A fine day in the Southern Alps during September
Ski touring has been the main subject since our return from Switzerland a few weeks ago. Three Australian guests visited Fox Glacier and Pioneer hut with Gary, in between the snow storms that rendered the Southern Alps very wintry indeed. Not that much snow around the hut was one of Gaz’ comments. – The next 7 day ski touring adventure started for Charles Day after a day visit to Treble Cone. A legendary mountaineer from way back who knows the mountain guiding scene of New Zealand very well, having had many fine trips with IFMGA guides here, to name but a few Nick Cradock, Anton Wopereis and Dave Hiddleston – he also climbed Mt Aspiring with Geoff Wyatt, walking in and out! but some more photos of ski touring:
Glaciated Beauty and fun times
views down Fox glacier and Pioneer ridge towards the sea
Back in Wanaka for a week now! Returning from our Alpinism activities in Europe, fresh snow has arrived and ski conditions on the local ski fields are the best all winter – so we’ve heard and tested! Iris checked it out during mid week and thoroughly enjoyed Treble Cone while Gary with his team of three keen ski tourers flew up from Fox Glacier to roam the areas near Pioneer and Centennial hut.
Ski Touring in October 2012: there is a window for a private ski touring adventure with chief Mountain Guide Gaz in person, choose your 6 or 7 day trip between 6th – 16th Oct. 2012, bookings taken now, email for inquiries.
We are still in Switzerland, currently enjoying a week of rock climbing sessions on beautiful lime stone formations above Leysin. Only a few weeks before we are back in Wanaka and welcoming our first ski touring team of the season for a trip mid September. Guided trekking excursions will start up again and we are counting on some more snow to fall for our return, to have some fun on the local ski fields. The best times for ski touring adventures in the Southern Alps of New Zealand in our humble opinion is during September and October. Days are longer and snow conditions often optimal, with participants having had time to acquire winter fitness on skis or snowboard.
Fabulous terrain for back country adventures
Typical NZ Spring storms are coming through and just last week we had fresh snow all around the mountains near Wanaka. October ended with our ski touring team coming out of Tasman Saddle hut, a successful Copeland pass alpine trekking traverse and a Mount Cook climb that could not eventuate because of the full on weather and avalanche dangers. IFMGA mountain guide Sean Brooks with mountaineer Rob had an interesting time at Plateau hut with the wind keeping them awake during the nights spent up there. Chief mountain guide Gary Dickson sat out the storm with VIP team Phil, Bill, John and Geoff and they managed a good number of excellent ski turns in the surrounding areas for the next couple of days, finishing with a splendid ski down the Tasman Glacier. However, they witnessed lots of avalanche activity too. NZMGA mountain guide Pete James with Darrin were also in the area, waiting in Mt Cook village for the weather to clear enough. After they saw the Chamoix bar windows blown out and the storm finally calming down, they were able to cross the Main Divide and here some photos (all by Pete James) telling more:
Climbing up towards Copeland Shelter
The shelter and Copeland pass behind it
Darrin on the Copeland Pass, Mt Cook Nat. Park
Ski Touring in the Southern Alps of New Zealand
September and October are perfect to explore the glaciated and grandiose terrain amongst the main divide. A keen team, Linda, Rob and Kerryn, came from Australia to practice their mountaineering and ski touring skills in preparation for an adventure in Patagonia. Based at Tasman Saddle hut in Mt Cook National Park, they enjoyed pretty good weather, awesome views and some wonderful moments:
adventures amongst the highest mountains of NZ
late winter fun on a ski touring trip
the smile says it all, here at Tasman Saddle hut
Now, chief mountain guide Gaz is on handyman duty before his next ski touring trip, while Iris is off to Rob Roy glacier cirque for a guided trekking excursion.
Alpinism & Ski team Gaz and Iris are back in Wanaka where more snow has fallen a couple of days ago, a top up as usual for our return from our climbing activities in Europe and we look forward to some fun on skis. Sunday, Gary is off with a team of three for a six day winter mountaineering adventure.
The scheduled ski touring trip in September is closed but four spaces are available for the ski tour in October and one person is very keen for YOU to join up and to make it happen, so get in touch for details by e-mail
views from a day trip ski tour adventure at the Remarkables
Just a few lucky avalanche shots while on a trekking adventure over Ball Pass last summer in New Zealand
Caroline face, Mt Cook Aoraki NZ, Dec 2010
Avalanche course anybody?
Close up avalanche action in the middle of the climbing season
Gary is guiding a father-son team for ISM in the beautiful alpine play area of Trient glacier, Orny hut – a fabulous play ground for mountaineers and climbers, along the Swiss-French border ridge lines. It’s raining in Leysin, easy to get our minds into move-on mode and therefore ski touring, avalanche courses and winter mountaineering in New Zealand… but, before then, the Alpinism & Ski team is taking a break:
the global office is officially closed – between 23 August and 7th September
as Gaz and Iris will be gone on their private adventure
So, if you’d like to inquire or book your special dream trip, just do it before then
Climbing in Swiss Alps: Alpinism and Culture, ibex sculpture at the Orny hut,
Now is the time to start getting excited about ski touring in NZ
2m of snow in the upper basin of treble cone ski feild - much more at Glacier level!
Time to contact Alpinism and Ski if you are thinking about a backcountry skiing trip in September or October
The back country snow base is building up, settling and forming into a fantastic cover for ski touring in Septmeber and October – get fit and work on your off piste skiing over the next weeks and THEN its time for the backcountry – yehaa…..
Mid July and after two weeks of mountain guiding for ISM, Gary is ready for some top quality rock climbing with Iris. Climbing in europe, we are spoilt as we can choose to go climbing on lime stone, gneiss, granite and/or marble. The European Alps provide us with all sorts of fun from gazing at pretty flowers on trekking trips, watching chamoix and ibex to alpine climbing.
The New Zealand late winter program has been on our minds too and ski touring is definitely on. We have a team booked for ski touring end of October and have decided to offer two scheduled 6 day ski touring trips for individuals keen to share experience and cost: Tour I from 25.9.- 30.9. and Tour II from 10.-15.10.2011. There is also a 3 day avalanche course available for those keen to learn/improve their back country skills.
Views from Tour de Famelon, Leysin: Eiger,Mönch,Jungfrau
It’s the best time here in New Zealand. Need any help to organise your dream ski tour in the Southern Alps? this is the moment to contact us!
Alpinism & Ski Wanaka - ski touring from Centennial hut