THE LATEST FROM BR

BR Backcountry Avalanche Course3

Successful Backcountry Avalanche Course

August 1, 2017 Share on Facebook

We've just completed another very successful 5-day Backcountry Avalanche Course.

BR Backcountry Avalanche Course3

Successful Backcountry Avalanche Course

August 1, 2017 Share on Facebook

We've just completed another very successful 5-day Backcountry Avalanche Course.

The eleven participants had a blast, learning the many details of avalanche characteristics, assessing the snow pack and travelling safely in avalanche terrain. The group had the "full weather experience" from blizzard conditions to bluebird backcountry powder. Thanks to our instructors Anna Keeling and Kem Johnson for making it such an amazing course.

MSC Backcountry Avalanche Course Backcountry Avalanche Course Broken River Backcountry Avalanche Course
Joe H2

Excellent Start For 2017

July 30, 2017 Share on Facebook

We're off to a fine start with more than 1 metre of snow in the last three weeks and the skiing has been great since our opening day on Saturday July 15th.

Joe H2

Excellent Start For 2017

July 30, 2017 Share on Facebook

We're off to a fine start with more than 1 metre of snow in the last three weeks and the skiing has been great since our opening day on Saturday July 15th.

A big dump enabled us to open on July 15th. This followed with a fun family week with people coming in from all around the country. The young and not-so-young kids had fun hucking the natural jumps around the field. A 36 cm top-up of snow on the Friday  made for an excellent finish to the week and some excellent powder riding over the final weekend of the school holidays.

It's great to see everyone back on our slopes and we look forward to seeing you over the season.

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BR Snow Safety For Youth Course

Snow Safety For Youth Course

June 19, 2017 Share on Facebook

The Snow Safety for Youth course is designed for youth who ride at club fields and like to explore challenging terrain. It is important to give our youth the skills to understand the terrain they are riding in to keep them safe on the slopes.

BR Snow Safety For Youth Course

Snow Safety For Youth Course

June 19, 2017 Share on Facebook

 

The Snow Safety for Youth course is designed for youth who ride at club fields and like to explore challenging terrain. It is important to give our youth the skills to understand the terrain they are riding in to keep them safe on the slopes.

Our one-day course, to be held on July 16th, been specially designed by the course instructor, local expert and internationally certified UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guide Anna Keeling. This course will help ensure our kids don't get complacent about avalanche safety. They'll learn how to assess snow stability and minimise risk when they're exploring the slopes, use an avalanche transceiver, companion rescue techniques and assess whether terrain is safety or an avalanche risk.

FULL DETAILS

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Pond Skim

Great Conditions

August 19, 2016 Share on Facebook

Conditions are excellent right now with chalky dry snow on the shady aspects and semi spring-like snow on the sunny  aspects.

Pond Skim

Great Conditions

August 19, 2016 Share on Facebook

 Conditions are excellent right now with chalky dry snow on the shady aspects and semi spring-like snow on the sunny  aspects - just ready after your mid-morning coffee on  the deck. We have something for everyone - chopped chalk, packed powder,  some moguls, corn, even the odd powder stash for the adventurous.

There's something special about midweek skiing, the snow's crisper, the  powder lighter... add in on-mountain accommodation, great food, relaxing  evenings, a group lesson & you have our 2 night/3 day midweek  catered package. It's a no brainer really.

Don't miss out - come on up!

2011 telemark week

Successful Broken River Telemark Week

August 14, 2016 Share on Facebook

Dry packed powder, blue skies and sheltered weather made for ideal conditions for the inaugural Broken River Telemark Week held August 1-5th.  

2011 telemark week

Successful Broken River Telemark Week

August 14, 2016 Share on Facebook

Dry packed powder, blue skies and sheltered weather made for ideal conditions for the inaugural Broken River Telemark Week held August 1-5th.  

We were incredibly fortunate to have two examiners from the Telemark Division of the New Zealand Ski  Instructors Alliance (NZSIA) as guest instructors for the week. Everyone's skiing improved greatly as the week progressed.

Three of the participants completed and passed the Level One Telemark Instructors' Course - well done Claire, Tom and John.

We'll be running a Telemark Week in 2012 - read all about the 2011 Broken River Telemark Week here.

The week finished on a high-note with the annual R & R Sport Freeheel Fun Weekend. Participants braved the foggy and wet conditions on Saturday morning for some fun events, including synchronised skiing and a human slalom. The weather improved in the afternoon in time to enjoy the new snow before the Tele Cross Event.

Clinics with Greg and Marti were the highlight for Sunday. Read full details about the 2011 R & R Sport Freeheel Fun Weekend here.

Thanks to our sponsors R & R Sport, Black Diamond and CHILL, as well as our guest instructors Greg McIntyre and Marti Smith.

 

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2015 Telemark Week

August 21, 2015 Share on Facebook

It was a gathering of the telemark clan with freeheelers from Australia and all around New Zealand. The snow and weather were superb from Monday and Thursday with plenty of light dry powder to be found both on and off the field. Group lessons were  held on the first three days and everyone's skiing  improved greatly -  thanks for being such star pupils! The Telemark Off-Piste  Skills Course ran Wednesday and Thursday and all the participants made huge progress under the guidanbceof  NZSIA Telemark  Examiner Marti Smith. Thanks to the telemark day trippers who came up to join us.

Saturday we held the Black Diamond Freeheel Fun Day. Conditions were not ideal but the human salom was lots of fun and the Viking Games was entertaining. Marti taught us to ski backwards which was challenging and entertaining. Thanks our sponsors Black Diamond. Wonderful to have 27 telemarkers up for the day!

A fun week filled with great company and skiiing - thanks to everyone for joining us.

Cheers!

Claire and Jim, the BR Telemark Instructors.

2015 Telemark Week

August 21, 2015 Share on Facebook

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Top Conditions For 2015

August 9, 2015 Share on Facebook

Good snowfall through July and early August has left us with exceptional coverage - we've enjoyed some amazing conditions right now.

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Top Conditions For 2015

August 9, 2015 Share on Facebook

Good snowfall through July and early August has left us with exceptional coverage - we've enjoyed some amazing snow right now. We've had epic powder days with cold, dry chalky snow prevailing for most of the season so far. If you were ever going to make the decision to come up and join us, now would be the time!

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Night at BR

Night Skiing at Broken River

July 27, 2015 Share on Facebook

We've been holding night skiing regularly lately as the snow just keeps coming! If you see fresh snow in the forecast then look out for our 'On Hold' status - that usually means "Night Skiing is ON!"

Night at BR

Night Skiing at Broken River

July 27, 2015 Share on Facebook

We've been holding night skiing regularly lately as the snow just keeps coming! If you see fresh snow in the forecast then look out for our 'On Hold' status - that usually means "Night Skiing is ON!"

 

The Snow Keeps Coming!

July 9, 2015 Share on Facebook

We've had five snowfalls in the last week bringing us light, dry powder conditions with excellent riding across the whole mountain. What a great start to the 2015 season!

The Snow Keeps Coming!

July 9, 2015 Share on Facebook

We've had five snowfalls in the last week bringing us light, dry powder conditions with excellent riding across the whole mountain. What a great start to the 2015 season!

Fantastic Early Season Conditions

June 29, 2015 Share on Facebook

We're open and things are looking great up here - the snow remains dry and chalky and coverage is good from top to bottom. Get up here soon.

Fantastic Early Season Conditions

June 29, 2015 Share on Facebook

We're open and things are looking great up here - the snow remains dry and chalky and coverage is good from top to bottom. Get up here soon, say hello and experience some exceptional early season conditions!

New Snow June 19th!

June 19, 2015 Share on Facebook

A severe storm swept through yesterday and this morning bringing us an excellent dump of snow.

New Snow June 19th!

June 19, 2015 Share on Facebook

A severe storm swept through yesterday and this morning bringing us an excellent dump of snow. 75 cms fell at the acommodation lodges with greater depths higher up the mountain. This will set us up nicely for our opening next Saturday 27th June.

Looking forward to seeing you on the slopes this winter!

New Snow June 29th

June 19, 2015 Share on Facebook

A severe storm swept through yesterday and this morning bringing us an excellent dump of snow. 75 cms fell at the acommodation lodges with greater depths higher up the mountain.

New Snow June 29th

June 19, 2015 Share on Facebook

A severe storm swept through yesterday and this morning bringing us an excellent dump of snow. 75 cms fell at the acommodation lodges with greater depths higher up the mountain. This will set us up nicely for our opening next Saturday 27th June.

Looking forward to seeing you on the slopes this winter!

Broken River Kids Skiing

Fun Kids Weekend

September 25, 2014 Share on Facebook

The mix of 18 cm of fresh powder and fun games made for a social and memorable weekend for the kids on Sept 20 and 21st 2014. 

Broken River Kids Skiing

Fun Kids Weekend

September 25, 2014 Share on Facebook

The mix of 18 cm of fresh powder and fun games made for a social and memorable weekend for the kids on Sept 20 and 21st 2014. 

Saturday morning dawned clear and blue with fresh snow. What a great start to the weekend for the powder pups and hounds, with "kids" of all ages out carving up the slopes! At lunchtime skis were swapped for costumes for The Great Race "Round the World", with visits to Japan, Switzerland, Egypt and The Netherlands.

Much fun was had at the Saturday night pot luck in Broken River Lodge. To everyone's delight Sunday dawned with another 5 cm of fresh snow and the kids were first on the slopes making the most of this. They left enough energy for the Kids Club Champs later in the day.

What a great weekend - thanks so much to the parents for organising this.

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Epic September Powder Day

September 19, 2014 Share on Facebook

It was a gathering of the clan for an epic day of powder skiing on Wednesday 17th September with around 200 people at Broken River for what has to be "THE" day of the season so far.

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Epic September Powder Day

September 19, 2014 Share on Facebook

It was a gathering of the clan for an epic day of powder skiing on Wednesday 17th September with around 200 people at Broken River for what has to be "THE" day of the season so far.

2014 hasn't been a winter season to brag about. It's been a few weeks since the last decent dump of snow so everyone has been hanging out for freshies.

It was definitely a day to remember and fantastic to see so many people out enjoying it.

Bluebird Days and Awesome Snow

August 28, 2014 Share on Facebook

Conditions are great right now, with awesome snow and too many bluebird days in a row to keep count of. The weather has been very settled. We're enjoying amazing cold dry conditions.

Bluebird Days and Awesome Snow

August 28, 2014 Share on Facebook

Conditions are great right now, with awesome snow and too many bluebird days in a row to keep count of. The weather has been very settled. We're enjoying amazing cold dry conditions on the shadier aspects of the ski area, with a light sun crust on the sunny aspects softening up to provide beautiful late morning and afternoon skiing mountain-wide.  The consistent cold temps are keeping the snow chalky and delicious.

Typical days at the moment start with stunning sights with a little valley fog below, great riding mountain-wide and masses of sun pouring onto the Palmer Lodge deck. Later in the day you can settle in there and soak up the vibe. The beats will be pumping and a glass of the cold stuff known as BR Lager helps you savour the delights of the day.

We're eagerly awaiting the Speed Flyers Beginner Camp and the golden Oldies Week which both are happening next week. It's looking like it will be THE week of the year!

In the meantime, We're holding a "BR's Got Talent" night on Sept 13th. Start polishing up your act for this fun night.

Looking forward to seeing you on the mountain soon!

Groomer

Grooming at BR

June 10, 2014 Share on Facebook

With the arrival of our Pistenbully 300 W groomer we're looking forward to groomed runs this winter and better snow conditions on days when the snow is less than ideal.

Groomer

Grooming at BR

June 10, 2014 Share on Facebook

With the arrival of our Pistenbully 300 W groomer we're looking forward to groomed runs this winter and better snow conditions on days when the snow is less than ideal. This will also give our learners and newcomers a more enjoyable and safer experience at Broken River and create better teaching conditions for our instructors.

Don't worry we're not turning BR into a corrugated paradise - there will still be plenty of off-piste areas to keep the all-mountain die-hards happy.

best secrets BR BBQ Cook Off

Excellent September Conditions

September 17, 2013 Share on Facebook

We have great conditions now with some excellent powder and spring corn snow. The dust and snow have settled after a few exciting days last week.

Excellent September Conditions

September 17, 2013 Share on Facebook

We have great conditions now with some excellent powder and spring corn snow. The dust and snow have settled after a few exciting days last week. The mother-of-all norwesters blew in last Tuesday and there were some anxious hours up at Broken River while the heavens opened and the streams rose. The snow pack was survived (phew!) and then two top-ups (around 17 cm) brought fresh powder. Incredibly, the coverage looks better than it did before all the rain.

Come on up and enjoy the snow!

Stunning Winter Conditions

July 11, 2013 Share on Facebook

We've had more than 30 cms of powder in the last 5 days and conditions could not get much better than this! 10cms on late Saturday 6th July made for creamy powder conditions on Sunday 7th July.

Stunning Winter Conditions

July 11, 2013 Share on Facebook

We've had more than 30 cms of powder in the last 5 days and conditions could not get much better than this! 10cms on late Saturday 6th July made for creamy powder conditions on Sunday 7th July. It was definitely a "you should have been there" day and we've had a few more of those since with a couple more falls of fresh powder. Smiles all around. What a great start to the season.

We're gearing up for the school holidays which start next week. We still have accommodation on the mountain available for next week (15-20th) but the following week is almost full.

Looking forward to seeing you on the slopes.

The BR crew.

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Great Start For 2013

July 3, 2013 Share on Facebook

Fantastic conditions with fresh powder snow and bluebird weather made for a stunning start to the 2013 winter season.

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Great Start For 2013

July 3, 2013 Share on Facebook

Fantastic conditions with fresh powder snow and bluebird weather made for a stunning start to the 2013 winter season. Around 280 people came up on opening day, Saturday June 29th to make the most of the untracked light powder snow. Conditions were also excellent on Sunday with packed powder runs down the Main Tow.

Great to see you all having so much fun on the slopes and we look forward to a wonderful winter season ahead.

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70 cms and Still Dumping

June 20, 2013 Share on Facebook

We've had 70 cms of new snow since the storm hit yesterday and it is still dumping! The forecasts suggest that it'll be snowing through until Saturday.

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70 cms and Still Dumping

June 20, 2013 Share on Facebook

We've had 70 cms of new snow since the storm hit yesterday and it is still dumping! The forecasts suggest that it'll be snowing through until Saturday.

The staff are all up working hard to keep the tow ropes above the rising snow. We're still looking at opening on Saturday 22nd June, with a final decision made in the next 24 hours. Regardless, what a sensational start to the season.

Looking forward to seeing eveyone back on the BR slopes!

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60 Years of Rope Tows at BR

June 12, 2013 Share on Facebook

On 10th June 2013 we celebrated 60 years since the first tow - the Rugby Tow - ran at Broken River. The story behind getting the tow to the field is a classic "can do" story, typical of what went on in the early years of Broken River Ski Club.

60 Years of Rope Tows at BR

June 12, 2013 Share on Facebook

On 10th June 2013 we celebrated 60 years since the first tow - the Rugby Tow - ran at Broken River. The story behind getting the tow to the field is a classic "can do" story, typical of what went on in the early years of Broken River Ski Club.

Planning for the first tow began in April 1952, with nights spent working on the tow motor back in Rangiora. The tow was powered by a 1926 Rugby four cylinder car motor, hence the name "Rugby Tow".

Getting the tow motor to the mountain was an epic in itself because the Club road went less than half-way up to the current main carpark. It stopped at the steep corner below Jack's Pass. The tow motor was hauled cross-country on a sledge through the bush, towed by a crawler tractor. Travel was challenging and hazardous. Progress came to a halt when the tractor couldn't climb up steep snowy slopes.

The following summer (1953) a narrow foot track that members used to walk up to Broken River was used to get the tow motor to the basin. A winch was installed at the front of the tow motor unit and it winched itself up the foot track, guided by a group of Club members with crowbars to ensure the sledge stayed on the foot track. Just ahead, the foot track gang were working hard to widen and bench the foot track for the tow motor assembly. Above White Star Chalet and tree-line, the gang had to work even harder to stay ahead of the moving tow motor entourage because they were building the foot track from scratch.

All other tow components - tow standards, pulleys, and pulley brackets - were carried up to the basin by members. The heaviest of these were two large cast iron drive pulleys, which each took four people to carry up to the field. The effort was worth it as these drive pulleys are still used on the tows 60 years later!

Final preparations took place on Saturday the 9th of June 1953, including hauling the tow rope up through heavy snow to the return wheel and back down.

Sunday, the 10th of June 1953 was cold and overcast. Everyone had to skin or walk to the basin because the bottom of the tow started at the lip of Broken River Basin, near where the present tow shed is. The first task was for someone to clamber up to the spring half-way down Sunny Face and bring water back to fill the tow radiator (no anti-freeze in those days).  Early members still remember the thrill of finally using the tow. The skiing wasn't the best as the snow was heavy and not packed down but they still had fun. Come lunchtime the tow was stopped. Everyone sat out on a tarpuline to eat and the primus was lit to melt snow for a cup of tea.

Some things have changed in the intervening years, but the pulleys have continued to spin for 60 years since these humble beginnings.

Here's to 60 years of rope tows and cheers to our founding members!

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Stunning Winter Powder On October 14th

October 19, 2012 Share on Facebook

We'll still buzzing from Sunday October 14th - cold smoke hero snow it was - ALL day long  with plenty of fresh pow lines still to be found at 5pm!

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Stunning Winter Powder On October 14th

October 19, 2012 Share on Facebook

We'll still buzzing from Sunday October 14th - cold smoke hero snow it was - ALL day long  with plenty of fresh pow lines still to be found at 5pm! WHAT an epic day with 25cms of fresh, light and consistent snow.  Definitely one of the best days (if not THE best day) of the season.  Thanks everyone!

The lucky ones also sampled the snow on Saturday night with some excellent night skiing.

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Open For Labour Weekend 2012

October 19, 2012 Share on Facebook

We'll be open for Labour Weekend, with 12 cm of fresh creamy snow to be skied and maybe some more on the way.

Open For Labour Weekend 2012

October 19, 2012 Share on Facebook

We'll be open for Labour Weekend, with 12 cm of fresh creamy snow to be skied and maybe some more on the way.

Saturday and Sunday night  accommodation will be $42 for catered option (dinner, bed and breakfast) and $24 for self-catered. Book at the ticket office on your way up to the mountain.

There is a high chance of night skiing Sat and Sunday nights - check our facebook page and the snow report.

Looking forward to a great last weekend of the season.

See you up there!

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55 cms and Still Counting!

October 9, 2012 Share on Facebook

NEWS FLASH at 9.30 am Tuesday October 9th 2012 - we've had 55 cm of fresh snow out of this storm and it's still dumping WAHOOY!

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55 cms and Still Counting!

October 9, 2012 Share on Facebook

NEWS FLASH at 9.30 am Tuesday October 9th 2012 - we've had 55 cm of fresh snow out of this storm and it's still dumping WAHOOY!

We'll be open again from Thursday Oct 11th to Sunday Oct 14th, conditions permitting. The season just gets better! Come up for another powder fix!

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Best Snow For 2012

September 13, 2012 Share on Facebook

Our storm total snow since Saturday Sept 8th has been 77cm and the past 4 days have been the best days of the season.

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Best Snow For 2012

September 13, 2012 Share on Facebook

Our storm total snow since Saturday Sept 8th has been 77cm and the past 4 days have been the best days of the season. We've had fresh top-ups every day and winter conditions that dreams are made of (even by North American standards so our staff from that part of the world tell us).

Conditions are at their best with light dry powder and the riding is likely to be better than any day you've had all season (unless of course you've been up here for the past 4 days).

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Great August Conditions

August 10, 2012 Share on Facebook

Conditions are looking great after two storms in the last 10 days dumped over 40 cms of snow. We've had some great riding amongst, between and after the storms. Fantastic!

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Great August Conditions

August 10, 2012 Share on Facebook

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Bluebird Day for Broken River 60th

February 21, 2012 Share on Facebook

Calm, warm and balmy conditions were the “icing on the cake” for the more than 100 Club members that gathered up at Palmer Lodge, in Broken River basin to celebrate 60 years since for the formation of Broken River Ski Club. Saturday February 18th 2012 turned out to be a perfect summers day for such a special occasion and a real bonus considering there has been so much bad weather this summer.

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Bluebird Day for Broken River 60th

February 21, 2012 Share on Facebook

Calm, warm and balmy conditions were the “icing on the cake” for the more than 100 Club members that gathered up at Palmer Lodge, in Broken River basin to celebrate 60 years since for the formation of Broken River Ski Club. Saturday February 18th 2012 turned out to be a perfect summers day for such a special occasion and a real bonus considering there has been so much bad weather this summer.

Guests included: Leith Newell and Mark Lamb - two of the 12 founding Club members, Club President Ian Hunt, 90-year old Betty Womersley - mother of Olympic ski racing representatives Cecilia Jenkins and Chris Womersley, three New Zealand ski racing representatives (Leith Newell, Chris Womersley, Richard Womersley), eight past presidents as well as numerous past Committee members and Broken River staff.

It was relaxed, "family” day, with youngsters running around the alpine tussocks while parents, grandparents and old friends reminisced on the deck of Palmer Lodge nearby.

The welcome by President Ian Hunt was followed by appetisers and a sumptuous lunch of spit roast pork and salads. 

The formal part of the day began with founding member, and wife of the first present, Leith Newell giving a brief account of the events that lead up to the formation of Broken River Ski Club, and the development of the ski field in the Broken River basin. Leith described the first full season of skiing in 1953. “Some of us worked to 9pm on Friday nights and then set off from Christchurch or Rangiora, often not getting to the White Star Chalet at tree line until after 1am… In the morning skins were fitted to skis and off we went, often in a foot or so of new powder. Some people walked up to the basin in snow up to their knees and sometimes waists.  The ski tow was stopped for lunch and we sat on a tarpaulin as there was no lunch hut yet”. Mrs. Newell said it has been 60 years of great skiing, close friendships and fun. “Back then we never imagined that 60 years on we would have a passenger rail transporting people up the mountain, the facilities running on electricity, three accommodation huts, five ski tows and see our grand children skiing.

Long-time members Sally Dickson, Dave Laing and Dave Rodgers also shared some personal stories of their years as Broken River members. Dave Rogers recalled breaking his leg in the mid 1950’s and the long trip into Christchurch Hospital that followed. The initial pain stablisation period included a temporary rest in Grasshopper Lodge (Broken River’s first day lodge) so the stretcher carriers could have a few more ski runs. Dave described the long carry down the foot track through the bush to the car park in the valley below and then a stop to eat pies along the way.  Sally Dickson spoke of coming up to Broken River as a junior and recalled ski weeks in the 1970's where two packing trips were required on a Sunday at the beginning of the week to carry all personal gear and ski week food up the foot track to the accommodation. Dave Laing talked about the fun social times he has had over the years, including being part of the infamous "A Team" in the early 70's.

Everyone talked about the strong sense of “family” that Club members have and the fun had by all. Ian Hunt noted the love of skiing and having fun that continues to create the strong bond between Club members. Representing the younger and newer Club members, second generation member Claire Newell thanked the founding and early members for Club and it's facilities, and for their energy, enthusiasm, and sense of adventure. The formal part of the day finished with Betty Womersley and great granddaughter Lily Womersley (8) cutting the birthday cake.

What a great day. It was a real Club celebration of the finest kind – fantastic weather with plenty of laughter, excellent food, and good times catching up with great friends. Cheers to 60 wonderful years!

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tree skiing New Zealand

Tree Skiing At BR

August 19, 2011 Share on Facebook

Conditions are truly amazing. 80 cm of snow fell over three days and made for very picturesque scenery around the lodges, but near impossible to ski on the field. We stayed below the cloud level and had some incredible tree skiing around the lodges and slopes below.

 

 

tree skiing New Zealand

Tree Skiing At BR

August 19, 2011 Share on Facebook

 

Conditions are truly amazing. 80 cm of snow fell over three days and made for very picturesque scenery around the lodges, but near impossible to ski on the field.  We stayed below the cloud level and had some incredible tree skiing around the lodges and slopes below.

Cabin fever set in fairly quickly and the call of the snow was too much for the adventurous crew in the lodges. We had some truly amazing tree skiing in thigh-deep, light powder - a rarity for New Zealand and one that we certainly weren't going to miss! The lucky ones in the lodges spent all day skiing through the trees and down the open slopes below the lodges to the Tram. Meanwhile State Highway 73 was closed and no one else from the outside world had the opportunity of enjoying this special treat.  

The clouds lifted late in the week to reveal a white world from valley floor to mountain top. After almost a month since the last decent snowfall woops of delight could be heard across the valley as powder-hungry riders carved up the slopes. Just amazing.

Certainly a week to remember.

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Broken River Telemark Week 2011

August 8, 2011 Share on Facebook

Broken River really turned on the good snow for the first-ever Telemark Week. From Saturday through to Friday we enjoyed smooth packed powder skiing across the field, along with some pockets of fresh in secret locations.

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Broken River Telemark Week 2011

August 8, 2011 Share on Facebook

Broken River really turned on the good snow for the first-ever Telemark Week. From Saturday through to Friday we enjoyed smooth packed powder skiing across the field, along with some pockets of fresh in secret locations. On Wednesday Manager Doug and the crew treated us to night skiing, where things were just as good, but darker and quicker. I was amazed that the snow could be so consistent at all times of the day and night over a whole week. Even better, the sky was blue, the mountains looked fantastic, and the socialising at Palmer lodge and in the evenings was mellow.

Being Telemark Week there were heels to be freed and lessons to be had. In a coup for Broken River we had two examiners from the Telemark Division of the New Zealand Ski Instructors Alliance (NZSIA) for the week. Greg McIntyre and Marti Smith held clinics for the free heelers on the hill as well as running a Level One Telemark Instructors’ Course for the three willing victims who signed up. What a fantastic opportunity it was to have two instructors of this calibre with us and to enjoy such ideal snow conditions for teaching and learning.

Evenings were filled with in-depth discussions on the ways, means, wherefores and the philosophy of freeheel skiing. All of this was carried along nicely by great meals from Ray and Emily and the odd home brew from two members who will not be named here.

Friday was the final day of the Instructors' Course. It brought with it an unusual sight, as a motley and bewildered looking assortment of Broken River staff and members traded the security of their alpine gear for telemark skis and boots. These willing souls then allowed themselves to be subjected to a series of quite torturous exercises from the three trainee instructors. The guinea pigs bore it all with impeccably good humour. By the end of the two hour lesson all had arced perfect telemark turns down Margot’s Gulch. (....This report is only slightly exaggerated.) There was much celebration in the lodge that night when all three trainees learned they had passed the course and that so far no one who had taken the lesson had decided to sue.

Congratulations to John, Tom and Claire for passing their Level One Telemark Instructors Course and to Greg and Marti for their excellent coaching.

A great week was had by all. Thanks to Claire Newell for all the work she put in to setting up the first Telemark Week, and to Greg and Marti for the excellent tuition. Book now for next year!

Father Tom.

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July Family Weeks 2011

July 31, 2011 Share on Facebook

1.75 m of new snow arrived just in time for our family weeks. The conditions were ideal with packed powder for both weeks. Much fun was had by all and we skied every day. Everyone’s skiing improved in leaps and bounds. Rodger and Emily gave us all excellent lessons – thanks guys.   

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July Family Weeks 2011

July 31, 2011 Share on Facebook

1.75 m of new snow arrived just in time for our family weeks. The conditions were ideal with packed powder for both weeks. Much fun was had by all and we skied every day. Everyone’s skiing improved in leaps and bounds. Rodger and Emily gave us all excellent lessons – thanks guys.   

The first week was mostly a “teenager week” - big air, snow ball fights, trips into Allan’s Basin, saunas, and evening jumps off the road above Lyndon Lodge. The keen ones skied down to Hanomag carpark at the end of each day and caught the Tram back up to the lodges. What a great way to end the day!

It was mostly primary school-aged kids on the second week . Again much fun was had by everyone with new friendships formed, lots of skiing around Broken River and Allan’s Basin, success mastering the tow, social times in the lodges, trips to the sauna and a teddy bear’s picnic on the Friday.

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Excellent Powder Conditions For July School Holidays

July 19, 2011 Share on Facebook

The snow conditions are excellent right now and we have great coverage over the whole mountain. We've had an amazing start to the season thanks to the 1.75 metres of snow that fell last week.

Excellent Powder Conditions For July School Holidays

July 19, 2011 Share on Facebook

The snow conditions are excellent right now and we have great coverage over the whole mountain. We've had an amazing start to the season thanks to the 1.75 metres of snow that fell last week.

There is lovely packed powder conditions on both the Main and Rugby Tows in the main Broken River Basin we have . The slopes on the Rugby Tow are silky smooth packed powder - glorious riding for everyone. The learners areas have great groomed packed snow - ideal for the school holidays.

The powder snow in Allan's Basin is superb - don't worry there is plenty of untracked snow still to be found!

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60 Years Of Skiing at BR

July 14, 2011 Share on Facebook

Today marks 60 years since the first skiing in Broken River Basin by founding Broken River Ski Club members.

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60 Years Of Skiing at BR

July 14, 2011 Share on Facebook

Today marks 60 years since the first skiing in Broken River Basin by founding Broken River Ski Club members.

July 14th 1951 vividly recalled

Leith Newell, founding member and wife of founding President, the late Jack Newell, recalls the trip of July 14th 1951 vividly.

 “The group of 10, from Rangiora, came up in the usual chariot, Jack’s V.8 truck – four in the cab and the rest in the back under the canvas tilt.  Geoff and one other came through from Christchurch in ‘Aussie’, his 1928 Austin 7.  We set off for the Basin from the bush edge at the start of the current Broken River road.  The workers shouldered grubbers, picks and shovels to work on the future road and the seven optimists, skis.  We walked in about 15 centimetres of snow, following our new roughly formed track for a short distance and then a blazed trail up through the bush, over the ridge near ‘Jacks Pass’ and connected up with the rough track to Allan Willis’s small bush hut.  We continued on up the valley to Allan’s Hut, skis battering from one tree to the next and the heavy-footed breaking though the crusted snow.”

“After lunch in Allan’s Hut the boys offered to clean up while the three girls – in the manner of the Egyptians, women and children first – headed up the mountain.  We broke trail in breakable crust up to our knees, and following the bush edge reached the ridge, above the site of the present accommodation huts.  A fairly exhausted group gathered here, fitted skins and made a high traverse into Broken River Basin at 4 p.m.!”

“It was pretty cold at that time of day, so after a very quick slide round we turned for home and had an exciting run back to the bushline.  The experts in the group could do stem turns and were learning to ‘Christie’.  The snow, although right down to the main highway, was sparse and tussocks poked through here and there.  We had learned to ski on tussocks and daisies at the south end of Lake Lyndon so this hazard we merely ignored.”

“Then off with the skis and a bouncing trip down the hillside with giant strides and into the bush in the dark.  None of us had torches so thankfully it was moonlight and head tracker Mehrtens was able to retrace our footsteps.  It was a long, long climb up to the ridge to cross near ‘Jack’s Pass’ and a very tired party arrived back at ‘Watling Street’ near the beginning of the present Broken River road to find Hass and the group of prospective members huddled round a fire.  He had them worried with tales of “side-hill” cougars and other prowling beasts of the mountains.”

No hi-tech gear in 1951

Contrast the hi-tech gear of 2011 with 60 years ago.  The well-dressed adventurer of 1951 wore gabardine ski pants of generous cut, long woollen army puttes around the ankles to keep the snow out (“tiresome to put on” reflects Leith), woollen flannel shirt, a windproof jacket with elasticised waistband, and a peaked ski cap.  Ski gear included N.Z. made O’Brien ski boots which were tramping boots with a square toe for the ski binding and a strap across the instep for support.  “At least they were waterproof” says Leith Newell. Skis of the day were solid Hickory, Ash or Southland Beech fitted with ‘legbreaker’ downpull bindings.  Plush climbing skins were an essential piece of equipment although one member of the group was known to use binder twine.

60 Years On

Sixty years on the ski clothes and gear may have changed markedly, but not the great friendships, passion for skiing and fun in the snow.  At the 50th celebrations, in 2001, founding President Jack Newell commented “Little did we know what we were starting. We had no idea then that fifty years later our Ski Club would have made such progress – gear transported up the mountain by tram, huts with showers, flush toilets and electricity, and that our best skiers would race overseas in Olympics and World Cups - or that three generations would all be on the mountain together.”

Cheers to our founders - we have a great Ski Club and much to thank you for!

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Opening July 16th

July 13, 2011 Share on Facebook

What an EPIC start to the season! 1.5 metres (yes metres) of new snow in the last 6 days. The snow gods have been kind to us. We will be opening this coming Saturday July 16th, weather permitting. So come on up!

 

Opening July 16th

July 13, 2011 Share on Facebook

What an EPIC start to the season! 1.5 metres (yes metres) of new snow in the last 6 days. The snow gods have been kind to us. We will be opening this coming Saturday July 16th, weather permitting. So come on up!

Here's to a great 2011 season.

Thinking of our CHCH friends

June 14, 2011 Share on Facebook

Our thoughts go out to all our Christchurch friends and Broken River members who were affected by yesterdays Christchurch earthquake. We hope you and your families are safe and well, and have not suffered too much more damage. What a tumultuous time we live in. Here's hoping for calmer times ahead.

Thinking of our CHCH friends

June 14, 2011 Share on Facebook

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Improvements to the Ticket Office

November 3, 2010 Share on Facebook

The summer work parties have been in full swing over the last few months and the main focus has been on improving the area outside the Ticket Office. A team of members have spent many weekends working away completing this project.

IMG 0606 top station upgrade photo Keith Pollock

Improvements to the Ticket Office

November 3, 2010 Share on Facebook

The summer work parties have been in full swing over the last few months and the main focus has been on improving the area outside the Ticket Office. A team of members have spent many weekends working away completing this project.

The Ticket Office is now under a large roof which covers the area between the Tramway and the ticket office window. So now you'll be sheltered from the falling snow when you purchase your ticket on a powder day. The flooring has also been replaced so everything is looking spic and span.

Thanks everyone for all their hard work!

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Fun 2009 Scone Grabbers Week

August 24, 2009 Share on Facebook

Hi! I’m Elsie and I’m 11 months old. I just love coming up to Broken River with my mummy and daddy so they decided to go on the first ever SCONE GRABBERS week - a week for families with young kids. Our really fun week was planned by Claire and Jim who are the parents of my friends Mari and Hamish. 

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Fun 2009 Scone Grabbers Week

August 24, 2009 Share on Facebook

Hi! I’m Elsie and I’m 11 months old. I just love coming up to Broken River with my mummy and daddy so they decided to go on the first ever SCONE GRABBERS week - a week for families with young kids. Our really fun week was planned by Claire and Jim who are the parents of my friends Mari and Hamish. 

We all stayed in Broken River Lodge so wouldn't disturb everyone else who expected to get sleep during the night! Of course my parents thought it was a great way of getting lots of skiing in too – without having to do the big drive from Christchurch each day and then carry me up the mountain in the back pack.

Each of us kids took turns at waking up really early and crying through the week so that the parents had to get up and get us out of bed – I’m not sure they realised that we did this so we could get ready more quickly to get up the mountain for skiing! We kids do take a while to get ready – eating breakfast, flinging porridge around the room, finding socks, a few tantrums, losing goggles, cuddles and the dreaded brushing of teeth and hair – but everyone mucked in and helped each other out so it worked out really well.

Each day we all played in Palmer Lodge up on the field. All the mummies and daddies took turns looking after us so they could maximise their time out on the snow – the funny thing was that there was hardly anyone skiing on the actual field apart from the parents having their group lesson. Everyone else just took off in all sorts of directions – Allan's Basin, Yukon Bowl, Hamilton Peak, Sunny Peak, Avalanche Gully – there was just so much snow and so much good skiing to be done! All the parents had BIG smiles on their faces after skiing the new snow that arrived on Tuesday afternoon.

People say having kids slows you down but not these parents – they were OFF out the door and there were some strict tag team times going on between different mummies and daddies. The older kids all had lessons too and by the end of the week were doing really well – thanks to those wonderful instructors.

Night times were lots of fun – yummy food, chatter, games and I continually heard the tinkling of bottles and caps being popped off. It seems to me that there can’t be anything better than finishing off a good days skiing with a beer, chips, cheese and crackers up at Palmer Lodge – even if it meant that we were a bit late for our vege prep duties!

Well – that’s about it from me. I just want to say that I think SCONE GRABBERS week is a COOL TIME and anyone out there with kids should think about doing it next year. I’ll see you then!

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Alpine Rail New Zealand2

Tyndall Tramway Opening

July 29, 2009 Share on Facebook

The Tyndall Tramway was opened on Saturday 25th July 2009 on warm,  sunny, cloudless day with 35 cms of fresh powder snow. The passenger  lift was officially opened by Club member and past President Arthur Tyndall. Arthur, a well-known civil engineer from Tyndall and Hanham, who designed this unique lift and was instrumental in getting the project started.

Alpine Rail New Zealand2

Tyndall Tramway Opening

July 29, 2009 Share on Facebook

The Tyndall Tramway was opened on Saturday 25th July 2009 on warm,  sunny, cloudless day with 35 cms of fresh powder snow. The passenger  lift was officially opened by Club member and past President Arthur Tyndall. Arthur, a well-known civil engineer from Tyndall and Hanham, who designed this unique lift and was instrumental in getting the project started. To his great surprise the lift was named “Tyndall Tramway”.  Art’s  first comment was “Oh … I didn’t deserve this” and then went on to say  “We’ve got a great Broken River family here – I did it for you guys  because it’s a great Club.”

It is of great significance that two of the twelve founding members,  including the Club’s Patron, and 8 other very early members of the Club  were present at the opening. Their day was made with a helicopter flight  up to the ski field to join in the day-long celebrations. Some these  early members had not visited the ski field in winter for 15 or more  years. It was also a very special opportunity for them to see their  grandchildren and great grandchildren skiing. One early member, Betty  Womersley aged 88, had a short ski with her great granddaughter.

The passengerisation project involved 6 years of hard work with Club  members volunteering their time to upgrade the original Goods Lift,  which has operated since 1985.  We are very fortunate to have a group of very dedicated and technically skilled members in the Club.

Broken River Alpine Funicular