A high level of fitness is required. Participants need to carry a backpack of about 10-12kg plus their skis for 4-6 hours to the hut. On subsequent days packs will be lighter, but participants will be doing the equivalent of a 6 hour ski tour. Participants need to be able to ski competently in untracked snow and with a backpack. Previous ski touring experience is recommended. This trip may also be undertaken with snow shoes.
Day 1: 8:00 am gear check at our office, 30 Murray Place, Lake Tekapo. Travel to Mount Cook (about 1 hour), and the end of the Tasman Glacier. Hike up the old Ball Hut Road, parallel to the glacier. Climb 850 m up to Caroline Hut at 1800 m/6000 ft, perched right opposite the awe-inspiring Caroline Face of Mount Cook. The panorama includes Aoraki Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, all the mountains adjoining the Tasman Glacier, and Lake Pukaki.
As the hut is fully stocked we only need to carry some fresh items of food (e.g. bread, fruit, vegetables, meat) and our personal clothing and equipment. 6 hours trekking/ski-touring.
Day 2: Ascend to Ball Pass and climb Kaitiaki Peak (2222 m/7290 ft) to take in the dramatic views of the South Ridge of Aoraki and across the Hooker Valley to Mount Sefton. Crampons may be required.
Back at Caroline Hut take time to watch the sun set on Mt Tasman and the ice avalanches thunder down the Caroline Face. 6 hours return.
Day 3: Return via the Ball Ridge and Tasman Valley, finishing at 5-6 pm back in Tekapo.
Equipment: Alpine Recreation provides alpine touring skis, poles, skins, avalanche transceivers, shovels and crampons. You need to bring your own alpine ski touring boots. A detailed equipment list will be sent at time of booking. Outdoor clothing and packs can also be provided at no extra cost if necessary.
Accommodation pre-/post- tour: As our equipment check takes place at 8am on the morning of departure, you need to book accommodation in Tekapo the night before. After the tour, it is recommended to overnight in Tekapo again, or in Mount Cook. Accommodation options in Tekapo.
Insurance: In case of accident New Zealand's Accident Compensation scheme (ACC) will cover the majority of costs (about 80%) involved with evacuation and injury treatment, even for visitors to New Zealand. However you still need ordinary travel insurance to cover such things as your cancellation if an injury prevents you taking part on the trip, or a close relative suddenly becomes ill; and medical insurance in case you become ill. More information re Accident Compensation. The New Zealand Alpine Club provides a good mountaineering specific travel insurance.
How green are we? Alpine Recreation reduces its carbon footprint and environmental impact through such things as:
- restricting group size
- using fuel efficient vehicles
- minimising use of vehicles and aircraft
- recycling, re-using, composting, avoiding "consumerism"
- minimal impact huts
- bulk buying of food supplies
- promoting conservation of native flora and fauna
- supporting community efforts to encourage appreciation of the natural environment.
- 2-4 participants per guide, up to 8 with 2 guides
- Individual bookings welcome. If you end up being the only person on a trip you will have the option of changing to another date or a full refund.
- Best time: early August - end of September
- Please note that on public holidays there will be a surcharge of NZ$80 per person per day. New Zealand public holidays: Labour Day 24/10, Christmas Day 25/12, Boxing Day 26/12, New Year 1/1 and 2/1, Waitangi Day 6/2, Good Friday 6/4, Easter Monday 9/4, Anzac Day 25/4.
- Price per person in NZ$
- 5% returning client discount, if you have been on an Alpine Recreation trip before.
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