Are you an experienced backcountry skier who wants to learn where the local powder is? Our Treble Cone day tour offers you an easy way to experience some of the best lift accessed backcountry in New Zealand. Using Treble Cone ski lifts to begin the day you start skiing at 1900m, a great way to start the day!
Many people wonder why the Remarkables Ski Resort was developed on the north & eastern faces of the mountain range when so much skiable terrain exists on the south and western flanks of the mountain. Our backcountry ski tour accesses the vast Doolans & Wye creek basins, where the snow lasts well into October every year. This area has been a well kept secret of the Queenstown local backcountry skiers & boarders, and has some serious avalanche terrain - so going with a guide is a smart way to experience this area.
With our helicopter assessed day tour, Black Peak provides some of the best backcountry touring conditions around and some challenging runs from peak to valley floor, it's well worth the effort. Superb views of Mt Aspiring from the summit of Black Peak.book now Skills required
Riley, Australia, Treble Cone Backcountry Ski Tour
We meet at our office in Wanaka at 8am the morning of the trip to finalise the plan for day. Your guide will check all your equipment and clothing for the day. If you are new to ski touring you can stop into our office the afternoon before your trip and we will make sure you have all the right gear. Often people need to rent touring gear, and we work with you and the rental shop to make sure you get the gear you need.
Ski touring at Treble Cone offers the opportunity to end the day with an exciting run to the Blue Creek and with a short climb back up to the Saddle Chair lift, you get a lift out of the valley for your last run of the day.
We usually catch the last lift on the Saddle Chair at 3:30pm, getting us back to the base area just after 4pm and back into town around 5pm.
Meet your guide at 9am on the morning of the trip at the Base building of the Remarkables Ski Field. You will need to have your equipment sorted, so if you are renting touring skis, boots and skins or snow shoes or split board, then do this the evening before in Queenstown. We can advise you on this, so please get in touch a few days beforehand.
After meeting your guide you will skin or snow shoe up to Lake Alta, and then into the backcountry away from the ski lifts. Heading into Wye Creek or the Doolans for some nice runs, and stopping for lunch in a scenic spot along the way.
You'll usually arrive back in the field around 3.30pm, and finish back at the base building at 4pm where your guide will leave you to make your own way back to Queenstown.
NB : Please note that this itinerary is a sample only and the actual itinerary may vary at the discretion of your guide. Weather, conditions and personal ability and needs may make changes necessary or advantageous to the participants.
Stop into our office the afternoon before and we will make sure you have all the right gear. Often people need to rent touring gear, and we work with you and the rental shop to make sure you get the gear you need. We usually meet around 8am on the morning of the trip at our office. Drive out to the Cattle Flat helicopter staging area ready to fly at 9am. This leaves the whole day to tour to Treble Cone getting lots of skiing or riding in along the way. Alternatively we tour the slopes and backbowls of Black Peak before flying out after 4pm. Arrive back in Wanaka just before 5pm.
If you are new to touring, our qualified guides will help you every step of the way. Click into some wide skis with ski-touring bindings and skins to be fitted for uphill travel. Snowboarders can grab some snowshoes or a splitboard. Learn how to get to the snow beyond lift access, assess terrain and use avalanche transceivers.
We'd love to take you into the Treble Cone backcountry to explore some new terrain away from the lifts. Check out the tour details and contact us if you have any questions.
Technical Skiing/ Boarding Ability
For any group ski / snowboard backcountry tour or course you need to be an intermediate or advanced level skier or boarder. You are expected to have had experience skiing / riding off-trail ("off-piste") and away from groomed runs at resorts. You don't have to be an expert skier or rider but you do need to competently control your skis or board on a wide variation of terrain from gentle slopes to steep coloirs and exposed ridgelines and in snow conditions that can vary widely from hard icy conditions to deep heavy powder.
Unless you are travelling hut to hut, generally we avoid skiing or riding with a full pack and instead base each day's skiing from one hut / or central location. So while pack weights are light on most days of your tour, your pack maybe up to 15kg on your first and last day and you need to still be able to tour uphill and control your skiing / riding downhill while wearing a full pack.
Experience with touring equipment not essential but recommended
While it is not expected that you have experience utilising the specialised equipment for backcountry touring (ski touring bindings, skins, splitboards etc), some prior experience is an advantage. If you wish to book on a multi-day trip we generally recommend that you take at least one day prior to become familiar with the use your gear (whether you hire or own). Booking a 1 day - Treble Cone Backcountry Day with us is often a great idea!
If you are a private group or booking a 1:1 privately guided trip - your guide can handle any variety of ski level or experience - even if you would rate yourself as a beginner skier!
Fitness for Ski / Snowboard Backcountry Touring
There are no ski lifts in the backcountry! Touring is 80% uphill with the incentive of an untracked exhilarating ride to the bottom for the remaining 20%.
Endurance Fitness is crucial - both mental and physical. You need to be able to keep moving at a steady pace for 6 - 10 hours while carrying and skiing with a load. And you must be able to sustain this effort over multiple days - very few of our backcountry ski / snowboarding trips require only one day of effort!
One of the best ways to get "endurance" is sustained hiking under load. Short intense workouts at the gym are only slightly helpful. Big hikes ie., > 10 hrs on rough terrain with a pack is best. Long days cross country skiing and hiking trips of 4+ days are ideal training. But we understand that this type of training is pretty hard to get as a city dweller. Stair hiking with a 15+ kg and 20+ floors works remarkably well. But nothing beats getting out of the city to national park areas and mountain trails whenever you can.
If you have any questions at all, please contact us - we can send you information about a full training program for ski / snowboard touring in NZ.
Most of our mountaineering ascents are conducted on a 1:1 basis, so no problem there.
For all other group climbing, skiing or trekking trips, we have a 2 person minimum number to operate a trip. If you are travelling on your own, try to organise your itinerary to match up with the dates scheduled for the course or trip listed on our website.
If you can't join a trip on our scheduled dates: then you have two options:
Book a private 1:1 trip for any dates you wish or we can book you as a single and we will try to match others to your dates. If we cannot find at least one other person for the dates you want, one month before the start date we will give you a full refund or offer you an alternative trip 1:1 for a fewer number of days.