Ski Mountaineering

Highlights from New Zealand

August 2006

Alvin Walter

This is a preliminary trip report on skiing in New Zealand. More details will follow soon.

Ellen and I took a wonderful ski vacation to the Southern Alps of New Zealand during their winter to extend our exceptional California ski season into Mid August.

There were a total of three clients -- Ellen, an Aussie Chris, and myself -- plus two New Zealand guides Gottlieb and Ewin. We had all of the upper Tasman and Murchinson Glaciers and the surrounding newly powdered peaks to ourselves for the first week.

Ellen had her private guide while Chris and I took on some more ambitious mountain, glacier, and icefall terrain with Gottlieb. The perfect weather made for the best climbing and skiing that anyone could want.

The second week I got to ski a private snowfield that was totally fresh new powder on a rope tow system requiring the use of a "Nutcracker" that was a very humbling experience.

Then we went off to the North Island where I got to solo climb and ski to the top of the highest New Zealand volcano Mt Ruapehu. The climb and the views are what dreams are made of.

We also took in the spectacular scenery along the coasts and at the Maori Center and the geologicall active thermal areas and the farms. It was one fine place to vacation that I would recommend to anyone.

Ellen put together a fine powerpoint presentation that we'll be showing later this year/next.


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