This tour is designed for those who want to ski it all - this is the ultimate 12 day South Island Kiwi ski touring adventure! This is a circuit that takes in the best skiing the Southern Alps has to offer. Beginning in Wanaka we meet the locals first as we head backcountry from the Treble Cone ski field for an introductory day. Then it's off to the wild West Coast where we fly to the top of the incomparable Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The views from the surrounding high peaks down to the Tasman Sea are spectacular. Moving north to Canterbury experience one of our unique & friendly club ski-fields before flying in to the famous Murchison and Tasman Glaciers. This is glacier touring at its best and the views of Mt Cook are unforgettable. On to the picturesque Lake Ohau and the backcountry terrain at its doorstep before finally returning back to Wanaka. Every step of the way our local knowledge will treat you to New Zealand's best kept ski touring secrets and we do all the hard work for you !book now Skills required
Evening welcome and briefing
Welcome to Wanaka. Meeting with guide at Aspiring Guides offices with gear check and itinerary discussion. This is a chance to purchase last minute items and make final decisions as to what gear you need.
Day 1. Treble Cone Ski Area offers a one ride chairlift option to the top of their mountain which has to be the easiest way to begin a ski tour there is. If you are coming from overseas this is a great way to find your ski legs and see some outstanding New Zealand Backcountry. This area is famous for it’s views over Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring National Park. Ski touring the famous Towers Ridge will be the perfect start to your trip. Night 1. Lake Wanaka
Day 2. Drive over the Haast Pass to the western side of the Southern Alps and the scenic West Coast. Fly from Fox Glacier township into Centennial Hut at the head of the Franz Joseph Glacier. Ski tour peaks near the hut and get familiar with skills glacier travel and crevasse rescue. Night 2. Centennial Hut - Franz Josef Glacier
Day 3. Ski tour to Mount Drummond. Seeming to sit on the edge of the world, the views from Drummond are absolutely phenomenal. The drop down into the Spenser Glacier with the Tasman seas in the background is awe inspiring. Night 3. Centennial Hut - Franz Josef Glacier
Day 4. Since we have little food to carry, our packs are light for the tour across the Franz Joseph Glacier and over a pass into the Fox Glacier and our destination Pioneer Hut. The wide open expanse of these glaciers is so impressive that this is a World Heritage Area. Night 4. Pioneer Hut - Fox Glacier
Day 5. The touring from Pioneer Hut down to Chancellor Hut takes us through stunning crevasse field and ice falls. How often do you have a day of skiing touring that is all downhill? With a helicopter pickup at the hut we are transported back to our car and a welcome hot shower at the nights hotel. Night 5. Fox Glacier
Day 6. Driving north we come to Temple Basin Ski Area. This is not your usual ski area, this is one of the famous New Zealand Club fields. You will notice the difference right away when you start the 40min. climb from the car park to the base facilities. Just because it is hard to get to does not mean that it is rough living. Here the ski touring is from a lodge with excellent food, a well stocked bar, hot showers and magnificent views……you will understand why this is one of New Zealand’s jewels. Using the rope tows to gain height there is a world of ski touring available. Night 6. Temple Basin Club Field
Day 7. After the morning skiing the field or touring the backcountry, relocate to famous Castle Hill Basin and the Club Fields of the Craigieburn Range. Night 7. Craigieburn or Broken River Club Field
Day 8. The Craigieburns were sculpted for ski touring. After the morning skiing the field or touring the backcountry, relocate to the Alpine Club hut at Mount Cook Village. This journey takes along the edge of Canterbury Plains and up over Burkes Pass into the Mackenzie Basin and view of the high peaks of the Southern Alps. Night 7. Unwin Hut- Mount Cook Village
Day 9. After a big breakfast we are off to catch our helicopter or ski plane flight into the head of the Tasman Glacier. With massive runs available you will be glad to be in top shape. Night 9. Tasman Saddle Hut – Tasman Glacier
Day 10. Located on a stunning rock promontory Tasman Saddle Hut offers a sunrise that you will never forget. The peaks of Hochsetter Dome provides 1500m runs right outside the door. The massive runs on Darwin Corner get warmed by the sun early so timing is everything. This is spring touring you will never forget. Night 10. Tasman Saddle Hut - Tasman Glacier
Day 11. A gentle 10km ski down the lower Tasman Glacier through crevasse fields and ice falls gets us to our rendezvous with our helicopter ride back to the village. Night 11. Ohau Lodge
Day 12. After a night a beautiful Ohau Lodge we can use the chairlift at Ohau Ski Area to give us a jump into the backcountry. This is big country and a drop down to Lake Dumbell with a tour back to the access road will leave you with your ski touring itch completely scratched before over Lindis Pass and back to Wanaka.
Larger than the alps of France, Switzerland and Italy combined, the remote and inaccessible nature of New Zealand's mountains means that ski touring is not as straightforward as it is in other countries. While there are massive areas of glacier there is no "high route" that links up for more than a day or two of skiing since you soon reach impassable terrain. The Ultimate NZ Ski Safari links up the best terrain on the South Island by using everything from fixed wing planes, helicopters and ski lifts to good old leg power. Our local guide will show you our favorite spots, from powder stashes to fun and funky Kiwi hotels. Let us introduce you to New Zealand's Club Fields where the friendly on field accommodation and insane rope tows launch you into incredible ski touring terrain.