Canterbury Haute Route

Canterbury Haute Route   Great trip, needs a bit more exploring to find the easiest line. The last day was the biggest with 3200+ metres climbing (4000 metres down), on top of that I ran the 15km from Bealey Spur back to Arthurs Pass … hmm, no wonder no one wants to ski with me….

Mt Cook – East Face & Mt Tasman ski descent

Quite a bit has been written already about these two ski descents by Fredrico Varengo, however I wanted to put them in here for the record as they are milestones in NZ ski mountaineering history. Freddy skied from the summit of Mt Cook last year (2011) taking the direct line from the summit. I spoke…

Ski descent Mt La Perouse – ski mountaineering

Freddy Varengo skied this line from Mt La Perouse’s summit this winter 2012. Its an aesthetic line on a big face, and really quite bold. The earlier part of the route put him under the hanging glacier which threatens pretty much the first half of the route. As Freddy points out it doesn’t look big…

Ski Descents Mt Avalanche & Mt Aspiring – Freddy Varengo

I met with Freddy this morning and got the beta on some of his latest ski trips. This is his second trip over to NZ from his home in Turino, Italy.  He’s been back in the country about a month and has been running around skiing so much that he says he’s exhausted. Yesterday he…

Mt Clarke and Mt Clarke extended trip, Forbes Mountains

Mt Clarke is a beautiful peak in the Forbes Mtns just north of Mt Earnslaw and can be skied as an overnight mission from the Rees Valley. If one has a good 4WD and river crossing experience then it is possible to drive to where the valley narrows – about 45mins walk from the bottom…

Mt Elie De Beaumont, Tasman Glacier, Main Divide Southern Alps

Elie De Beaumont is a classic ski tour at the head of the Tasman Glacier. It offers quality fall line skiing from a 3000m, heavily glaciated peak, right on the main divide of the Southern Alps. Views from the summit extend to the West coast, as well as down the Tasman glacier to the MacKenzie…

Mt Barff ski tour, Mt Aspiring National Park

Please don’t be put off by the name!. This is a good AT ski tour with some reasonable access, and is quite feasible as a 2 day ski trip. Best time of the year is late season and is especially good after a southerly storm has laid down some fresh powder. The main south basin…

Mt Hamilton, Malte Brun Range, Mt Cook National Park

This back country ski was highly recommended to me. It can be done on the exit day from a trip higher up the Tasman Glacier neves. This ski tour has been claimed to maybe be the finest New Zealand ski tour. It offers a huge 1400m ski descent from a 3000m peak. The route is…

The Fritz Range, Franz Josef Glacier

One of the most popular ski tours in the Mt Cook National Park. The Fritz range leads in a NW direction from the main divide of the Southern Alps out towards the Tasman Ocean, parallel to the Franz Josef Glacier. The Range holds its altitude the length of the Franz Gl, and so involves passing…