*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!
Mike Madden and his company offer multi day trips based from high mountain huts on the glaciers in the Southern Alps. The goal is to give you the best skiing possible so they can work with you to choose the best location for the conditions.
Queenstown Mountain Holidays has the largest ski touring concession area in New Zealand. Locations include the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, the Tasman Glacier, and the Murchison Glacier. These glaciers offer some of the Southern Alps most spectacular powder and spring skiing, with incredible views of New Zealand’s highest mountains, and long glacier ski tour runs.
A helicopter is used to access the high mountain huts. Flying in enables guests to bring in a good supply of food so they can enjoy relaxing after a big day of skiing.
Hut-based trips make use of the high mountain hut system in New Zealand. You have the option of being based at one hut or doing a multi-day ski traverse between huts. For the even more adventurous, you can fly into areas and use lightweight tent camps to base your backcountry and ski mountaineering trip.
Meet at your accommodation for introductions and discuss the plans for the trip. Before we depart we will do an equipment check to make sure that you have everything you need for the mountains.
Drive to the chosen location for the trip. This is usually 1 – 4 hours depending on the location chosen.
Arrive at airport or helicopter staging area and prepare for the flight into the mountains. After the helicopter safety briefing, we will 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 customized 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.