Black Diamond Safaris

It takes a few trips to get the hang of your average club field. There are a number of traps for young players, including hairy access roads, overheating on the hike to the lifts, or ill-fitting snow chains. A lack of preparation can ruin your day.

The best introduction to club fields is with an experienced outfit like Black Diamond Safaris. You’ll arrive in style, be shown the ropes (literally, given most club fields have rope tows) and taken straight to the secret stashes.  

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It can take a long time to dial-in nutcracker technique, Black Diamond Safaris sidesteps this tedium and points you straight to the goods with the minimum of fuss, even on the snowiest of days. They’re highly-recommended for those starting out at club fields, or for people who’d rather someone else does the hard yards. 

Black Diamond Safaris (BDS) has been guiding locals, tourists, and adrenaline junkies around the Selwyn Six for 20 years now. They offer a range of services from transport up any four of the Selwyn fields, excluding Temple Basin and Porters, to backcountry tours in the Craigieburn Range. They’re based in Methven, which makes it easy for people to reach, and they offer airport transfers for tourists coming in from around the world. BDS’s team of six guides are on hand to make sure that you have the experience of a lifetime.

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Day Tours

They have two different day tours on offer, The Essentials will get you up the mountain and hire of rope tow equipment and avalanche transceiver. This pack is more aimed at people who have been up the field before, and have their own knowledge of the best powder stashes on the mountain. They offer a return trip, so it’s you can let someone else do the driving for the day (no worrying about chains on a powder day!)

The second day tour, The Max Pack gets you up the mountain, roped up, fed, and skiing safely. The pack offers a full day of instructional guiding, but if you’re a clubby old hand then instruction isn’t necessarily required. In this case BDS is happy to help you find the best snow on the mountain and push you to the limits of your ability.

If you’re planning on touring from Cheeseman to Mt Olympus organize a ride with BDS, and they’ll drop overnight gear off for you at Olympus, giving you the ability to get a full day’s skiing in before returning home.

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Snow Hunters

Wanting to spend a bit more time in the mountains? Sign up for a Snow Hunter tour that can be customized to your skiing ability, budget, confidence, friends confidence, partner's approval, or just your whim.

Example itinerary:

Day one

Pick up destination and time to be confirmed in coordination with your flights or itinerary. If needed stops can be requested and ski equipment can be organized at gnomes ski shop in darfield or big al’s ski and sport in methven. Dinner is included at the accommodation this evening.

Day two

Breakfast and the guide will make the decision which club field is the best for the day. Full day on the mountain, lunch supplied then returning to accommodation at the end on the day.

Day three

Mt olympus early morning breakfast to fuel up for the first big day at mt olympus. Load ski gear into the truck and head up to the ski field. Your guide will give everyone a briefing of the possibilities for the day after they have checked in with the snow safety officer of the ski field. A cooked lunch will be served at the top hut. Departure of the ski field will be a group decision and back to the ryton station for dinner.

Day four

Mt olympus breakfast at the lodge of the ryton station. Load everyone’s gear into the truck and travel up to the mt olympus. All safety procedures will follow as the previous days. This is the last day of exploring the amazing terrain of the ski field. Lunch will be served at the top hut and departure time for the ryton station will be discussed at the beginning of the day. After dinner everyone will organize their gear and have it ready to depart for craigieburn valley in the morning.

Day five

Craigieburn valley early morning breakfast at the ryton lodge. Load all the gear into the truck and travel to craigieburn valley. The drive will take a little over an hour is mostly through the high country and very scenic. Once we arrive at the car park a decision will be made weather to go skiing right away or settle into our bunk rooms. This will depend on the snow conditions. Your guide will introduce you to the staff and familiarize you with the ski field. The terrain at craigieburn is big so everyday your guide will give you a briefing of the conditions and the options. Lunch will be served at the day lodge and skiing will finish when the tows stop. Everyone will head down to the lodge and get ready for dinner. Some light duties may be involved. Craigieburn’s lodge is run by a power generator so there is power in the morning and in the evenings. Power is usually turned off at around 10:00pm so lights out.

Day six

Depart after breakfast for your final destination (airport or accommodation).

Check out their website here for more information or to book your backcountry escape.

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