Mt Olympus to Cheeseman ski field, Craigieburn Range, Canterbury

Mt Olympus to Cheeseman ski field is a suitably popular backcountry ski route, and is close to Christchurch. There are many good touring options in easy to moderate terrain. We did this tour starting at Mt Olympus, (after a good night of partying at the Olympus lodge) and heading to Cheeseman, but it can also…

Mt Peterson – Ohau backcountry ski tour & Maitland Hut, Barrier Range

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…

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….

Remarkables Ski Field – Doolans Loop ski tour

The Remarkables has many short day ski tours available. One option is to access the bowls to the East of the ski field, an area known as The Doolans. (Note when looking at a topo map the Sugarbowl lift is incorrectly marked…it actually heads up towards Peak 2057). There are many options here for touring,…

Cardrona Back Bowls and down to Golspie Valley Floor

The winter of  2011 was an unusual season with low snow levels and better quality snow at the lower elevations. Cardrona back bowls are a favourite because of their ease of access. The Cardrona carpark is one of the higher elevated carparks and the skinning up to the summit of Mt Cardrona does not take…

Towers Ridge – access from Treble Cone

Towers Ridge is the continuation of the Summit Ridge of Treble Cone beyond Wedding Cake Rock (see map). The quickest access is to boot pack above the Saddle Quad to gain height, followed by a long gliding traverse and then a short skin back up to the ridge before Wedding Cake.Wedding Cake rock can be…

Ruapehu’s 6 Glaciers in a day

High on Mt Ruapehu lie the only glaciers in the North Island. While they are mere remnants of their former ice age size, they still provide some of the best skiing terrain around. Ruapehu is a mountain created with ski-touring in mind, with access, terrain and (at times) snow conditions that are hard to beat…

TC – Commitment Chutes – Motutapu backcountry skiing loop

This was a wicked day of backcountry skiing New Zealand style!. Access is easy with a straight glide from the top of Treble Cone’s quad chair to the saddle between Gotleibs and Towers Ridge. Here the fun starts with a 300m fall line ski descent on 30-35 degree ribs of snow down the ‘Commitment Chutes’,…