Whale Stream – helicopter access from Glentanner – Ben Ohau Range

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 lie under some quite spectacular peaks of Mts Dun Fiunary, Ferintosh and Glentanner. The northern face of Dun Fiunary holds some excellent looking couloirs for ski mountaineers, as do the southerly faces off Ferintosh and Glentanner. It would be possible to find access out of Whale Stream and into Stewart Stream to the West, as well as Jacks Stream to the south. So there is plenty to do up there, and given the ease of heli access, it might do to make a camp for a couple of days.

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We did this tour as a day trip. Flights were from Glentanner. The quote was for 380$ for the helicopter which seats 6 with day packs and skis, which equates to about 65$ each. Expect more cost with a greater load. We also took advantage of the helicopter to fly out. The other option is to walk out via Whale Stream to the road. The stream bed is public land according to WAMS (Walking Access Mapping System; www.wams.org.nz ). We found good cellphone coverage on the ridges and in theĀ  South branch from about 1700m.

Glentanner helicopter service is The Helicopter Line, 03 435 1801. The flight is 0.2 of the hourly rate. The heli can take 600kg max if the conditions are good, which is 6 lighter people with light day ski gear

These photos are from mid September 2017 in a good snow year.