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.
Fox Peak Ski Field to Roundhill Ski Field is a fun ski traverse of moderate difficulty, and makes an excellent outing with friends.
Since the traverse goes from one ski field to another a car shuttle is necessary. Recommendations are to either a) have a driver standing by, or b)2 parties start from opposite ends, or c) start from Roundhill one day, sleep at the Fox Peak Ski Field club lodge, then ski tour back to Roundhill the next day.
The route takes around 8 hours on average. 6 Hours is quite achievable, 10 hours if you are skiing laps. Continue reading 'Fox Peak to Round Hill traverse'»
A ski tour loop with stunning views down into the Murchison Glacier.
The Cass River lies on the western side of Lake Tekapo. Access is solely through Glenmore Station and booking ahead is necessary as the run-holders rent out the huts on a nightly basis to ski tourers, hunters etc. For bookings call Will Murray on 03 6806 752 or 0211869087.
The access road is generally pretty sweet as Will runs a grader up there to keep the access easy. Most cars can make it up to just shy of Waterfall hut. After that a little clearance is required but any street SUV should be able to manage the track until to a tributary about 2.5 ks south of Memorial hut. The final 2 ks might take a nudge more but is nothing too strenuous. Continue reading 'Cass Valley – Liebig Range'»
A classic ski mountain, Mt Sibbald has 1800m vertical from the base to summit. Situated up the Macauley River it takes just under 3 hours of 4wd action to get there from Tekapo. The initial section of road to Lilybank station is straight forward, but from Lilybank to Macauley Hut it is 4wd country. The 4wd section starts with a marked crossing of the Macauley river which is pretty straight forward, but if there has been any rain or moderate snow-melt it would be best in a unimog. In spring this river is also popular with jet-boaters, to give you an indication of possible flow. If in doubt have a look at the website for Environment Canterbury – http://ecan.govt.nz/services/online-services/monitoring/river-flows/Pages/River-flows-south.aspx Check out the Ahuriri river which is monitored. If the flow is around 30 cumecs or below the Macauley should be ok.
After the crossing the route is rutted for the initial section, then improves vastly until the last half hour which is riverbed travel, incipient tracks, lots of bumping around and river crossings. You will need a low range gearbox and some clearance (read: Landcruiser not RAV 4).
Macaulay hut is possibly the nicest hut in the NZ back country. There is electricity, running water, gas stoves, kitchen utensils, double beds even!. Pure luxury. Continue reading 'Mt Sibbald'»
Ski Touring in the Two Thumb Range
There are plenty of ski touring options in the Two Thumb Range and you can base yourself out of Camp Stream Hut or Royal Hut at the top of Bush Stream on the Mesopotamia side, or, if you want to be comfortable you might be able to use Alpine Recreation’s private hut, if they’re not booked up. Continue reading 'Two Thumb Range'»
This is a ski traverse of the Southern Alps from east to west via the following route: Lake Tekapo – Godley Valley – Liebig Range – Murchison Glacier – Tasman Saddle – Tasman Glacier – Rudolph Glacier – Graham Saddle (crossing the Main Divide) – Franz Josef Glacier – Fox Glacier.
It takes about 4 days including travelling time, but you should allow for weather contingency days. Continue reading 'Symphony on Skis'»
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 ask for a quote including GST, landing fees and whatever else fees apply, they tend to forget to mention it in the quote.