There are few places in the world where you can ski on glaciers while looking out over the ocean. This is a unique place and in the world of backcountry touring, the west coast of New Zealand is incomparable.
Photos courtesy of Taichiro Naka
This is the perfect introduction to ski mountaineering. Just because the mountains are big does not mean the skiing is steep, the upper glaciers offer a world of moderate slopes.
The West Coast of the South Island has two outstanding glaciers that come from the highest reaches of the Southern Alps all the way down (almost) to sea level. These are massive areas of snow and ice that are linked by a system of four huts. In winter and spring when the snow piles up and the crevasses are filled, this becomes a ski touring paradise.
NEW 29 sept-3 oct, west coast glaciers
Participants need previous experience with backcountry touring. You will need to be a strong skier/rider in off piste conditions.
A good level of fitness is required. Participants need to be able to travel up steep hills and be strong enough to handle variable conditions.
• Ski and Snowboard touring techniques & smart terrain selection
• Mountaineering & rope skills applicable to glacier ski & snowboard backcountry touring.
• Avalanche Awareness, transceiver use & rescue techniques
• Crevasse Rescue, route finding, ski and snowboard touring techniques
• Route finding, trip planning and navigation
Format: 4 days, 3 nights- all inclusive, hut accommodation. One contingency weather day. Travel from Wanaka to Fox Glacier, heli flight in and out. Ratio of guide: participant 1:4.
When: Sept 29- Oct 3 2014, one day is weather contingency
Location: Departure from Wanaka to Fox Glacier, Accommodation on mountain in alpine hut. Exact location of skiing TBC with input from the group, will be based around Chancellor, Pioneer and Centennial huts.
Cost: We will be pricing the trip excluding heli time as the costs may vary depending on the location we choose to go to incase of a weather contingency.
• NZMGA qualified guide
• all meals and energy snacks
• hut fees
• weather contingency day
• Transport to Fox Glacier (we will car pool from Wanaka to keep costs down)
• Return heli flight into location
• Technical gear required for glacier travel ie., crampons, ice axe, harness etc. We can help organise.
• Ski touring skis, boots and skins (we hope that you have your own and have used them before so that you know how they work and that you won’t get blisters- but if not, we have a connection with Dynafit and might be able to provide you with a set up to borrow at no extra charge)
• Transceiver, shovel & probe ( again we hope that you already have these and have used them before but if not they are easy to rent in Wanaka)
Please email me if you have any questions firstname.lastname@example.org