Ski Touring the Tasman Glacier

Early September had Mountain Guide Gary heading with two clients  up to the head of the Tasman Glacier for ski touring. New snow had recently arrived and they flew in by helicopter on a clearing Southerly, to be based at Tasman Saddle hut for a few days.

Take Photos, leave excellent ski tracks…..10-15cm of powder over a glacier base of hundreds of meters…

Shall we repeat? of course…..

Fox Glacier ski tour

Just back from a week of magnificent ski touring at the head of the Fox Glacier, based out of Pioneer hut 2400m , with a young, enthusiastic couple from Nelson.  Wow , what a great settled week of weather.

Skinning back to Pioneer hut 2400m, Fox Glacier after ski touring for the day. What a spectacular home for a week!

Descending at the end of the ski tour to Chancellor Hut perched beautifully above the Fox Glacier hard ice

Ski touring locally

Ski touring locally off the back of Treble Cone and Cardrona is looking good as the snow is there and the storms have put the snow down.  A reasonable cover of snow has been good for the ski fields and also the back country ski touring conditions. The weather forecast this coming week is for great sunniness  and excellent local ski touring.

Recently on the Treble Cone back country – new storm snow brewing…

Recent ski touring off the back of Treble Cone ski field

Winter 2020 NZ

What has been happening?

  •   Ski Patrol staff training at Cardrona Alpine resort – medical and chairlift evac.
  • Pre winter Alpine cliff rescue training – getting used to the new Swiss search gizmo for finding transceivers from the helicopter, and the usual helicopter human longling rescue practice – done up at Treble Cone in 30cm of fresh,  a meter in the gullies in the saddle basin!

Today, for  a few hours, the Alpinism and Ski team  were out developing ski legs  fangin around some fresh( 10-15) at Cardies. The weather came and went – great test of the Oakley and Smith goggles, and neck gaiter in the wintery conditions – might have even got some vitamin D!! 🙂

Bring on winter ….. Yeah……

Getting the ski legs for the 2020 ski touring season – Cardrona fresh

Tasman Saddle mountaineering course

IFMGA Mountain Guide, Gaz has just returned from a 7 day Mountaineering course with Peter and Kristiina from Finland who wanted to learn and practice in particular, traveling on glaciers, glacier travel rope work and  techniques, crevasse rescue and avalanche conditions knowledge.

Conditions for traveling around the NZ glaciers this season is fantastic due to snowfalls during the spring and the neve is very well filled in.

Crevasse rescue practice on mountaineering course, NZ

Practicing pitching on Mt Aylmer

Fantastic conditions on the Tasman glacier neve


Mountaineering West Coast

What an awesome sunset – what to experience on your West Coast of NZ mountaineering trip

8 day mountaineering trip – destination, West Coast of the NZ Southern Alps. Base, Pioneer Hut 2400m.  Lots of glacier, snow and ice.

Great weather and Primo conditions were had by Mountain  Guide Gary and Australian mountaineers Fernando and Jamie.

Summit of Grey Peak, Main divide, Southern Alps

Descending to Chancellor hut, Fox Glacier

Outside Pioneer Hut, ready to go classic west coast mountaineering

Mountain guiding @ Tasman Saddle

Matt arrived from Aussie for what was planned as an Aspiring climb. The weather and conditions dictated that that was not a good plan, so Matt and Gary went North and flew into Tasman Saddle Hut and spent 5 days in that area. They took snow shoes which was great for dealing with the soft snow conditions.

A very uncommon sight was the red dust from interior Australia on the snow. Amazing how it can travel the 3000km over the Tasman Ocean to the southern alps….

The red Aussie dust on the Tasman Glacier

Matt on snow shoes – Aoraki Mt Cook in the back ground. Tasman Saddle area.

Alpine climbing fiordland

A trip to the mountains of Fiordland – the Darren mountains. Gaz and Tim headed down to Homer Hut to get in a great climb of Mt McPherson via Homer Saddle and ‘Talbots Ladder’. A great wilderness feeling objective involving alpine rock and a classic snow summit with awesome alpine vistas of the surrounding snowy Fiordland peaks.

The summit slopes of Mt McPherson – classic alpine climbing in Fiordland, NZ

Climbing amongst the Darren Mountain peaks

Alpine rock climbing above homer saddle