The Southern Alps in Canterbury offer some of the most exciting experienced, advanced and expert terrain to be found around the globe.
Try the double black diamonds of Mt Hutt’s South Face including Main Chute down to Muesli Bowl.
Porters Ski Area has the closest chairlift to Christchurch and some good advanced terrain in Head Wall and Bluff Face for those who like their diamonds doubled.
The clubfields of Mt Olympus, Broken River, Craigieburn, Cheeseman, Temple Basin and others are easily accessed from Canterbury. Most are simply lift or nutcracker rope tow accessed backcountry terrain with little or no grooming. They are filled with locals, often third generation club skiers, and come with a dose of intrepid and fun adventure.
Try Craigieburn’s top chutes in Middle Basin or hike to Hamilton Peak and ski down into Broken River.
It’s a 45 minute walk up hill to Temple Basin’s base lodge (there’s a goods lift for your luggage) which is intrepid enough on it’s own. Once there you’ll have your pick of some of the most fun terrain around.
First time ‘clubbies’ can hand over their decisions and driving to Black Diamond Safaris guides or to the folks at Neon Pom Pom. Both offer first class accommodation and daily guiding to the pick of each club field conditions each day.
Finish a day at Mt Olympus powder filled club field with a soak in the highest altitude hot tub in New Zealand. If you’re lucky you can night ski with the locals and do some impromptu curling on the mid mountain ice lake.
Methven Heli Ski has some seriously sick (this is a good thing) terrain. You will be in good hands as founder, Kevin Boekholt, also guides clients in Canada and Greenland during the New Zealand summer months. Try a standard day of five runs for NZ$1045.