Where We Ski

The Club Fields – Lift-Accessed Backcountry.

The Canterbury Club Fields are the core of the Neon PomPom ski experience. Essentially lift-accessed back country. The club fields are privately-run ski fields with basic lifts and facilities, run by dedicated club members. Snow groomers are few and far between and don’t expect to find any big resort style cafés or restaurants. What you can expect though, is big-mountain, back-country heaven and a raw, honest ski experience that makes other places seem like fun parks.

If you want to check out the mountains we ski on a daily basis, read about them or visit their websites below.

Craigieburn For those with a hunger for big mountain skiing, Cragieburn should need no introduction. Steep, tight chutes, wide open bowls, big vertical and a 100% off-piste makeup mean that this place is for advanced skiers only. American freeskiing pioneer Glen Plake is a huge fan – say no more. Servicing the terrain are four rope tows, so you’ll need to learn to use a nutcracker if you can’t already, something that your guides will only be too happy to share with you.

Needless to say, mastering the steeps at Craigieburn is a core component of the Freeski Academy program.

Broken River BR, as it is known, is located right next to Craigieburn and some might say it is a more relaxed, accessible version of its bad boy neighbour. Blessed with a great mix of terrain spread over two wide bowls, BR has an awesome day lodge with a deck well suited to a well-earned beer after sampling some of the great lines the mountain offers.

BR has a reputation for holding quality snow when other fields don’t and is arguably the club field with the best mix for all abilities – perfect for groups with a range of abilities.

Mount Olympus Our local mountain, Mt Olympus holds a special place in our hearts. And for good reason – as well as learning to ski there, Olympus is home to some of the best lift-accessed powder skiing in New Zealand. This is because the field is located in a high, compact south facing basin that just waits for the Antarctic storms to deliver the goods. It is also sheltered from the prevailing nor’west wind – a good option for when it blows.

Add to the above a great mix of terrain, a super-relaxed club atmosphere and a great accommodation hut that’s been freshly refurbished and you have one of our all-time favourites.

Temple Basin Located right on the Main Divide at the top Arthur’s Pass, Temple has arguably the best lift-accessed big mountain terrain in New Zealand.  The 55-minute hike up to the lodge tends to act as a pretty reliable filter, meaning those who make the effort to get there are rewarded with spectacular views across to Mt Rolleston as they ride the three rope tows, hike three big basins and ski some truly awesome lines all to themselves.

The lodge is a comfortable 60-bed affair with a great club scene and a true ‘back of beyond’ feel, making Temple probably the most raw, exciting ski experience available this side of a helicopter or crampons.

Mt Cheeseman It may have a funny name, but Mt Cheeseman is a hidden gem. Best described as having commercial ski area facilities with a club field atmosphere, Cheeseman is very well suited to families and skiers of all abilities. Set in the Craigieburn Range, the snow quality is consistently good, the terrain accessible and the field’s Cockayne Cafe is a total sun-trap that serves a great coffee. The hiking off the back into the Tarn Basin or to the top of Mt Cheeseman itself opens up some great advanced terrain.

Serviced by two T-bar lifts, Cheeseman offers a true club-field feel without having to grapple with the rope-tows!

Commercial Ski Areas – Our Learner Slopes.

While the Neon PomPom Feeeski Academy is all about the back country club fields and heli skiing, we do have the option of skiing the local commercial ski areas. With their modern lift systems, snowmaking facilities and long seasons, these places are best for beginner or intermediate skiers and a great option if the clubbies, backcountry or heli options are off-limits. They also offer something for everyone, so if being together is important regardless of individual ability, then these places are for you.

Porters A boutique resort located at the Southern end of the Craigieburn range just 45 minutes from the chalet, Porters is known for its relaxed nature and family friendliness. That’s not to say it lacks something for those looking for a bit of excitement, because it doesn’t. With long runs such as the 4km Big Mama and a great selection of steeps, bowls and hiking terrain, Porters is a great destination mountain for everyone to enjoy.

Add in an excellent new café, brand new chairlift, awesome views from the top and a solid terrain park, what more could a couple of carloads of skiers and boarders want?

Mount Hutt  A high, south-facing basin with over 365 hectares of treeless terrain, Mt Hutt has good steeps, fast groomers, excellent learner facilities and big fast chairlifts. Couple that with an annual snowfall over four metres, a propensity to catch southerly powder dumps, a big snowmaking system in the southern hemisphere and you have a pretty reliable backup option to the club fields as long as the nor’ west (which has a propensity to stop the chairlifts) isn’t blowing.

Mt Hutt is run by a big corporation and as such is a bit more expensive than our other mountains. For guided skiing at Mt Hutt, there is a $50 surcharge per person.

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The Neon PomPom Guide to a Great NZ Ski Holiday

It’s a good idea to do a bit of research before committing to anything. To help you out, we have produced this handy guide to planning a ski trip in New Zealand. It covers pretty much everything you need to know about skiing and boarding in this unique part of the world.

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