NZ Club Field & Heli Trip – Day 4 – Craigieburn Powder Skiing – Nutcrackers 1, Us 1.

Nicole - NZ - 27/7/10

After yesterday’s nutcracker assault that left us battered and bruised, we were moving slowly this morning, that is until we saw that there was 10cm overnight and still snowing. We snapped into action, packed the car and headed for the Craigieburn.

Back when I was a teen in the early 90’s, and obsessed with Glen Plake (as most skiers were who were teens in the early 90’s) I had read that he frequented Craigieburn – that endorsement was good enough for me. So the prospect of skiing pow at a hill I had yearrned to ski for over 15 years really racked the excitement factor up a notch.

It’s always a nervous proposition arriving at a ski area that has been hyped up in your mind for so long – I was in a similar state when I first arrived at Jackson Hole and Chamonix but pleasantly surprised that not only did they live up to my expectations, but far exceeded them. Craigieburn was no exception. This is a serious ski hill, for serious skiers, and little more.

A new nutcracker technique perfected which made our lives easy and we were off into the murk. It was dumping hard all morning but the visibility improved slightly as you made your way down. The top bowl was teamwork braille skiing but we found the chutes and bowls below, and had some fun turns despite the low vis. The snowfall was pretty relentless and after lunch we went back to places we had been skiing in the morning and our tracks were totally filled in.

Nicole - NZ - 27/7/10

Loi - NZ Pow - 27/7/10

Then the remarkable happened – the snow eased, the wind dropped and the cloud cleared.

We were at a NZ Club Field, with a grand total of 30 people on the hill, fresh tracks as far as the eye can see, awesome terrain – it could not get any better!

The pitches were buffed smooth with the 10cm overnight and a further 15cm during the day, so we decided that Super G turns were the order of the afternoon:

Loi - NZ Pow - 27/7/10

Nic - NZ Pow - 27/7/10

Andrew - NZ Pow - 27/7/10

Oh and there was some pretty scenery too:

Last run of the day was just a lazy pow chute followed by an untouched face that yielded 20-odd GS Pow turns all the way to the carpark:

Rich - NZ Pow - 27/7/10

Andrew - NZ Pow - 27/7/10

We left the day thoroughly satisfied, with at least a dozen top to bottom pow runs, seldom crossing a track and comfortable that there is plenty of freshies up there waiting for us in the morning.