Mt Cook Ski Touring - Detailed Trip Notes

CONTENTS

Meeting at the start of your trip
Clothing & equipment
Accommodation during the trip
Aircraft access & egress costs
Ski touring/split boarding season
Daily trip logistics
Guide to participant ratios

 

Meeting at the start of your trip

Your guide will meet with you at 8.30am on the first day of the trip. We can meet with you at your accomodation or you are welcome to come to our office. The Queenstown Mountain Guides office is located at Unit 403, 875 Frankton Rd in Queenstown.  

 

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 & Fox Glacier we will stay in the New Zealand Alpine Club huts. These dormitory style huts have shared bathroom facilities.

If you stay in Queenstown or Wanaka as part of your trip we will reimburse you for hostel style accomodation at a rate of $40 per person per night. This may happen if you are delayed entering the mountains. 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.

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

 

Aircraft egress costs

The cost of the flight out of the mountains is not included in the trip costs. Our goal is to minimise the cost of aircraft egress 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 cost of aircraft access will depend on the preferred location of the trip. The most suitable aircraft on the days depends on the snow and weather conditions.

Location Spaces   Flight out cost
Fox & Franz Joseph Glaciers Helicopter 3+ gear   $270 (lower glacier hut)
       
Tasman Glacier Helicopter 5+ gear   $828 (lower glacier)
  Ski plane  3+ gear    $368 (lower glacier)
       
Ben Ohau Range Helicopter 5+ gear    from $400

 

Ski touring/split boarding season

Queenstown Mountain Guides operate skiing & climbing trips all year round. The Mt Cook ski touring season & Tasman Glacier skiing runs from early July through until early December. Late November and early December can be a good time for ski mountaineering i.e skiing from the summit of some of New Zealand's highest mountains!

 

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.

 

Guide to participant ratios

The maximum guide to participant ratio that we ski guide in glaciated at is 1 guide to 4 participants. In glaciated terrain groups larger than 4 participants require an extra guide. In non glaciated terrain we can run trips with 6 participants to 1 guide.