Makarora – Mt Shrimpton North to Camerons Creek – backcountry ski traverse

Having done the traverse of the McKerrow range South to Boundary Creek, we decided to try North to Camerons Creek.

Harvey Hutton flew us up in his Hughes 500 for $105 each (seats 4). Contact him on 443-8351. He dropped us off on the ridge near pt 1958, just North of Shrimpton as he would not land on the summit.

The terrain was described by someone as rolly polly with steep drop-offs. There are broad basins but also many cliff bands interspersed so it is imperative that there is good clear visibility. Also, even though there are a few exits possible, they would be difficult, in which case the route is reasonably committing.


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We skied up the ridge to Pt 1977 followed by a steepish descent on gorgeous corn snow to the tarns. We ascended the next ridge via the right had of the 2 main gullies, then a long ski and sidle to where pt 1646 divides the slope. It is best to keep high and go over the top of this small ridge. We continued to sidle under peak 1726,  keeping high and close to the upper slopes until we got directly above our descent path. There are a few chutes that lead through a rock band that enabled us to reach the basin below. We then descended to bush line. We packed trail runners (thank god) which helped our descent down a moderately easy avalanche scar through the trees to the Camerons Creek Track. It can be a little difficult to find this route and if you haven’t had NZ bush experience this might not be a good starter route 🙂

The  Camerons Creek track starts easily but has a few ups and downs when it gets closer to the creek. By the end it seemed quite long, but the scenery is good, and the gorge at the end is interesting.

Times – 4 hours from heli drop off to tree line. 1 hour tree line to Camerons Creek track.  3 hours along the track to car and beer. The skiing is technically easy. Slopes are avalanche susceptible and require good stability.