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Mount Barff

A great ski tour within Mount Aspiring National Park

Ski Touring Difficult

38 km
2.7 km
2.7 km
1 day +
Low Point
371 m
High Point
2.2 km
Mount Barff Map

If you want to head into the Matukituki valley for a ski tour but aren’t interested in Mount Aspiring than Mount Barff is a perfect alternative. While the approach to the summit can be a bit challenging it isn’t nearly as technical as the other well known peak in the area. This tour gives you great views and open slopes where you can ride almost all the way back to the Liverpool Hut. Just don’t make the mistake of skiing into the wrong drainage with hopes you can follow the creek back down to the hut because you can’t and I know this from personal experience.


Starting at the West Matukituki Valley Parking lot make your way up the main trail which is basically a road before the valley turns towards the Northern direction. Passing by the Matukituki Hut and Pearl Flats you will cross a few bridges before making it to the base of the Liverpool Hut Trail. Like many other trails in New Zealand this is challenging as you claw your way up the trail before reaching alpine and descending a bit to the southwest over to the Liverpool Hut. This part of the tour is a full day alone so take advantage of a dry shelter and get a bit of sleep before starting the next day.

Waking up at the Liverpool Hut head west over to the first gully and descend down to the main stream. Walking in the gully you need to wrap around a ridge before once again climbing north up the next side stream which while somewhat steep will allow you to get to the upper glaciated basin of Mount Barff. From here just keep ascending and soon enough you will be out of the drainage and on the open upper slopes with the summit in plain view. The summit route can be gained by accesses a mellow ridge on its Eastern slopes and pushing all the way to the summit.

Once on top of Mount Barff it is of vital importance that you follow your ascent route back down as the gullies to the West do go to the valley but there is a waterfall that blocks your decent. Take a few extra seconds descending to make sure you don’t make the same mistake that we did.

For more pictures and the full story check out this link https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/new-zealand/mount-barff-liverpool-hut/



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between August and November


  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area