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5 day hut based ski tour in the Liebig range based from Lady Emily, Falcons Nest, or Waterfall hut.

The Cass Valley Ski Tour is 5 day ski tour based from a private mountain hut in the Cass Valley area located east of the main divide of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

There are many possibilities in this area from ski touring to ski mountaineering and a minimum of 5 days in this area is a great idea to make the most of the incredible terrain. The Cass Valley is a classic New Zealand ski touring destination and a must do.

The Cass Valley huts are accessed by a 4WD trip up the lower part of the Cass valley and then a helicopter flight in from the final part of the trip. On the last day of the trip we will walk back to the 4WD in the Cass valley. A helicopter flight out back to the 4WD is an optional extra at the end of the trip and may be required if the river levels are too high for safe river crossings.

For the daily ski tours we can travel lightly only taking a small pack. The Cass Valley area is non-glaciated, this means that we don’t need to take ropes, harnesses, ice axes or crampons. Skiing with a light pack makes for enjoyable uphill trips and ski descents.


Cass Valley, Liebig Range.


The Queenstown Mountain Guides office is located at Unit 403, 875 Frankton Rd in Queenstown. Please meet at our office at 7.00 am on the first morning of the course.


Note that this itinerary is a sample only. Your final itinerary is subject to weather and other conditions.

Day 1

On the first day of the trip we will meet at the Queenstown Mountain Guides office at 7.00am. Before leaving Queenstown we will check your equipment to make sure that you have everything you need for the ski tour. From Queenstown its a 4 hour drive to get to the Cass Valley. Once we are organised we will fly into the hut.

At the hut your guide will teach you some avalanche rescue skills including how to use an avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe. From here we will head off and get a taste of the ski touring.

Day 2 -4

Various ski touring routes in the Cass Valley.

Day 5

After breakfast we will pack our gear and clean the hut. Descend to lower Cass Valley and walk back to the 4WD truck. Drive back to Queenstown.


3 to 4 people
5 days
July to September
  • 9th – 13th Sept 2024 (Falcons Nest Hut)
  • 23rd – 27th September 2024 (Lady Emily Hut)

This trip is available as a pre-organised group trip as well as for private bookings.



  • Guide fees
  • Helicopter flight in
  • Avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe
  • Hut fees
  • Meals and snacks
  • Ground transport
  • Group equipment


  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Ski touring skis & boot hire
  • Optional helicopter flight out. This may sometimes be required if the river levels are too high for safe river crossings.


Experience required

The minimum requirement is that you are a strong intermediate skier. (You should be confident skiing all intermediate runs with speed at your local ski field and should also be able to ski off piste on black runs.)  There is a variety of terrain for intermediates through to stronger skiers looking for more adventurous skiing & we can customise this trip to suit your skiing ability.

Clothing & equipment

Skiing & climbing in the New Zealand mountains requires that you have high quality equipment and clothing due to the extremes of weather we experience. Please ensure you look carefully at our equipment checklist. At the start of the trip your guide will go through your equipment and make sure that you have everything that you need for the trip. Please organise to have your extra equipment stored at your accomodation for the duration of the trip.

It is important that you keep as close as possible to the equipment checklist. The focus is on ensuring that you have the equipment you need, but also on keeping your pack as light as possible. If your guide is meeting you at your accomodation for the start of the trip it would be helpful if you have all your equipment and clothing organised and laid out in a logical fashion so they can check that everyone has the right equipment and clothing for the trip.

Ski touring equipment and split boards can be hired from Small Planet Outdoors, 17 Shotover St, Queenstown.

Accomodation during the trip

In the mountains you will stay in mountains huts. These dormitory style huts are cosy and provide good shelter form the elements, they are all located in spectacular locations, but they are also basic. The huts have water, cooking facilities, a mountain radio, and a bunk area with individual mattresses. There are no showers or electrical sockets for recharging.

Accomodation in Queenstown  before or after the trip is not included in trip costs. To organise accomodation before and after the course we recommend here you will find a wide range of accomodation depending on your preferred style and budget.

Daily trip logistics

Every day in the mountains is different with changing weather, snowpack, and access conditions. When you book your trip with Queenstown Mountain Guides we will discuss your goals for the trip and the general plan. When you meet with your guide on the first morning of your trip your guide will discuss with you the weather forecast and current conditions and make a final plan for the trip. It is best to be flexible so we can ensure that you will make the most of your time with us.

At the start of the trip we will fly into the mountains at the first possible opportunity.

Each day in the mountains will typically start at 7.00am. On some days we may start earlier, for example if we have a serious ski mountaineering objective that requires an early start.

On any poor weather days it is possible to learn skills inside the hut – for example avalanche awareness.

On the final day of the trip we will aim to have you back in Queenstown by approximately 5.00pm.

Guide to participant ratios

The maximum guide to participant ratio that we guide on our Cass Valley Ski Tours is 1 guide to 4 participants. 

Walking out from Lady Emily Hut - Cass Valley
Ski touring tracks Cass valley
Lady Emily Hut
Ski tourers Cass Valley