CRAIGIEBURN VALLEY TRAIL GUIDE
Accessed from the Great Alpine Highway 73, Craigieburn Valley Ski Area (CV) is a skiers and snowboarder’s paradise. It consists of two large basins that encompass a diverse range of intermediate and advanced terrain from wide open powder bowls to steep and technical chutes. The terrain on offer is equal to some of the best in the world.
Accessed from the Great Alpine Highway 73, Craigieburn Valley Ski Area (CV) is a skiers and snowboarders’ paradise. It mainly consists of two large basins that encompass a diverse range of intermediate and advanced terrain from wide open powder bowls to steep and technical chutes. It also offers fantastic back country or side country touring for the proficient.
Craigieburn Valley is the place to start your adventure. The terrain on offer is equal to some of the best in the world. It is steeper, more challenging and also more rewarding than most other ski fields.
The 6km beech clad access road is as scenic as it is easy to navigate. A 2WD with chains can drive all the way to the car park most days. You’ll find the first rope tow just a short walk from the on-mountain accommodation, car park and ticket office. Without having to unclip or unbind, two more rope tows take you all the way to the ridgeline. The tows are easy to master but a little rope tow experience is a definite advantage.
Whakamaru Day Lodge sits on a knife-edge ridge overlooking Middle Basin and Hamilton Peak, providing possibly one of the finest views of any alpine building in New Zealand. Whakamaru, provides both shelter from a storm and on a fine day a sunny deck where you can enjoy lunch, including the famous ‘Craigieburger’ and plenty of light refreshments.
Koroheke, the main lodge, provides the perfect spot for a post-skiing drink and all guests are welcome to mingle with staff après ski in the bar there.
Top tow realignment project is underway and will be completed by winter 2017.
Terrain and Weather Tip
Craigieburn is a natural snow trap and holds snow well, even in lean snow years. When snow conditions permit, The Remarkables offer some of the most easily accessed gnarly terrain in the world. It’s steep and tight. The ridge behind the day lodge leads to the Kea Chutes which regularly offer some of the best skiing on the mountain. Craigieburn Valley normally receives snow from most storm systems, but when a westerly storm hits it can dump over a metre in one hit.
Craigieburn is the only mountain in New Zealand to offer inbound tree skiing, providing a novelty in NZ with some unique lines to explore.
Check the weather forecast. If it looks like snow, make the effort to get up to the mountain after work and arrive for dinner at the lodge (call ahead to let the chef know!) and a warm bed. Wake up in the morning to a powder day and no driving hassles.
For Those New to Craigieburn: Successfully navigate the ‘shish kebab’. The first rope tow rounds a slight corner and a spinning cone that resembles a kebab rotisserie. Roll with it, it’s not as intimidating as it looks.
For Those Getting Into Side/Backcountry Travel: Make the trip through Allan’s Basin to Broken River and back – use the same ticket at both fields.
For Those Who Want to Smile: Ski Middle Basin Chutes and down Middle Basin all the way to Big Bend on a powder day.
Main Lifts 3x Rope Tows
Learner Lifts -
Terrain Park All natural
Top Elevation 1811m
Bottom Elevation 1310m
Skiable Terrain 290 hectares
Ski/Board Hire -
Lessons Yes (and guiding)
Night Skiing Conditions Permitting (BYO headlamp and skins)
Access 2WD with chains when required
Day Pass Rates
(U13 & 70+ FREE!)
Draw Card: The terrain on offer is equal to some of the best in the world.
Chill Pass Offer: Non-Ski Day Offer: Accommodation and Private Lesson