Home » Australia and Oceania » New Zealand » Symphony on Skis - Ski Traverse of the Southern Alps
Symphony on Skis - Ski Traverse of the Southern Alps
View Gallery »

Contact this supplier 

Symphony on Skis - Ski Traverse of the Southern Alps

offered by supplier M06144 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 1 - 7 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 8 people
Destination(s): New Zealand  
Specialty Categories: Skiing & Snowboarding   Mountain/Rock Climbing  
Season: July - October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 3000 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3000 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

A traverse of the Southern Alps from east to west via the following route: Lake Tekapo - Godley Valley - Liebig Range - Murchison Glacier - Tasman Saddle - Tasman Glacier - Rudolph Glacier - Graham Saddle (crossing the Main Divide) - Franz Josef Glacier - Fox Glacier. The Symphony on Skis takes about 7 days including travelling time and allowing for weather contingency days, returning from Fox Glacier back to Lake Tekapo by road. Subject to safe snow conditions.

This "New Zealand Haute Route" was pioneered by company founder Gottlieb Braun-Elwert together with Franz Waibl and Daniel Frey in a single day in 1985. Their Symphony on Skis 1985 record, 18.5 hours from Rankin Hut in the Godley Valley to Chancellor Hut, was broken by Grant Guise, Javi (Spain) and Lorenzo (Italy) in just under 13 hours on 5 September. The modern party travelled with ultra-lite ski touring gear and just day packs, whereas the original party carried full packs with sleeping bags, cookers, food for Chancellor Hut etc. This year will be 25 years since the first symphony was completed. Read the original newspaper article about the Symphony on Skis.

A very high level of fitness is required. Participants need to carry a full pack (approximately 20 kg including skis) over sometimes rough ground for 6-8 hours each day. Participants need to be able to ski very steep terrain and in all snow conditions with a heavy pack. Previous ski touring experience is essential (including some 6+ hour multi-day ski tours). Good preparation for this trip is our Mount Cook and Westland Glaciers Ski Touring week.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: 9:00 am gear check at our office, 30 Murray Place, Lake Tekapo. Drive up the western side of Lake Tekapo to Rankin Hut.

Days 2-6: We leave the comforts of Rankin Hut and head up the Godley Valley by torchlight. By the time the sun hits us, we are skinning up Rutherford Stream to our first pass: Armadillo Saddle. It feels good to be skiing down after our long ascent. We head down to the Murchison Glacier then up around the corner to Murchison Hut for a well earned rest.

Day break sees us heading up the Murchison Headwall to Tasman Saddle. We can now look forward to one of New Zealand's longest ski runs - the Tasman Glacier. We turn right at De La Beche corner and begin our journey up the Rudolf Glacier to Graham Saddle, the highest point of the Symphony. A downhill run then a traverse across the Chamberlin Snowfield to Centennial Hut.

The following day we cross the Davis Snowfield to West Hoe Pass and then enjoy a long ski descent down Fox Glacier to Chancellor Hut. Fly or walk out from Chancellor Hut to Fox Glacier township. It is recommended to fly from Chancellor Hut, as the route is often exposed to rock fall. 2 days reserved for weather contingency, and/or the option of staying at Tasman Saddle Hut to split the longest (middle) day.

Last Day: Drive back to Lake Tekapo, arriving around 5:00 pm.

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 9:00 am on the morning of departure, you may want to book accommodation in Tekapo the night before. 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.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
Photos: Next »
Location: New Zealand
Joined InfoHub: Dec 2005
Client Request Served: 3

Our trekking, climbing and ski touring company was founded in 1981 by Directors Anne and Gottlieb Braun-Elwert. In 1991 and 1994, M06144 was a finalist in the New Zealand Tourism Awards. After 30 years of operation M06144 continues to stay at the forefront of mountain guiding in New Zealand. We are privileged to...

View this supplier profile   |   Submit your review

Out-Of-The-Ordinary Ranking
Please take this quick survey and tell us, in your opinion, how original is this trip?
  See results

Also see tour packages in:
Australia and Oceania   New Zealand   Outdoor: Mountain Ranger   Skiing & Snowboarding   Mountain/Rock Climbing  
Email it to a friend:
Click here to email this vacation to a friend
Use the form below to arrange booking of this trip directly with the supplier. You can also use this form to:
Ask questions
Inquire availability
Order free brochure

Privacy Statement: We do not share or sell your personal information to outside parties.
First Name*
Last Name*
Phone Number*
E-mail Address*
Country of Residence*
Alternative Phone Number
Number of Adults*
Number of Children*
Approximate Travel Period*
Travel Period Flexible*:
How did you hear
about infohub.com?
Questions/requests for this supplier
Add me to newsletter*
Do you want a brochure
to be mailed to you?*

!!! You have no obligation to purchase anything. Their sales/reservation desk will get back to you shortly.