6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
There is a great path all the way up to the Brewster Hut from the Haast Pass Highway, which can be done in around 3 hours (a little tricker with skis and ski boots on your pack!).
The path ascends 1000m in 2.5km so it’s pretty steep in places, requiring some root scrambling techniques to be used! The Brewster Track can be pretty mind-numbing walking through steep forest for so much time, but the view is more than worth it when you finally do break through the tree-line! Once at the hut, dump your bags off and get some food down you before getting some rest, ready to start Mount Armstrong in the morning. The ascent to Mt Armstrong is straight forward, ascending Armstrong’s west face (which generally holds snow well into the season) as an escalator to then reach Armstrong’s south ridge that gives access to the beautifully situated summit of Mount Armstrong. The summit gives you an amazing 360-degree view of the region, with the Mount Cook region to your northwest, Aspiring National Park to your south east and the staggering west coast found directly to your north. Attach your skis and ski the same west face that you ascended to make your way back down to the Brewster Hut and if conditions are on your side, you’ll be able to ski directly to the hut doors for a well earned beer - just don’t forget that you have another 1000m to descend by foot!