Guidebook

5 of the Best Big Mountain Ski Tours in New Zealand

Massive ski adventures in the "Land of the Long White Cloud", including a descent of the country's highest mountain.

Description

Despite being a modern, western nation, New Zealand remains one of the wildest ski touring destinations on Earth thanks to a combination of huge terrain and unpredictable weather. This all adds up to ski tourers requiring patience, wide ranging skills, high levels of fitness and a bit of luck to succeed on a trip. If you've got all of those things, get started on this list!

The tours are all in different areas of the South Island so it's perfectly possible to do them all in a single winter, but you'll need all of the qualities above (particularly luck) in abundance if you're to tick them all in the space of a few weeks. As such, this is a list best tackled by skiers spending a whole winter in New Zealand, or those on a short trip armed with an awful lot of psyche!

Regardless of which category you fall into, these are 5 unforgettable ski adventures in one of the World's great mountain ranges.

Homestead Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Homestead Peak

Fiordland National Park
1 day +
18.1 km
1,804 m
1,804 m
29 °
A BIG ascent to do in one day, but the remoteness and views of this valley make it all worthwhile
Difficult
Private
Footstool
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Footstool

Mount Cook
1 day +
17.4 km
2,179 m
2,181 m
38 °
An engaging adventure with some some real New Zealand flavour.
Severe
Private
Mt Ardmore West Face
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mt Ardmore West Face

6 - 7 hrs
14.2 km
1,358 m
1,358 m
40 °
Mt Ardmore is a great one-day hit, with the possibility for skis on from the car if snow conditions allow.
Difficult
Private
Mt Ross’ South Face
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mt Ross’ South Face

1 day +
45.1 km
1,849 m
1,849 m
28 °
A stunning peak accessible straight from the Macauley Hut, with a south face offering great snow conditions.
Difficult
Private
Aoraki/Mt. Cook East Face
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Aoraki/Mt. Cook East Face

Mount Cook
6 - 7 hrs
8.3 km
1,635 m
1,651 m
72 °
A collossal line and a truly world class ski face.
Extreme
Private