NZ clubfields - few tips

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by benjiboy, May 17, 2015.

  1. benjiboy

    benjiboy Hard Yards

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    Hi Guys

    I've booked a flight last week of July to Christchurch and am keen to do the clubfield thing. This will be a solo trip and I'd rather not drive, so it looks like the best idea would be to stick to just the one place for the whole time (7 nights). I've done a bit of research and it seems Broken River would be an obvious choice. With access to two fields (Craigeburn) on the one pass and a fair bit of terrain to choose from. I have touring gear (dynafit) and gear, so will probably try to get around for a few short tours and see if there are people to buddy up with. I'm an advanced level skier - tour a bit in the NSW BC and like to ski powder and off-piste, but wouldn't put myself in the expert category (don't want to ski steep tight chutes too much or steep stuff all day long....)
    Does anyone see any issues with doing this, or do you think other places would be more suitable? I understand that there is a decent chance the conditions could be bad and I might be lodge bound for days in end if the weather closes in.... Doesn't bother me too much.
    Is there a more convenient way to do this?
    Do these places book out early for a bed, or should I wait for the snowfalls and choose closer to the event (say Temple Basin or one of the others may have better conditions)?
     
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Hard Yards

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    My, how rude of me... I appreciate any feedback the forums people are willing to give :cheers:
     
  3. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old n' Crusty

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  4. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us
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    I'v only skied 1 day at BR before heading to Craigieburn for a few days.
    If it was me, I would stay at Craigieburn and pop over to BR rather than the other way around.
     
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  5. craighelo

    craighelo Addicted

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  6. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy Addicted

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    BR is great;
    these fields are always pretty flexible for club beds,
    all depands on fresh pow then they get busy, natch;
    options to stay with a car are Arthurs Pass, Castle Hill, Sheffield, as these allow you to play these fields & weather day by day.
    if theres no sno , move onto Mackenzie or even TC
    Try score the goods at Temple Basin or Olympus - 2 king-hit local fields;
    lotsa ridgeline touring is possible between the fields w all the right factors in place
    get cool with the locals and they will look after you big time

    Best ~
     
  7. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    We did a trip renting a house in Castle Hill village & had a Subaru 4WD. Was epic.
     
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  8. Arne

    Arne Addicted

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    Bring a Alpine Touring harness and buy a nut cracker when you get there. The difference is like renting skis to bringing your own.
    Bring old gloves or buy a glove cover when you get there. Or they will be destroyed.
     
  9. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    This.

    Craigieburn is awesome. Broken River the poor cousin.

    The bar at Craigieburn is a great place to have an apres beer.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Hard Yards

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    Seth - curious why you like Craigieburn better? My understanding was it was a lot steeper and gnarlier than BR. Is the accommodation situation better there also?
    I'll look into those tours and what not. Like the idea of staying put, because I stress out a bit dealing with the driving and I'm trying to make this a bit of a chill out trip for me. Will be happy with a book on off days. Good tips for dealing with the nutcrackers there, thanks for that.
     
  11. Sydlouise

    Sydlouise Hard Yards

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    Broken river is a super, super friendly nice place to stay (I'm going back first week of September), but the terrain is a bit dull compared to Craigeburn. I'd choose Craigeburn if the primary purpose was skiing. You can ski/hike between the two with AT set up and there are some nice BC runs between them. Social atmosphere at BR was tops though, hanging out on the mountain sundeck drinking beers, communal meals everyone sharing drinks and having a chat. Lots of old people (original members?) seem to hang out there and do a lot more chatting than skiing but they're great fun and really encouraging. I was there with a group of speed riders so we were lugging around mini paragliding wings and every run they'd clap and cheer. Every crash they'd clap and cheer too ;) Actually come to think of it it was seniors week, so maybe that's not the usual crowd.
    Definitely wear a rockclimbing harness and buy the nutcracker as recommended, take a decent length of prussick loop to attach it and fiddle with the length until you get it right. I found wearing the riggers gloves much better than the glove covers, most people ski in them there.
    I haven't been there but loads of people were raving about Ohau, might be worth googling to see if its true or just lore.
     
  12. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    I was on the trip with @CarveMan . Memory is that terrain is better than BR. Was just more impressed with Craigieburn.
     
  13. johnski

    johnski Hard Yards

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    Poor cousin is a bit it tough but I agree craigieburn has better terrain and set up better IMHO.
    I have skied all the club fields extensively, it does depend on the conditions, in a nw storm temple basin is on if it doesn't rain, olympus can deliver the goods also depending on the weather patterns, I like to have a car for the flexibility of chasing the conditions (staying on the hill way better/easier than down in the valley for lack of hassle) very doable staying at one spot. You'll have a great time at either craigieburn or br.

    Craigieburn is my pick (I'm a member so a bit biased but only after spending time at all clubbies) - terrain is fine for upper int/advanced and up, hardest thing for some is the nutcrackers but pretty easy once you get the hang of it). You will be able to ski over to br anyway or vice versa, ridge line makes for lots of untracked after a storm and easy hiking or skinning. You'll find people to ski with.

    You can do ok withou a car there is a bus that runs from christchurch to Arthur's pass a few days a week which will get you to the bottom of the access roads for craigieburn or br and you can thumb a lift up to get to the accomodation. I do know someone who had to walk half way up to craigieburn on a quiet day b4 a car came but got unlucky), easier still try the snow carpooling site for Sth island snowpool a bit closer to the time.

    You'll have a great time, I haven't skied australia again since doing my nz first club field trip in 08 and have been going back ever since but a bit different when travelling from wa.
     
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  14. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    That is a massive stooge having to walk halfway up to the lodge at Craigieburn.
    LOL
     
  15. johnski

    johnski Hard Yards

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    Agree, the person was a lite traveller unlike me but still hard core, the beer was well deserved when they hit the bar.
     
  16. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us
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    Reason I went to BR for first day of my trip to clubbies was to get used to the nutcracker tow first. Had heard that terrain at BR was a bit flatter for longer before you headed skywards. I was with a group of intermediate skiiers and they all got the hang of it fairly quickly.
    Except the snow boarder who tore his pectoral muscle on the first attempt.
    Craigieburn proved to be a bit too much for my posse.
    Craigieburn has a great Apre bar area.
     
  17. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    clamped it straight on? clutch is critical.
     
  18. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    I would agree that the tows are easier at BR. Still need to walk a few k's from the lodge though.
     
  19. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us
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    sure did.
     
  20. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us
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    I thought one of my mates was going to need a heli evacuation just from walking to the first tow at BR.
    I probably need another posse.
     
  21. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old n' Crusty

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    ROFL

    Sorts them out.....
     
  22. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    LOL
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Hard Yards

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    Thanks guys, sounds like there is some time to figure it out and it will be fun either way. Craigieburn is looking like a good option for sure.
     
  24. Sydlouise

    Sydlouise Hard Yards

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    Do chin ups. By the end of the day my arms were too tired for nutcrackers I'd be sadly flicking away at the bottom of the rope tow incapable of getting up for last runs.
     
  25. benjiboy

    benjiboy Hard Yards

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    haha I have a few of those incorporated into my morning workout routine. Who knew they'd be so useful. Sounds like riggers gloves are the way to go too....
     
  26. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us
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    Kincos. You can buy them at the ticket office.
     
  27. Sydlouise

    Sydlouise Hard Yards

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    The kinco's are NZ$60 at the Broken River ticket office, could well be cheaper at Bunnings if they sell them.
     
  28. benjiboy

    benjiboy Hard Yards

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    Wondering if anyone has any experience using the shuttle services to get to the clubbies? Seems like the only option other than carpool (which could be a bit risky) to get there when you want...
     
  29. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    or just get the glove cover thingy they sell at the ticket office in CHCH.
     
  30. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us
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    wow! $60. I don't recall paying that much
     
  31. Conners

    Conners One of Us
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  32. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    I went with a couple of pairs of riggers gloves, they got a bit wet so I would change at lunchtime.
     
  33. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us
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    Rub wax into 'em (while dry).
     
  34. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    -don't take fancy outerwear.
    -mind your straps on your pack etc.
    -be flexible. Sometimes fog and socked in at one clubbie is bluebired and fresh and another.
    -nothing happens in a hurry.
     
  35. expatgm

    expatgm Hard Yards
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    Here you go.
     
  36. johnski

    johnski Hard Yards

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    I know people who have used atomic shuttles to get to the bottom of the br or craigieburn access roads or arthurs pass for temple basin. Shuttle leaves c-church in morning gets you to the craigieburn or br access rds by about 9am so still need to thumb a ride up but normally early enough to still find someone going up the hill.

    Can also try black diamond safaris closer to the time, they are r up in the clubbies every day and may be able to tap into one of their day trips already going up, otherwise expensive if going solo with them.
     
  37. benjiboy

    benjiboy Hard Yards

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    Thanks John thats a good tip. Yeah I looked into Black Daimond. Looked good, but cost is pretty high for their tours (I know you get a guide for that), and I'm a tight arse so...
     
  38. Donza

    Donza Pool Room

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    [​IMG]

    Bunnings
    59 bucks
    These are the nuts
    Fully lined , tough as and waterproof.
     
  39. Gimp

    Gimp One of Us
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    If you get Kincos get the ones with the elastic cuffs not just the standard variety. I've based myself at Symlies in Springfield before and am doing again later in the season. An easy commute up to the clubbies each morning (easy hitch too) and you have the options when weather plays havoc. Also a bit further to Hutt and Olympus but very doable for the day. I didn't do craigeburn as the word was it is a lot harder for a goofy boarder. That said after 5 goes trying to get up the access tow at BR I nearly gave up (intimidating slide option to the left). Clubbies rule, try to hook up with a local with some side country knowledge to make the most of them otherwise you might feel like your at Charlotte P for the week. Enjoy
     
  40. Sydlouise

    Sydlouise Hard Yards

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    I wish I had yak tracks or similar with me at Broken River. The walk up the hill each morning was steep and very icy when I was there. And I missed the luggage shuttle lift in the morning which was a long steep uphill ice rink with some chains to hold onto. A few solid tumbles from guests. Then it warmed up and it was no trouble at all but I'd take them next time. I hear Craigeburn is a cruisier walk from the carpark and to the hill.
     
  41. ScottGN

    ScottGN One of Us
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    Craigieburn Ranges this week. To get you in the mood...:D
    [​IMG]
     
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  42. benjiboy

    benjiboy Hard Yards

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    thats a nice pic of the ranges. Gimp its funny you bring up Charlottes - used to take the annual family ski trip there back in the day. Have fond memories of jumping off the same rock every single run off the chair :)
    Sounds like I'm better off waiting a month or so and seeing how the base is looking before booking anything. I suppose Hutt is an option if things end up looking dire
     
  43. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    Definitely.

    We scored on our trip and had great conditions. The next week was a shocker. A lot of that was luck but the later you can make the decision the better.
     
  44. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Have skied extensively in the club fields and love 'em. Definitely Craigieburn is my fav followed by Mt Olympus. Both have great lodge facilities and an awesome vibe, especially if you are travelling alone. You will find someone to ski with and generally have a ball.
    While your own nutcracker would be nice the high jobs are sufficient. Big yes on the rigger gloves but better to get a full pigskin pair and seal them, rather than the pictured Kinco pair with suede backing.
    It's a shame you get stressed driving as that really does open up far greater flexibility and skiing options. I will have two good friends staying at Craigieburn for a few days the week of the 25th. They're awesome folks and absolute guns. Husband and wife, you'll know them by the wife's laugh. 'nough said.
     
  45. HakaTours

    HakaTours First Runs

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  46. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local
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    If you're going to take the ridges between fields in the Craigieburns you will need to be able to assess the avy risks.
     
  47. benjiboy

    benjiboy Hard Yards

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    Thanks Ziggy, yep that would be my understanding of it. Alpine terrain, steep, lots of wind... Do you know if patrol does much control work in bounds at the fields? Bombing etc... I suppose "in bounds" is a relative term there....
     
  48. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local
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    Others will know more. I'm not aware that they do more than close areas or advise skiers of the level of risk.

    I'm told that hitching around the C/burns isn't too bad. Some folk zig zag between lodge, ridge, the next field and the road. But as always YMMV.
     
  49. stuarth

    stuarth Addicted
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    Ski Patrol in the fields do control work on their in bounds area and on slopes that affect the in bounds areas, primarily using ski-cutting and hand charges (bombs), but their patrol teams are small, their budgets are limited and the daily financial imperatives are not huge, so it happens slowly and they often just manage instability by closing the field (or sections of the field) for the day or so because that is cheaper & more effective given the resources available. Once you are outside the resort/field boundary, well, like the Americans now say: "there is no such thing as slack country; when you cross the fence you are stepping into the stone age". Outside the fields, there is no control & you are on your own. Have fun.
     
  50. sbm

    sbm One of Us
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    Bump.

    Thinking about the ultimate nutcracker setup...so I'm bringing a climbing harness and leather Bunnings gloves. While I'm packing the climbing gear is it worth bringing an adjustable tether, like a daisy chain or prusik?

    Also, for BC, I have ski crampons but is it worth bringing boot crampons and an ice axe? (Beacon shovel probe goes without saying)