Mt Mannering via Whataroa and Classen Saddles – Murchison Glacier, Main Divide Southern Alps

A great adventure ski tour crossing the main divide with a spectacular summit. From Murchison hut ascend the glacier on the opposite side of the valley heading towards point 2178. The glacier steepens at around the 1900m mark to 2000m mark and for us required cramponing. We did this in November with a low snow pack and warmish temperatures.

Once above 2000m easy benches lead  northwards over Classen Saddle. Easy skinning leads up a large basin towards Whataroa Saddle which is incorrectly marked on the map. To cross the divide look for a small saddle about 20m West of point 2442. There are stupendous views from here down the Whymper Glacier, and over to the East face of Elie De Beaumont.

The climb to the saddle is a short 10m crampon which leads to easy slopes down onto the glacier leading from the West face of Mt Mannering.

From here mt Mannering can be ascended and skied via the SW spur, which leads to a small flat spectacular summit, with views stretching from the Classen Gl, the Maximilian Range, and back up to Murchison Headwall. The slope tends to about 42 degrees 2/3 of the way up.

Round trip to Murchison hut about 6 hours.

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