Mt Peterson – Ohau backcountry ski tour & Maitland Hut

by Joel O’Rourke On Monday afternoon, Kenji and myself drove from Methven to Ohau, collecting Simon Trummer from Lake Tekapo on the way. Our objective was to camp at Maitland Hut for two nights and ski Mt Peterson behind Ohau. Unfortunately, the few weeks between taking the above photo and actually getting around to doing…

Mt Ngauruhoe – North Island NZ

Mt Ngauruhoe is a classic cone shaped volcano of near perfect symmetry. It sits in a spectacular position besides its cousins Ruapehu and Tongariro.  In winter it tends to holds snow well and makes for a wonderful, single day, back country ski tour. The slopes tend to hold some beautiful corn snow later in to…

Ben Lomond- Queenstown – East face to One Mile Creek

In early season (July) during some winters a good covering of snow falls in the Queenstown basin. In order to get snow to such low levels a southerly front from deep in the southern ocean must sweep up the country. Southland will be the first to get hit with snow, falling to sea level, followed…

Remarkables; The Grand Couloir, Queenstown

The Grand couloir is an obvious ski line leading from close to the summit of the Remarkables, down to Lake Alta. It is a reasonably popular descent, the skiing is fall line and aesthetic. At the steepest it might be a touch over 40 degrees, but the majority is in the mid to high 30s….

Mt Philistine, Arthurs Pass National Park

by Dan & Zucco Arthur’s Pass National Park (APNP) provides a lot of steep or long access routes to the mountains, making it more of a mountaineering destination. However, quality ski touring can still be found. SH73 passes through APNP at around 800 meters and provides some of the better touring opportunities in the area….

Whale Stream – helicopter access from Glentanner

A fine ski tour, highly recommended, with lots of variety. Whale Stream lies directly behind Glentanner heli pad and is just quick flight to the top of the valley. There are 2 branches, the north and the south branches. They are connected by a fine couloir of about a thirty degree pitch. These two valleys…

Mt Bonpland

By Joel O’Rourke – Bon-what? Yeah, I said the same thing. A quick google search reveals it’s a mountain near the Routeburn Track behind Glenorchy. There is a small glacier (Bryant Glacier) that hangs above the valley and two couloir, one to the north and one to the south of the peak. Given the recent…

Camp Stream from Roundhill ski field -Two Thumb Range

Once or twice a winter, a strong Easterly or South Easterly front pushes snow into the McKenzie Basin. Snow falls to low levels, often affecting SH8, and leaves Mt Cook Village and Tekapo township with 20cm of snow on the ground. When this event happens it is time to head into the Two Thumb Range. …

Sawyer Stream ski tour from Annette Plateau, Mt Cook N.P.

This tour was recently described as the ‘King of ski tours from Mt Cook’ . A classic day ski trip in Mount Cook National Park. The views are spectacular and the skiing superb. Its a long tour with route finding needed and also some tramping, so superior fitness is required. View Larger Topographic Map An…