MURCHISON GLACIER

SKIING EXPEDITION

6 day tent based expedition to NZ’s best glacier ski touring destination.

The Murchison Glacier and it surrounding tributaries and mountains is New Zealand’s best glaciated ski touring destination. Remote, beautiful, steep, mellow, committing & serious are all words that could be used to describe the skiing in the Murchison… there are ski lines for everyone from first time ski tourers to skiers and snow boarders looking for serious & steep glaciated ski mountaineering terrain.

Compared to the busy Tasman Glacier the Murchison Glacier is less frequented by ski touring parties. In 2017 Murchison hut was closed, now hut based groups are required to make a long day journey from the Tasman Glacier to have only a small taste of the delights that the area has to offer. Being based in the Murchison we will get to experience the best skiing in the area.

The Murchison Glacier Skiing Expedition is for adventurous skiers and snow boarders looking to learn winter camping and expedition camping skills. With the right equipment, knowledge snow camping is comfortable. On this trip you will learn how to set up a winter camp properly – these skills will include making a tent platform, building snow walls, and creating foot wells at the entrance of the tent. You will also learn tricks to stay warm and dry. These skills can be applied to longer tent based expeditions (imagine snow camping in the high Alaskan Mountains on a skiing or climbing expedition for 2 weeks)! We can provide you with a sleeping bag, foam roll, and light weight air mattress to make your camping experience warm and comfortable.

Access to the Murchison Glacier is by helicopter or ski plane. After driving to Mt Cook we will fly into the Murchison Glacier and set up a basecamp for the week. From here there are many different skiing options. We can look at the map and the surrounding terrain and choose objectives based on your fitness, goals, skill level, snow conditions, and the avalanche hazard. Ski mountaineering objectives are also a possibility in the Murchison Glacier. 

 

LOCATION

Murchison Glacier, Mt Cook National Park

MEETING POINT & TIME

Your guide will meet with you at 8.30am on the first day of the trip at your accomodation.

TRIP DURATION

6 days

SAMPLE ITINERARY

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

Day 1

More information coming soon.

MURCHISON GLACIER SKIING EXPEDITION

1 to 4 people
6 days
From $2,695
July to October

BOOK A PRIVATE TRIP


INCLUSIONS

  • Guide fees
  • Avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe
  • Flights into & out of mountains
  • Sleeping bag
  • Foam bedroll
  • Light weight air mattress
  • Hut accommodation if required
  • Group equipment
  • Ground transport
  • Meals and snacks

EXCLUSIONS

  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Ski touring skis & boot hire

TRIP NOTES

Experience required

The minimum requirement is that you are an intermediate skier that is confident skiing intermediate runs at your local ski field  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. For snowboarders Queenstown Mountain Guides rents snow shoes for $25 per day that can be used as an alternative to a split board setup.

We highly reccomend ski touring or split boarding crampons for ski touring in New Zealand. These are especially useful if you are a split boarder.

Accomodation during the trip

Accomodation is in a light weight expedition style tent camp. If we are delayed getting into the mountains accomodation at the New Zealand Alpine Club Hut at Mt Cook is included in the costs.

Accomodation in Queenstown before or after the trip is not included in trip costs.

To organise accomodation in Queenstown, we recommend www.booking.com. Here you will find a wide range of accomodation depending on your preferred style and budget. The cost of accomodation in Queenstown is not included in your trip costs.

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.

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 on the Murchison Glacier Skiing Expedition is 1 guide to 4 participants.

Woman sitting in snow on 3 Day Backcountry Skiing trip
3 people on skis on a 3 Day Backcountry Skiing trip
3 Day Backcountry ski touring hut Queenstown
Man skiing downhill on a 3 Day Backcountry Skiing trip