Early November and Gaz and Monte head to the head of the Tasman Glacier for ski touring. Variable weather conditions worked out OK with an ascent of Mt Aylmer, ice climbing in the Darwin ice fall and good ski turns from the col nearby to Kelman hut.
There is plenty of winter snow in the head of the glaciers which should help them survive the summer months and make for good climbing conditions.
In October, Gary headed into the head of the Tasman Glacier, based at Tasman Saddle hut with clients Mark and Rachel. Learing the skills of ski mountaineering in preparation for a trip May 2017 to Denali. Cold snowy weather conditions provided perfect conditions to test gear , back country skiing / ski touring techniques , learn and apply technical mountaineering skills and weather and avalanche knowledge.
Sunset from Tasman saddle hut
Canyon lands, back basins Tasman Glacier
Ski touring near Centennial hut
With all the fresh snow fallen a week ago, winter activities will be on many minds, here just a small selection of photos from past trips in the Southern Alps. While some keen snow lovers are already out there ski touring somewhere in the mountains of New Zealand, remember that back country skiing amoungst glaciated terrain can still be very dangerous and the amount of snow fallen has by no means filled up the crevasses nor made the bergschrunds safe just yet. Enjoy but make sure you have the skills out there. Courses are offered by top mountain guide instructor Gary Dickson, IFMGA expert in NZ. His next job is instructing/assessing in Iceland again, helping the professional glacier guides with quality standards in the industry. But before we leave, the annual general meeting of NZMGA is on the agenda where he’ll act as Mr President.
The first ski tour has been put on the schedule and if you – or anybody you know – are keen on an NZ back country ski tour late winter/spring with chief guide Gaz, at this stage you have the choice from 23rd September on wards. We can be reached any time via email, just beware that occasionally we might be out of touch longer than usual, sitting in plane, or otherwise relocating in the Swiss Alps without the online setup.
loo with a view, ski touring in NZ
Southern Alps back country ski touring
Ski touring , Tasman glacier, New Zealand
Climbing in Europe is behind us for another year and one of the last weeks there, mountain guide Gaz was out with friend and colleague Steve Jones on the Matterhorn, part of a team on a filmed documentary climb. Here, pictures of a helicopter near the famous peak and hut and Jamie training for his special summit, with camera man Keith, the Trient glacier providing the perfect background, (photos are by Brian Hall, prof. IFMGA mountain guide).
Jamie filmed by Keith with the Trient glacier in the back ground
action flying near the famous peak
Helicopter action near the Matterhorn
Ski touring conditions are good after the recent wild storms on the South Island and plenty of snow fall in the back country of the Southern Alps. Excellent for the New Zealand ski touring missions during the next couple of months. Barely over jet lag, but we had to take the opportunity with blue skies and a fresh covering of white gold to put on ski touring gear for a bit of back country fun. The last week has been fabulous and there was more action on the ski field for Iris while Gary is teaching rope rescue techniques. Get in touch for a ski touring adventure just for you and your team.
Ski touring from Murcheson hut, see the rock avalanche on the left
As we are packing up for a couple of months of summer mountaineering in Europe, ski touring and back country snow boarding adventurers in the Southern Alps are getting ready for the 2013 season and most likely some hardy souls are at it already.
Ourselves will be ready for it, Ski Touring in New Zealand that is, from 10th September onwards. However, if you want our help before then for putting together your dream trip in the Southern Alps, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Fixing dates is always a good start.
More photos of this particular ski touring adventure :
Ski touring : upon arrival, some snow shoveling to get into the hut
ski touring in the Southern Alps
Fantastic views over the Southern Alps on NZ while on a ski tour lunch break
Team players: Geoff, John, Phil and Bill & mountain guide Gary Dickson
Sking back down to Murcheson hut
escaping the avalanche, no, but lucky they did not have to