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Alpine Nordic Ski Touring

Pricing From
$1190

Difficulty

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Overview

If you can walk, you can ski nordic! One of the healthiest forms of exercise there are, giving a total body workout with both arm and leg stretching, breathing in clean mountain air and taking in beautiful scenery on the way. Add to that the fun of the rewarding downhill and some cosy relaxation by the fire at night and you have the ideal holiday.

This is remote backcountry skiing at its best, in a white wilderness all to yourself. Based at our comfortable Rex Simpson Hut high above Lake Tekapo, you undertake day tours in the rolling basins of the Two Thumb Range. Off the Main Divide of the Southern Alps the Two Thumb Range has very favourable weather conditions, providing a choice of terrain for either easy to moderate cross-country skiing and Telemark touring or alpine touring on the steeper slopes. You can cruise over rolling hills and explore snow-filled valleys, or take an easy ascent to access ideal terrain for carving Telemark turns. Tuition will be given as required. All Telemark touring equipment is included, as well as shovels, probes and transceivers.

We recommend a minimum of 3 days if you are trying nordic skiing for the first time, and ideally 5 days is best to give yourself a chance to learn and practise the Telemark turn. Weekends will provide a refreshing break for those with limited time.

Nordic Ski Touring Fitness & Experience

Suitable for beginner to advanced skiers. Guides will give Telemark instruction as needed.

A high level of fitness is required. Participants need to carry a backpack of about 8 kg plus their skis for 3 hours to the hut. On subsequent days packs will be light, but participants will be doing the equivalent of a six-hour walk/climb. Previous tramping or hiking experience is essential.

For a non-skiing option we recommend Snow Shoeing.

Rex Simpson Hut

Is an ideal base for trekking in the summer and snow shoeing and ski touring in the winter. Located in a beautiful setting, with great views of the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo. Fully equipped with pot belly stove, firewood, gas, solar lighting, sleeping bags and non-perishable food. The hut consists of three rooms, sleeping 12 participants and 2 guides in total. Sleeping bags are at the hut; liners and pillow cases are provided each trip. There are no showers, but warm water and basin can be provided for washing - or you can find a private spot somewhere along the alpine stream. The toilet is a traditional longdrop loo with a view!

Tour Grading: C

Nordic Skiing

Tasman Glacier

Climbing towards Beuzenberg Peak

Early Morning Tracks

Perfect tracks enjoyed all the way to Rex Simpson Hut

Rex Simpson Hut 1300m

Rex Simpson Hut

Skiing back to Rex Simpson Hut

Making tracks at Mt Gerald

Nordic Skiing at Tekapo

Make sure you book your Lake Tekapo accommodation, as you will need to stay here the night before and after.

Day 1: Lake Tekapo to Rex Simpson Hut

  • Hike 3 hours

Meet at our office at Lake Tekapo at 8am. From Lake Tekapo township we drive along the lakeshore to the head of Lake Tekapo. 3 hours' hike/ski with a climb of 430m/1400ft brings us to the cosy Rex Simpson Hut, at 1280m/4200ft, in the Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park. The views over Lake Tekapo are expansive.

Afternoon ski tour and instruction in Telemark skiing.

The hut gives an excellent vantage point for watching the sun set behind the alps and for viewing our Southern Hemisphere stars in our uniquely dark night sky.

As the hut is fully stocked we only need to carry some fresh items of food (e.g. bread, fruit, vegetables, meat) and our personal clothing and equipment.

Subsequent Days

Day tours from Rex Simpson Hut. There are several large basins and valley systems that provide ideal touring terrain for beginner to advanced skiers. Great views of Mounts Cook and Tasman from the ridge leading up from the hut, nicknamed "Snake Ridge". Please refer to the "Tour Options" below:

Mt Gerald Stream:

From hut, around the corner, up Mt Gerald Stream and onto the plateau of Mt Gerald itself, with views down to Lilybank Station and up the Godley Valley and across Lake Tekapo. Return same way or cross Snake Ridge and follow down to hut. 3 hours return.

Snake Ridge - Beuzenberg Peak:

Up to saddle looking into Camp Stream, then up onto Snake Ridge, following all the way up to Beuzenberg Peak, 2070m and return via ridge or via Camp Stream. Great views of East Face of Mount Cook, Mt Tasman and other Main Divide peaks as you cruise along the ridge top. 6 hours return.

Southern Terraces:

Head south from hut, enjoying the view out over Lake Tekapo as far as Lakes Benmore and Pukaki, traverse back around into the lower end of Camp Stream, stopping off to take a step back in time with a visit to an old musterers' hut, before following up the gorge and back over the saddle to Rex Simpson Hut. 4 hours return.

Camp Stream Traverse:

Up to saddle behind hut, down into Camp Stream valley and up a peak, 1666m, on the eastern side for grand views into the next valley and a different perspective of the Main Divide. This trek can be extended into the next valley (subject to safe snow conditions). 3 hours return.

Camp Stream - Stag Saddle:

Great on a windy day to have the shelter of the valley. Amble beside the gurgling stream up to the bumps and basins at the head of the valley, before climbing up to Stag Saddle, 1925m. Return same way, or traverse up onto Snake Ridge and descend that way. 5 hours return.

There are many variations on these tours. It's possible to spend 5-7 days based at Rex Simpson Hut and explore new territory every day, only crossing your previous ski tracks near the hut.

Last Day

Return to Lake Tekapo, after a 3-5 hour ski tour in the morning, arriving back around 5pm

Cost per person

July 2019 - September 2019

  • 3 Day: NZ$1,190
  • 4 Day: NZ$1,550
  • 5 Day: NZ$1,890

NZ$300 per person deposit on booking, balance 60 days before travel.

A per person surcharge of NZ$100 will apply to all prices on New Zealand public holidays.

Make sure you book your Lake Tekapo accommodation, as you will need to stay here the night before and after.

Day 1: Lake Tekapo to Rex Simpson Hut

  • Hike 3 hours

Meet at our office at Lake Tekapo at 8am. From Lake Tekapo township we drive along the lakeshore to the head of Lake Tekapo. 3 hours' hike/ski with a climb of 430m/1400ft brings us to the cosy Rex Simpson Hut, at 1280m/4200ft, in the Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park. The views over Lake Tekapo are expansive.

Afternoon ski tour and instruction in Telemark skiing.

The hut gives an excellent vantage point for watching the sun set behind the alps and for viewing our Southern Hemisphere stars in our uniquely dark night sky.

As the hut is fully stocked we only need to carry some fresh items of food (e.g. bread, fruit, vegetables, meat) and our personal clothing and equipment.

Subsequent Days

Day tours from Rex Simpson Hut. There are several large basins and valley systems that provide ideal touring terrain for beginner to advanced skiers. Great views of Mounts Cook and Tasman from the ridge leading up from the hut, nicknamed "Snake Ridge". Please refer to the "Tour Options" below:

Mt Gerald Stream:

From hut, around the corner, up Mt Gerald Stream and onto the plateau of Mt Gerald itself, with views down to Lilybank Station and up the Godley Valley and across Lake Tekapo. Return same way or cross Snake Ridge and follow down to hut. 3 hours return.

Snake Ridge - Beuzenberg Peak:

Up to saddle looking into Camp Stream, then up onto Snake Ridge, following all the way up to Beuzenberg Peak, 2070m and return via ridge or via Camp Stream. Great views of East Face of Mount Cook, Mt Tasman and other Main Divide peaks as you cruise along the ridge top. 6 hours return.

Southern Terraces:

Head south from hut, enjoying the view out over Lake Tekapo as far as Lakes Benmore and Pukaki, traverse back around into the lower end of Camp Stream, stopping off to take a step back in time with a visit to an old musterers' hut, before following up the gorge and back over the saddle to Rex Simpson Hut. 4 hours return.

Camp Stream Traverse:

Up to saddle behind hut, down into Camp Stream valley and up a peak, 1666m, on the eastern side for grand views into the next valley and a different perspective of the Main Divide. This trek can be extended into the next valley (subject to safe snow conditions). 3 hours return.

Camp Stream - Stag Saddle:

Great on a windy day to have the shelter of the valley. Amble beside the gurgling stream up to the bumps and basins at the head of the valley, before climbing up to Stag Saddle, 1925m. Return same way, or traverse up onto Snake Ridge and descend that way. 5 hours return.

There are many variations on these tours. It's possible to spend 5-7 days based at Rex Simpson Hut and explore new territory every day, only crossing your previous ski tracks near the hut.

Last Day

Return to Lake Tekapo, after a 3-5 hour ski tour in the morning, arriving back around 5pm

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