John Biggar.com : Climbing Instructor and Guidebook Author


Ski Mountaineering in New Zealand

Some of the best ski mountaineering in the southern hemisphere is to be found in New Zealand. The biggest peaks in the Southern Alps are pretty serious propositions with poor weather and dangerous conditions prevalent. But many of the smaller South Island peaks, and the three big volcanoes on the North Island are great to ski.

North Island

South Island


NORTH ISLAND

Egmont/Taranki

Egmont/Taranaki volcano from the Whakapapa ski resort on Ruapehu

Egmont/Taranaki volcano from the Whakapapa ski resort on Ruapehu

There are a number of good ski peaks in New Zealand. As elsewhere in the world volcanoes make great ski objectives, with tremendous summit views, good aslope angles and often some interesting terrain including natural half-pipes to ski on. Egmont, aka Taranaki on the west coast of the North Island near new Plymouth is no exception.


Ruapehu and Ngaurahoe

These two volcanoes in the centre of the North Island are both great ski ascents, even if you can't pronounce there names. There are two ski resorts on Ruapehu, the Whakapapa field on the north side and the Turoa field on the south side. Both of these give easy access to Ruapehu mountain for ascents to the crater and summits.

Skiing up Ruapehu, with Ngaurahoe in the background. 

Skinning up Ruapehu, with Ngaurahoe in the background.

Nearing the 2797m summit of Ruapehu, looking out over the crater lake.

The long walk in to Ngaurahoe volcano form the road end near the Whakapapa ski resort. 

The long walk in to Ngaurahoe volcano from the road end near the Whakapapa ski resort.

 


 

SOUTH ISLAND 

Broken River & Craigieburn

The Broken River to Craigieburn traverse, a classic and popular short day out. 

The Broken River to Craigieburn traverse, a classic and popular short day out.

Arthurs Pass

Further north around the famous Arthurs Pass there are some other easily accessible ski peaks such as those you can do from the ???? ski field which lies just east of the pass.

Climbing the wee peak of Blimit above Arthurs pass 

Climbing the wee peak of Blimit above Arthurs pass.

 


 

 

 

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