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Upcoming
Expeditions

Winter & Spring Ski-Mountaineering Expeditions

Fox Glacier Ski Tour:
Join Geoff Wayatt (1st Ski Descent, Mt. Cook & Mt. Tutoko) on some of his favourite ski tours.

Fox glacier from Pioneer hut

click for larger view

Included are helicopter access, food, 6 nights hut accomodations.

 

"To the west the mountains abruptly merge with the hazy blue Tasman Sea. We felt as if we were skiing off the edge of the earth." ............. Geoff Wayatt: Mountain Guide, Wanaka- 1st person to ski off NZ's highest peak, Mt. Cook.

COST: $3,500

Private ski or snowshoe tours available by arrangement (Private expeditions)

PROGRAMME & ITINERARY: (Subject to Weather change) Arrive in Wanaka on the evening for meeting before the tour to organize eqt requirements and food packing.

MEETING PLACE: 183 Warren St. Wanaka/ or Fox Glacier Township(NZAC Base hut) The Franz Tours are based from the new Centennial Hut and the Fox tours from Pioneer Hut

Sample Programme for the Fox Tour:

Day 1: 0800: Drive to Fox Glacier and meet helicopter. Fly into Pioneer Hut Ski by Pioneer Ridge Complete a transceiver practise, snow stability assess. & area overview.
Day 2: Ski tour to Governors Col/Mt Grey. Stunning views of Southern Alps & 25 klm long Tasman Glacier. Revel in wide open turns to Pioneer hut on one of the best ski runs in NZ.
Day 3: After a daybreak start we skin steadily up the Abel Jansen Glacier to Marcel Col. It's a breathtaking, closeup view of Mts. Cook, Tasman & the Grand Plateau. A climb of Mt Lendenfeldt (3,201mtrs) is optional. The ski descent from Marcel Col to Pioneer Hut is one of the supreme ski descents down moderate slopes past towering rock faces and hanging glaciers before the final neve cruise to the hut for a brew.
Day 4: A ski circuit to the Franz Josef Glacier gives opportunity for practising turns and a ski/climb of Mt Bulow with mamoth views of the mighty Fox and Franz Glaciers.
Day 5: Rest Day: Optional short tours and technical sessions
Day 6: Skin to Pioneer Pass for for a great view and more fantastic Fox skiing.
Day 7: Alas, all good expeditions must end, but not before the final glide down the Glacier to Victoria Gap, alongside the icefall to Chancellor Hut and the helicopter & the flight to Fox Glacier township. Return to Wanaka.

EQUIPMENT SUPPLIED: Crampons, rope, harness, prussik loops, avalanche transceivers,shovels, probes, stove & fuel, general repair & first aid. (List supplied with booking confirmation)(see Equipment List)

PERSONAL EQT. REQUIRED: Ski Mountaineering skis & climbing skins (we have access to some rental eqt or competitively priced touring bindings for your skis.) Please advise us of the above details and requirements with booking. CLOTHES- warm, layered, for cold and wet conditions. PACK-moderate size with ski strap attachments. HIKING BOOTS - spare socks, gaiters. SUNGLASSES - plus suncreme. WATERBOTTLE, bowl, cup, utensils. EMERGENCY SUPPLIES - personal 1st Aid,tape/blister kit. SWEETS, CHOCOLATE etc. for munching enroute.

Glacier skiing in New Zealand Geoff Wayatt, MountainRec, Wanaka, NZ

Ski touring on an island in the Southern Ocean isn't easy! When it's not blowing, it's snowing or raining or sleeting: But when it's fine there are places to ski which would blow you socks off.

New Zealand has 3150 glaciers; one for every 1000 residents. The biggest is the Tasman, 30 klms long and sedate skiing with daily ski plane access from Mt. Cook village.

However just over the Main Divide on the West Coast are two glacial giants, the Fox and the Franz Josef. The Brewster Glacier on the north side of the Haast Pass recently featured on a New Zealand stamp series. Surrounding Mt. Aspiring are 3 massive ice tongues; the Bonar, Therma and remote Volta all able to be connected by competent and experienced ski mountaineers.

East of the Southern Alps glaciers, numerous lesser ranges provide winter ski touring. Many such as the Pisa and Old Man ranges provide high rolling tops for nordic or alpine/downhill eqt. These mountains can be subject to high winds and navigation problems and have limited snow cover in low snowfall years.

As an apprentice Mountain Guide/hack skier I had an urge to ski off a peak and spent time just staring up from the Tasman Glacier to New Zealand's highest summit, Mt. Cook. The unknown realm of extreme skiing, an ice plum waiting for the picking.

It's over twelve years since I skied Mt. Cook, my personal Olympics. The eras of velcro and florescent have gone to be replaced by the bungy and boarding decade but it's ski mountaineering which gives me a real adventure satisfaction. It provides the thrill of skiing with the commitment of mountaineering with an intimate group in a remote location.

FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER: The addition of the 20 bunk NZAC Centennial hut on the Franz Josef has made the Westland glaciers the premier New Zealand skier tourer's destination. It's an understatement to say, "Over twelve metres of accumulated snowfall each year provides and adequate year round ski base.

FOX GLACIER: A Spring ski expedition could start at the Fox Glacier Pub in the heart of rain forested Westland National Park. There’s the choice of a two day, 2,000 meter climb from the township or a ten minute, NZ$200 p/p helicopter flight the door of Pioneer Hut(2,300m) with 7 days food. A return flight can be arranged from Chancellor Hut in the side of the icefall back to the village (approx $75 p/p).

Recommended Ski Runs: Governors Col and Pioneer Pass. Abel Jansen glacier, Marcel Col and climb of Lendenfeldt peak; West Hoe/Newton Pass - Halcombe Col/ Mt. von Bulow circuit

Essential eqt includes: Rope, crampons, ice axe, prussiks, avalanche beacon & shovel

The grand finale is a long ski run down to Chancellor Hut (8 bunks) on the edge of the lower icefall. For inexperienced ski tourers, Alpine Guides, Fox glacier provides daily helicopter accessed ski touring on the Fox between June and December.


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