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Category: Central Otago

Garvie Mountains – Blue Lake Huts – Backcountry ski tour

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By , June 14, 2016 9:15 am
North face pk 1760 with Skeleton lake in background

North face pk 1760 with Skeleton lake in background

Here is a five star ski tour in the Garvie Mountains, SE of Queenstown. The Blue Lake Huts makes a wonderful base from which to explore from. The terrain has something for everyone; steeps, rolling ridges, bluffs, lakes, chute, ice climbing. Note – this is on private land and permission is required before proceeding. Continue reading 'Garvie Mountains – Blue Lake Huts – Backcountry ski tour'»

Ski Touring Access to the Pisa Range – rules.

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By , July 28, 2015 9:57 am
North Pisas


There are two current access points to the Pisa Range. The access in blue on the map below is a legal easement. Legal easement was generated in 2002 as a result of Land Tenure Review process. It still exists and the public has the right to free passage (though poles have been removed).  This easement passes through land which is used by Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds (SHPG) and offers the most direct and best skiing access to the Pisa Range. There is a barrier across the road which can be passed either by car or on  foot or skis on the way to the car park at the end of the road (marked on map with blue circle). Continue reading 'Ski Touring Access to the Pisa Range – rules.'»

Old Man Range – Nicholsons Hut

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By , June 10, 2015 9:34 pm
Old Man Range

Old Man Range

Another ski tour option for the Old Man Range is to carry on over the summit ridge and then down to the Nicholson Hut.

As reported to   …I thought I’d drop few pics of the next basin over to add to the trip. For some reason it stays really sheltered from the wind and is worth to check it out even when the front is wind blasted. The access is the same, just drop into Nichols hut from the top.

Continue reading 'Old Man Range – Nicholsons Hut'»

Old Man Range – An early season tour – great introduction to touring

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By , June 10, 2015 2:23 am
Old Man Range 1400m

Old Man Range 1400m

It seems every Autumn we get an early season blast of cold weather, which brings snow down to low levels. Invariably this is from a strong southerly storm which howls up the central east of the South Island. The Old Man Range catches this wind blasted snow and loads it into the gullies, the ridges remaining relatively bare and windswept. Continue reading 'Old Man Range – An early season tour – great introduction to touring'»

Eyre Mountains; Symmetry Peaks

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By , September 14, 2014 10:54 am
Symmetry Peaks, Eyre Mountans

Symmetry Peaks, Eyre Mountans

A day ski touring trip from Queenstown with moderately easy access. I found the Eyre Mountains at this area to be very interesting topography with many options for the ski tourer. There are both shorter day trips as well as some longer ridge traverses possible.  The geology is quite rugged with  steeper terrain, which offers lots of couloirs through rock bands, for those keen on a steeper line. Continue reading 'Eyre Mountains; Symmetry Peaks'»

North Pisa Range Robrosa Hut

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By , July 10, 2014 5:14 am
Robrosa hut and Cliff Burn

Robrosa hut and Cliff Burn

Another ski touring option on the North Pisa Range is to base out of the Robrosa Hut. Situated in the north branch of the Cliff Burn it is a short trip from the Snow Park. The hut is surrounded by ski lines and also offers easy access tot he east faces of the Pisa Range (Cromwell Faces).

At 1700m in a protected bowl Robrosa Hut is a powder magnet. Access steep chutes as well as gentler terrain. Great all weather (well almost all weather) access and one of the few places where you can get out and ski in a storm. Continue reading 'North Pisa Range Robrosa Hut'»

Pisa Range – Cromwell Faces

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By , June 30, 2014 2:44 am

Cromwell Faces 1Ski Touring Cromwell Faces

For some reason the Cromwell Faces are almost totally ignored as a ski touring destination. The upper reaches of the Tinwald Burn offers great ski touring terrain and some of the most consistent snow around. The eastern aspect holds snow really well and since it is off the main divide it is often good weather or at least better weather, than anywhere else. It has pretty of STEEP and great rock formations. Continue reading 'Pisa Range – Cromwell Faces'»

Ben Nevis via School House Creek

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By , August 7, 2013 8:36 am

ben nevis

A trip for the keen of isolated places that don’t mind a bit of walking with the skis on the back pack.

Access: is from Bannockburn via the Nevis valley Road. Drive up Duffer Saddle and drop into Nevis crossing. Stop by the station to ask permission to cross their
land as all the trip is on private property – ph (03) 445 3006 – best to call after 6pm. 4wd car is recommended as the road, even if public, doesn’t get much traffic. Continue reading 'Ben Nevis via School House Creek'»

the ‘Big’ nordic ski tour

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By , September 13, 2011 10:12 am

I just received this in an email  – well done to this fellow. This is a huge trip. Awesome.


I was interested to read recently on your website an article concerning a short ski tour in the Hawkdun Range.  I thought that you may be interested to know about a ski tour I completed during August 2002 with two companions. It started at the same gate shown by the author of the Hawkdun tour mentioned above. The tour was on Nordic mountain ski touring skis and was self sufficient throughout – preferring the independence and flexibility of a tent, collecting pre-positioned resupply as we linked through valleys to reach the next range. We traversed the Hawkdun range crossed over to the St Bathan’s Range before descending to St Bathans, ascending to traverse the Dunstans and then descending direct to Cromwell. From here we went up towards the Wanaka end of the Pisa range at Queensbury to traverse the Pisas down to Bannockburn. Then onto Duffer’s saddle over the Old Woman Continue reading 'the ‘Big’ nordic ski tour'»

Hawkdun Range backcountry ski tour

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By , August 25, 2011 10:45 am

Ascending Hawkdun Range with St Bathans Range in background and view of Mt Aspiring

After a prolonged period of heavy snowfall from the south east the Hawkduns became a great prospect. It’s a sister range to the St Bathans range, running parallel and of roughly the same dimensions. However we found it much more user friendly with much easier access (ski from the car), and the tussock and grass covered slopes hold the snow better are a lot easier on the skis than the rockierSt Bathans.

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