TASMAN GLACIER
SKI TOUR

The Tasman Glacier in the Mt Cook region offers some of the Southern Alps most spectacular powder and spring skiing.

The Tasman Glacier in the Mt Cook region offers some of the Southern Alps most spectacular powder and spring skiing, with incredible views of New Zealand’s highest mountains, and long glacier ski runs. 

There is  a variety of skiing for all levels. For intermediate skiers there are spectacular gentle neve runs, for stronger skiers there is the option of finding steep skiing. For experts there are many ski mountaineering objectives.

Our hut-based trips make use of the high mountain hut system in the Tasman Glacier skiing region. The two main huts in this area are Kelman and Tasman Saddle hut on the Tasman Glacier. For the week we will be based at one hut. For the even more adventurous we can fly into more remote areas like the Murchison and Aida glaciers and use lightweight tent camps for our base camp.

From these huts we can access all of the Tasman and Murchsion glacier terrain. These areas include all of the tributary glaciers running into the Tasman and Murchison areas:

  • Mannering Glacier
  • Darwin Shoulder
  • Darwin Glacier
  • Bonny Glacier
  • Canyon Lands Ice fall
  • Classen Saddle
  • Whataroa Saddle
  • Aida Glacier

It is possible to ski off the summits of the mountains at the head of the Tasman and Murchison glaciers when conditions are right and there are many ski mountaineering objectives in the area including:

  • Hochstetter Dome
  • Mt Elie De Beaumont
  • Mt Hamiliton
  • Mt Cooper
  • Mt Acland
  • Mt Sydney King
  • Mt Phyllis

On the final day we ski down the Tasman Glacier.. New Zealand’s longest ski run. This is a spectacular and classic glacial ski run underneath New Zealand’s highest mountains.  

We use a helicopter to access the high mountain huts. Flying in enables us to bring in a good supply of food so we can enjoy relaxing with a good meal after a big day of riding.

LOCATION

Tasman 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

5 – 10 days

ITINERARY

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

 On the first day of the trip we will meet at your accommodation at 8.30am. Before we depart we will do an equipment check to make sure that you have everything you need for the mountains. It takes 2.5 hours to drive to the Mt Cook airport.

Once at Mt Cook airport we will go over a helicopter or ski plane safety briefing before we fly into the mountains. After establishing ourselves at the hut or making a tent camp, we will head out and make the most of backcountry skiing and boarding.

Each day depending on the weather and the snow conditions we will be touring around the glaciers and mountains making the most of the skiing. Our trips are customised to suit your experience, goals and fitness. You are welcome to ski as much or as little as you like. It is normal to do about 4 climbs and downhill powder runs exploring the glacier and backcountry.

On the final day we will ski out to a lower elevation on the glacier before being picked up and flown back to the helicopter staging area. We would normally be back in Queenstown by 5.00pm.

TASMAN GLACIER SKI TOUR

1 to 4 people
5 to 10 days
From $2,050
July to November

PRIVATE TRIPS

People1234
5 days$5,395$3,150$2,395$2,050
6 days$6,195$3,595$2,795$2,375
7 days$6,850$4,095$3,165$2,695
8 days$7,570$4,550$3,545$3,030
9 days$8,295$4,995$3,900$3,350
10 days$8,995$5,495$4,280$3,680

INCLUSIONS

  • Guide fees
  • Avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe
  • Technical equipment hire
  • Group equipment
  • Flights into mountians
  • Ground transport

EXCLUSIONS

  • Flight out of the mountains
  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Ski touring skis & boot hire
  • Accomodation in Queenstown & Wanaka

TRIP NOTES

Experience required
For this trip the minimum requirement is that you are a strong intermediate skier with off-piste skiing experience. There is a variety of terrain for intermediates through to very strong skiers looking for steep skiing. It is possible to ski off some of New Zealand’s 3000m peaks when the conditions are right.
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.

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.

On some trips to remote areas we use expedition style tent camps. If this is your preferred option please let us know.

For overnights in Mt Cook village, we will stay in the New Zealand Alpine Club huts. These dormitory style huts have shared bathroom facilities.

Accomodation in Queenstown & Wanaka is not included in the trip costs. Staying in Queenstown or Wanaka may happen if you are delayed entering the mountains or exit early because of the weather. Being based in Queenstown during poor weather in the high mountains will enable us to use the Remarkables mountain range as often this is sheltered from the worst of the Southern Alps weather.

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.

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 crevasse rescue, navigation, weather theory, avalanche awareness.

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

Aircraft egress costs

The flight into the mountains is included in the trip costs. The cost of the flight out is not included in the trip cost. Our goal is to minimise the cost of the flight out by combining flights with other climbing and skiing parties when possible. By doing this it makes aircraft access and egress costs cheaper for you. The most suitable aircraft on the days depends on the snow and weather conditions.

Plateau Hut: Helicopter, 5 people, $897*

Tasman Glacier,White Ice: Helicopter, 5 people, $897*

Tasman Glacier Kelman & Tasman Saddle Hut: 5 people, $1,196*

Fox Glacier, Chancellor Hut: Helicopter, 3 people, $350*

Fox Glacier, Pioneer & Centennial Hut: 3 people, $610*

*All prices are subject to availability and occasional change by aircraft operators.

 

Guide to participant ratios

The maximum guide to participant ratio that we ski guide in glaciated at is 1 guide to 4 participants. 

Ski plane accessed ski touring Tasman glacier
Ski touring Murchison Glacier
Ski touring in the Canyonlands area Tasman Glacier
Powder skiing on the glacier Mt Cook

My wife and I just finished a 5-day ski touring trip on the Fox Glacier with Mike and QMG and absolutely loved it. Mike worked diligently to coordinate the location of the trip, helicopters, and huts to make sure we got the most out of our 5 day trip on the Glacier. We had lots of fresh and tasty food including bacon and eggs every morning, fruit, Thai curry, pad Thai, and Mexican. The daily ski tours were awesome and included skiing and climbing various summits and high cols. Mike genuinely wanted us to have a great and safe experience and took the time to explain and teach us about the intricacies of skiing and climbing in NZ. All that said, it felt like Mike was not only our guide for the 5-day trip, but our guide for our entire trip to New Zealand. He offered us suggestions on more skiing and hiking in NZ after our Fox Glacier trip, and even had some topo maps and weather reports printed off for us to go by. Special thanks to Mike and Marina for the great bed and breakfast after the trip as well! 5 stars. We highly recommend Queenstown Mountain Guides. 

C Beyer, Canada