A club operated ski area which offers something different for the skiing and boarding experience. The terrain is a series of rolling bowls with awesome runs challenge all levels of snowboarders and skiers. The surrounding basins provide superb untracked 'back country' terrain for the more adventurous. The awesome terrain, fresh snow and irrepressible club spirit all combine to create a memorable ski experience. This is different to any "resort" you have ever been to. If you are a confident skier or rider, you will have a ball.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Off Highway 73 (the road between Chch and Arthur's Pass) in the Craigieburn Range.
- On-snow accommodation in three lodges.
- Usually open more days per year than any other South Island ski area.
- Powder, powder, powder. Usually the best snow in the region.
- Friendly club members, keen to help you have an awesome time.
- Steep rope tow lifts, not suited to beginners.
- Rough road. 4WD/chains/skills required, or take transport operator.
Phone: +64 3 318 8713
Fax: +64 3 318 7270
Postal: PO Box 2718, Christchurch
- Fly to Christchurch and get transport from there.
- Cars can be hired at the airport, but that is an expensive option.
- Black Diamond Tours, Snowork and Alpine Expeditions are three Christchurch transport companies that go up to the club ski areas like BR, in 4WD wagons.
- The road is rough gravel, often requiring chains in winter, 4WD is very useful also.
Three club lodges, open to all comers. Differing grades (and hence prices) from fully serviced with chef, to BYO and self-cater.
Backpackers at Springfield or Castle Hill village, or tent camp at the bottom of the access road (brrrrr...)
2006, NZ $55 adult all day (9am- 5 or 5.30pm)
Instructor resident. Cheap rates.
None on mountain. You need to sort this out in Christchurch before coming up. See McEwings for ski hire (Yaldhurst Road, on the way out of town to the skifields).
It's all by nutcracker rope tow, or hiking. But the snow is worth it.
- Carpark at 1120m (locally known as Hanomag carpark)
- At carpark, load skis, packs and other equipment onto a goods lift, which will haul them up to the ski lodge for you.
- Walk uphill from carpark to find ski area, approx 20-25 mins on a track through the bush. Bring sturdy boots. Track can be slippery, 4-point instep crampons are very useful, and sold at the ski area for about $25.
You come here to ski. There's lots of that. What else do you want?
Great meals prepared by the chef in Lyndon lodge. Or assist cooking in BR Lodge. Or self-cater in White Star Lodge.
Bars & Entertainment
Entertainment is a few quiet ones with friendly club members after a hard day skiing the steep and deep.
Go back to Christchurch.
Lots of kids ride at BR. But they are tough little buggers who grew up there. Your kids probably better be teenage if they are to enjoy (survive) the rope tows.
Small and obvious right outside the day lodge.
Small, and just outside the day lodge.
Everything else you see is all untracked and ungroomed. Bring yer fat skis.
Out of Bounds
Yep. Lots of that.
Speak to the friendly ski patrol before heading out back, you want to survive don't you?
Parks & Pipes
Rad natural terrain and a few rails too. Build a jump and have some fun, that's the spirit.
Not enough skiers to make many bumps, but a few form in limited areas.
The whole mountain is one big powder zone, day after day.
Happy Valley is sheltered from the wind, and usually great snow. No trees.
Usually sheltered from the wind that shuts Mt Hutt. Gets lots of snow from the North-West direction.
Sits in a hanging valley above the Castle Hill Basin, Craigieburn Range. Views look out over the Castle Hill Basin to the Torlesse Range beyond.
- The ski area was developed by members of the North Canterbury Ski Club (later changing its name to Broken River Ski Club) on summer work parties since the mid 1950's.
- Everything you see was built by, and is still maintained by, volunteers: mountain road, carpark, lodges and lifts. Stand back in awe.