do not go past Broken River terrain is fantastic and there is usually no-one there it is linked by a short hike to craigieburn and tickets are valid at craigie burn therefore the largest offpiste resort ski area in NZ .The walk in is a lot easier than TB u have a choice of self catered or they can cook for you which for what your paying and what you get is the way to go top class tucker !!!!!!!!!!! Yes rope tows at BR as well .The whole club field thing is a rustic more fulfilling experince than the commercail fields .There is no grooming and it don't take that long to learn to use a rope tow (if you,ve got a harness bring it along with a couple of locking carabiners and some slings for adjustments ,Best to wear a jacket that opens from the base at the waist as well ).Craigieburn has on snow accom as well. Another concept you may wanna explore is basing yourself at castlehill village and doing day trips to the club fields as the canterbury ones are quite close to gether. The major ski-nz website lists all the club fields their locations and contacts.Enjoy. Time not spent skiing is time wasted.
1:01:44 PM
Mmmm .. Craigieburn ..
One of the places I MUST get back to ski again.
Only went there once, for a day. Simply awesome terrain, but not for the faint-hearted. The one "green" run there is steep enough to slide all the way to the bottom. The nutcracker lifts are pretty basic. But topping out on the very topmost lift there is the closest you can get to helisking without sitting in a chopper.

3:17:40 PM
Hey Andy,

can thoroughly recommend the club fields, much as others have said.

Broken River (great folks) and Craigiburn offer fantastic terrain on a joint ticket. Temple Basin appears to be a bit more vairable in snow quality, but had some good skiing there in between my avy course.

And you can use an old climbing harness to attach to the nutcracker for a much more comfortable ride up the hill.


4:35:57 PM
do the club fields have seasonal staff (skipatrol in particular)? ive applied for a bunch of patrol gigs over there this year but it would be rad to get out of the punter resorts and into somewhere like cragieburn!!

7:31:43 PM
The club fields generally have two paid avy patrollers, and a number of volunteer patrollers too. To volunteer, I believe they are generally looking for a stage 1 avy qual and some sort of advanced first aid, can't remember the name of the nz qual they wanted. Most of the club fields have websites with details of staff applications.

The terrain in BR and Craigieburn is fantastic. If it's your first trip over, expect a steep learning curve the first few days!

Ask James over on the backcountry forum of for advice about BR. (I'm pretty sure he's a BR member not craigieburn Jules)


6:03:22 AM
Thanks everyone for your help< I've been away for week guiding bushwalks so was outta touch. You've given great advice here, so now I have a much clearer picture of what's involved in the club fields. You've confirmed what I thought: a) that the skiing is great; b) that TB, BR and c are the way to go; and c) that I can still get some mileage outta one of my old climbing harnesses! I think a Chill Pass is definitely worth looking into. Cheers guys, andyR
10:40:38 AM
Mousey - tri and dig up James Broadbent - JamesB over on teh forums. He is a Craigieburn club member, general club fields advocate and (literally) wrote the book on NZ ski-touring. He is a gold mine of information and very willing to share.

start here for masses of info

1:39:35 PM
cheersies mate

There are 10 messages in this topic.


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