Kings Mistake Couloir, Hall Range, Tekapo

King’s Mistake Couloir on Mistake Peak – Manu Nadler

The east face of Mistake Peak seen from across the lake on Lilybank Road. Red line: Our ski/snowboard descent; Yellow line: a possible variation of our line; Green & Blue lines: numerous possible descents

On July 30th, after a couple of really cold days with a lot of snowfall, Jamie Paterson and I wanted to ski one of the long east facing couloirs on Mistake Peak at Lake Tekapo. From the opposite side of the lake at Roundhill Ski Area these couloirs strike the eye. On that day, the conditions for those rarely skiable objectives were just right.

View into the Cass Valley from close to where we parked the car.

Firstly, we  crossed the Cass River and the Mistake River. Soon after the last river crossing we gained height and headed for point 1178m on the map. From the little basin north of point 1178m we skinned up through a bowl and a ridge. We ended up on a big flat area. Beautiful spot with great views.

Jamie skins across the big flat terrain on the way to the summit.

From the flat area we skinned up to the main ridge past point 1786m and past the big bowls on the right. To ski into those bowls looked very tempting on that day, but we had other plans. Soon we reached the summit of Mistake Peak and took a break.

After the small traverse you can see the long couloir and from its entrance it looks like it never ends.

From near the summit we skied down the east facing slope for about 100m. The slope is between 35-40 degrees steep. Then we traversed to the right to enter our main objective: a beautiful couloir which is about 40 degrees steep all the way down.

: Steep walls of rock and a lot of sugar. Jamie rides through the very atmospheric section of the couloir

The snow was powdery and the whole atmosphere in the couloir put big fat smiles on our faces. We skied almost all the way down to the road. It was an unforgettable day.

Prime skiing in the wider section of the line.

Since we found this line so atmospheric and aesthetic and didn’t know whether it already had a name, we wanted to give it a name. Pretty soon we came up with ‘King’s Mistake Couloir’. In one section of the couloir, we had the impression as if we were riding through the colossal castle of an ancient king.

Looking back up into the couloir. The snow-covered estuary below and Lake Tekapo added to a very unique ambiance.

For access across Godley Peaks Station please contact the landowner (03)690 6919.

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