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Hochstetter Dome Traverse

Mount Cook

A great introductory ski tour on the Tasmin Glacier's friendliest peak.

Ski Touring Moderate

3.9 km
549 m
520 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
2.3 km
High Point
2.8 km
Hochstetter Dome Traverse Map

Starting from either the Kelman Hut or the Tasmin Saddle Hut there are many accessible and fantastic ski touring options. Of the best is surely the traverse of Hochstetter Dome, an appealing and largely non-technical ridgeline forming a boundary at the upper end of the Tasmin Glacier. A nice half day outing and a good option when conditions are not favorable on bigger objectives. The ridgeline of Hochstetter Dome also provides an unparalleled vista over several of the major glacial basins of the range. The ridge itself is fairly broad and thus the exposure is never too great. Crampons are however recommended. Hochstetter Dome consists of two summits separated by a beautiful 500 meter long arête. It is also possible to start the traverse by Mt. Almer and link this into the Hochstetter Dome. The Hochstetter Dome Traverse is a New Zealand Grade 1 alpine climb and it is popular as an introductory guided climb.


When on the summit take a chance to peer down the Himalayan-esque north face of the mountain which hosts a 1400m New Zealand grade 4 alpine climb.

It is recommended to do the traverse from east to west since the west side offers the best ski descent. From the lower summit at 2810m ski down trending south-west down broad and rolling glacial slopes with an angle around 35 degrees. There may be some large but easily spotted crevasses on the way down to avoid. Cruise straight back to the Tasmin Saddle Hut or skin back up to the Kelman Hut depending on where you are staying.



Slopes become slightly steeper at around 25-30 degrees.

Low Exposure (E1)

1 out of 4

Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between August and November


  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area