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Old Man Range – Nicholsons Hut

Old Man Range

Old Man Range

Another ski tour option for the Old Man Range is to carry on over the summit ridge and then down to the Nicholson Hut.

As reported to skitouring.co.nz   …I thought I’d drop few pics of the next basin over to add to the trip. For some reason it stays really sheltered from the wind and is worth to check it out even when the front is wind blasted. The access is the same, just drop into Nichols hut from the top.

Continue reading 'Old Man Range – Nicholsons Hut'»

Old Man Range – An early season tour – great introduction to touring

Old Man Range 1400m

Old Man Range 1400m

It seems every Autumn we get an early season blast of cold weather, which brings snow down to low levels. Invariably this is from a strong southerly storm which howls up the central east of the South Island. The Old Man Range catches this wind blasted snow and loads it into the gullies, the ridges remaining relatively bare and windswept. Continue reading 'Old Man Range – An early season tour – great introduction to touring'»

Mt Rob Roy – Avalanche Glacier

 Hey the other day I went for a nice day mish up Rob Roy stream, nice place and not much walking to get to the snow (2hrs).  That place is worth checking, snow from 1200! From the head of Rob Roy stream head up to the saddle between homestead pk and the start of the east ridge of Rob Roy. Then follow a ledge to get to the Avalanche glacier. From the glacier beautiful terrain straight up to the summit of Rob Roy (low pk) via the head of the valley, pick your line. If it gets too warm the first 200 could start to slab away

*The ledge from Homestead saddle  (Ed note – take care on this ledge, sound mountaineering

skills required. Angle is roughly 45 degrees with some potential hazard from above and a whole

bunch of airtime below).

*On the Avalanche glacier

 

 

*looking down from the summit

Mt Rob Roy Map

Mt Rob Roy Map

 

 

Mt Rob Roy overview

Mt Rob Roy overview

 

Cass Valley – Liebig Range

Skiing down the western faces of the Liebig range, Murchison Gl in background

Skiing down the western faces of the Liebig range, Murchison Gl in background

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'»

Eyre Mountains; Symmetry Peaks

Symmetry Peaks, Eyre Mountans

Symmetry Peaks, Eyre Mountans

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 lots of couloirs through rock bands, for those keen on a steeper line. Continue reading 'Eyre Mountains; Symmetry Peaks'»

Mt Sibbald

Skiing Mt Sibbald, Mt DÁrchaic in background

Skiing Mt Sibbald, Mt DÁrchaic in background

 

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'»

Mt Arthur Tablelands and Mt Peel

Tableland-The-Twins-beyond

Tableland-The-Twins-beyond

Mt Arthur Tablelands and Mt Peel – 23-26 July 2011

I woke up in the night in Balloon Hut with a freezing arse, and stuffed my foam pad inside my sleeping bag to cover the cold spot. It did the trick! Well I did pick a weekend with the coldest weather forecast for 15 years. Could have been a lot worse; I’d turned down an invitation to snow-hole on the ridge somewhere between Mt Arthur and The Twins. I wondered how Mike and Tony were getting on….

On the plus side, the day dawned calm and clear, just like a fairytale scene. The bush was liberally dusted right down to sea level, Motueka recording the first snowfall since 1974. There was heaps of fresh snow, about 20cm having fallen the day before as I skinned my way from Salisbury Lodge, and overnight, to cover the nearly half meter already on the ground. Continue reading 'Mt Arthur Tablelands and Mt Peel'»

North Pisa Range Robrosa Hut

Robrosa hut and Cliff Burn

Robrosa hut and Cliff Burn

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 (Cromwell Faces).

At 1700m in a protected bowl Robrosa Hut is a powder magnet. Access steep chutes as well as gentler terrain. Great all weather (well almost all weather) access and one of the few places where you can get out and ski in a storm. Continue reading 'North Pisa Range Robrosa Hut'»

Pisa Range – Cromwell Faces

Cromwell Faces 1Ski 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 is often good weather or at least better weather, than anywhere else. It has pretty of STEEP and great rock formations. Continue reading 'Pisa Range – Cromwell Faces'»

Mt Tyndall ski tour, Mt Aspiring NP

 

cascade saddleMt 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 need precaution and settled snow. Because of this probably best time for the tour is late winter and early spring.

Glacier travel equipment is necessary along with good skiing and route finding abilities. Continue reading 'Mt Tyndall ski tour, Mt Aspiring NP'»

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