Ahuriri Valley, backcountry ski tour

Early in the winter season there is often a wintry blast that comes in from the south west,  drops a good layer of snow down low in the Mackenzie Basin, and into the Ahuriri Valley. In early July 2015 we managed to sneak a ski tour in, skinning up from the Birchwood road , via…

Twin Stream – Kai Tarau

Twin Stream is well known for its rock climbing walls but in winter it has some good and steep lines to be skied. You can either walk in or fly in; about 4 hours walking vs 5 minutes flying: $0 vs $350 a load. Contact Heliline Glentanner at 0800 650 651 and make sure you…

Old Man Peak 1826m

A fun and medium-easy day trip, especially after a low level snow fall with a moderate 900m vertical climb to the top. From the top the skiing into the “back bowl” (looking into the St. Bathan range) is really good and the south east aspect keeps the snow in good nick. Access: From SH8 approx…

A back country ski traverse of Mt Barth and Mt Heim

This was a lovely 3 day ski telemark trip in the Ahuriri Valley. Mt Barth makes for a good adventure ski tour with long fall line skiing and varied terrain. It really stands out from the rest of the range as a large massif that holds a its heavy coating of snow well.  We skied…

Mt Melina from the Ahuriri Valley

Mt Melina is in the Hawea Conservation Park. We accessed it from the Ahuriri Valley using mountain bikes. I must admit that I am a bit soft and usually walk my bike up anything that resembles a hill, however the trail/road in is graded by DOC as an easy grade 2, and so even I…

Mt Stafford from Snowy Gorge Creek

We skied this as part of a 3 day trip in which we also skied Mt St Mary. After a good exercise induced coma we skinned up Snowy Gorge Creek sidling higher and higher on the true left, until we were able to cross a col into the Mt Stafford face (the col is just…

Mt St Mary – Snowy Gorge Creek

Here’s a long ski mountaineering adventure, quite remote, and a lovely small ski hut to stay in.  We skied this in early July when there was a good amount of snow down low as the Hut is at 1125m. Access is easy from Ohau ski field. Descend towards Dumbell lake, continue all the way down…