A cosy private hut in a stunning setting
Snowshoers in front of the Caroline Face of Aoraki / Mt. Cook
Enjoy a great adventure in spectacular alpine terrain
All snowshoeing gear is included - no hidden costs
Mt. Cook Snowshoe Expedition
A snowshoe expedition to Caroline Hut
Trek through amazing winter terrain, surrounded by New Zealand's highest peaks and longest glacier. Enjoy a night in the warm, private Caroline Hut, savouring the fabulous views of the 2000m high Caroline Face of Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest ice face. Relax in its wonderful setting on the Ball Ridge, high above the Tasman Glacier, and be awed by the avalanches rumbling down Mount Cook. This is a trip for those who are willing to go the extra mile for awesome views!
Mt. Cook Snowshoe Expedition is a 2-3 day snowshoe trip for experienced hikers/snowshoers. You will climb up 850m to private Caroline Hut which is fully stocked so pack weight is able to be kept to a minimum. From the hut you can snowshoe up Kaitiaki Peak (2222m/7290ft) and admire stunning mountain panoramas - Mount Cook, Mount Tasman, Minarets, Elie de Beaumont, Malte Brun Range... and many more!
All gear included in our prices - even hiking boots if you need them. No need to pay extra to hire snowshoes or avalanche transceiver.
|2014 Season: Price per person in NZ$ (valid 1 May 2014 - 30 April 2015)|
|5% returning client discount, if you have been on an Alpine Recreation trip before.|
|Participants||Guides||2 days||3 days|
|Discounts for group bookings|
|3-5 (book a minimum of 3 persons to qualify)||1||770||1100|
|6-10 (book a minimum of 6 persons to qualify)||2||690||980|
We require a minimum of 2 participants to run a trip. Individual bookings are welcome; if you end up being the only person on a trip you will have the option of changing to another date, a full refund or paying a surcharge to run the trip at a 1:1 guide:client ratio.
Guide, hut accommodation, all food & transport ex Lake Tekapo, snowshoes, ski poles, crampons, helmet and any other equipment you may need to borrow, National Parks concession fees, 15% GST.
Meals and accommodation before/after tour are NOT included.
Mount Cook Snowshoeing dates are scheduled on a case by case basis - please contact us with the dates you would like. We recommend that you settle guiding dates well in advance as guide availability during peak season is limited. Please allow extra time in case you are held up in the mountains due to weather.
Venue: Caroline Hut
Caroline Hut is the only guide/operator-owned mountain hut in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and is available for the exclusive use of Alpine Recreation parties. As we are not using public huts there is no risk of overcrowding, facilities are clean and hygienic and you have a guaranteed bunk.
Located at 1820m on Ball Ridge, directly opposite the Caroline Face of Aoraki Mount Cook, Caroline Hut is a great location to experience the mountain views in comfort.
The hut is equipped with firewood, gas, solar lighting, satellite phone, Department of Conservation radio, sleeping bags and nonperishable food. A wood-fired stove means there are good heating and drying facilities..
The hut consists of two rooms, sleeping up to 10 participants and 2 guides in total. There are no showers, but warm water and a basin can be provided for washing. The two traditional longdrop toilets have one of the most spectacular views in the country!
8am gear check at our office, 30 Murray Place, Lake Tekapo.
Travel to Mount Cook (about 1 hour), and the end of the Tasman Glacier. Hike up the old Ball Hut Road, parallel to the glacier. From Ball Shelter, climb 850m up the Ball Ridge to Caroline Hut at 1800m/6000ft, perched right opposite the awe-inspiring Caroline Face of Mount Cook. The panorama includes Aoraki Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, all the mountains adjoining the Tasman Glacier, and Lake Pukaki.
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.
6 hours trekking.
Ascend to Ball Pass and climb Kaitiaki Peak (2222m/7290ft) to take in the dramatic views of the South Ridge of Aoraki and across the Hooker Valley to Mount Sefton. Crampons as well as snowshoes may be required.
Back at Caroline Hut take time to watch the sun set on Mt Tasman and the ice avalanches thunder down the Caroline Face.
6 hours return.
Return via the Ball Ridge and Tasman Valley, finishing at about 5pm back in Tekapo. Note that these snow shoe expeditions do not cross Ball Pass.
Fitness & Experience
How difficult is snowshoeing?
If you enjoy bushwalking, tramping or just ordinary hiking, then you'll enjoy walking over the snow on snowshoes. You don't sink into the snow as you would with just boots on. Using snowshoes is very straightforward - it's as simple as strapping them onto your normal hiking boots, grabbing a pair of ski poles and walking!
Winter conditions are much more demanding than in summer, with short daylight hours and cold temperatures. We expect you to have considerable hiking or backpacking experience (including some 6-8 hour multi-day hikes), before applying for this snowshoe trek. You need to have good tramping stamina and above average fitness. Previous snow trekking experience is recommended. Be prepared to wear crampons if necessary.
For an easier option we recommend Snowshoe Hikes in the Lake Tekapo High Country.
Why go with a guide?
Why go with a guide?
» You can get into the mountains without having to bring a lot of gear. The snowshoes, ski poles, avalanche transceivers and shovels are provided, along with any other gear you may need to borrow, including boots.
» It's safer. Winter mountain travel does bring hazards such as avalanche potential and white-outs which are not present in summer. Guides know where avalanche danger is, how to avoid it and are equipped to deal with it. They have navigation skills with both compass and GPS.
» You're above the bushline all the time, so it is very easy to get lost when cloud comes in. The guides' local knowledge is a huge advantage.
» No heavy loads to carry because sleeping bags, stoves, fuel and nonperishable food are at the hut.
» You have a clean hut and a guaranteed bunk.
Alpine Recreation provides snowshoes, ski poles, transceivers, shovels, crampons and helmets. A detailed equipment list will be sent at time of booking. Outdoor clothing, packs and boots can also be provided at no extra cost if necessary.
All of your equipment will be checked during the gear check at our office at the start of your trip. Any equipment you need to borrow from us will be issued by your guide.