Mt Bonpland

By Joel O’Rourke – Bon-what? Yeah, I said the same thing. A quick google search reveals it’s a mountain near the Routeburn Track behind Glenorchy. There is a small glacier (Bryant Glacier) that hangs above the valley and two couloir, one to the north and one to the south of the peak. Given the recent…

Somnus Couloir, Mt Somnus, Humbolt Range, Routeburn

Joel O’Rourke New Zealand’s mountains have waived goodbye to the extended sunshine and has developed a serious melancholy; the doldrums of drizzle, cloud and humidity have set in. Whilst waiting for the inevitable return of consistent good weather the forecast came through with a Saturday of partly cloudy (and no rain!) and plans came together to…

Mt Ferguson, Queenstown ski touring…

Mt Ferguson is a day trip ski tour out from Queenstown. Its a valley/basin ski, with some really good views out to Mt Earnslaw, as well as Centaur Peaks, (which incidentally look like they would be a stellar ski). The route up Mt. Ferguson is not difficult and suitable for intermediate skiers with some tramping/hiking…

Cascade Saddle – Upper Dart Glacier

From Wanaka drive out past Treble Cone Ski Area up to Raspberry Creek. Walk into Aspiring hut and hang a left up the Cascade Saddle track. Give yourself a chance by getting an early start as it’s likely to be very slow going on the upper North facing snow slopes.  Enjoy the fun ski down…

Garvie Mountains – Blue Lake Huts – Backcountry ski tour

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. View…

Ski Touring Access to the Pisa Range – rules.

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…

Eyre Mountains; Symmetry Peaks

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…

North Pisa Range Robrosa Hut

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…

Pisa Range – Cromwell Faces

Ski 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…

Mt Tyndall ski tour, Mt Aspiring NP

Mt Tyndall ski tour, Aspiring NP.Rewarding ski touring trip in the mt Aspiring NP achievable in a weekend.It can be done in different ways: a long day from Aspiring hut or there are good camping spots at the tree line or at Cascade saddle.Pretty straight forward trip, however getting in and out of the Pylon…