Carving endless turns through perfect powder – that’s what we envisage and desire on everyday out. The amazing thing is that every season we experience our ‘best ever day’ or near to it,- life is like that in the mountains – until the day you stop doing it !
However, in New Zealand we are at the mercy of temperate ‘island’ weather and if you know about winter snow falls in the shaky isles, the snow depth and type is very variable. Ski touring is all about travel on ski through snow environments just as nature laid the snow down and to cope with all challenges as they arise.
There is no doubt most of your time and effort will be spent on the uphill (skinning), with anticipation of finding that potential ‘beautiful run’ with the snow and terrain to your liking for that memorable downhill.
Ski touring can also be simply to do a journey on snow, when travel by most other means is slow and laborious. In the snow bound months you can travel kilometers over the terrain taking in peaks passes and valleys which would be impractical to visit on foot by any other means.
However, before we venture into the wilderness all need to learn to ski somewhere and there is no doubt the services provided in a commercial ski area are the best way to do this. Several days on the slopes with a bit of tuition will see you into the intermediate grade when you will be ready to try getting away from the ski area.
Before you break out into the un-patrolled snow areas or back country you need to skill up on survival – dealing with terrain and judgment on snow stability and how to do effective self rescue in the event of an avalanche – Time to talk to a guide/ instructor.
The next thing to take into account is independence, a pack on your back will carry all the gear you for your proposed travel including a few extras and avalanche rescue gear. Team up with a buddy of like abilities and you are ready to start you ski-touring experience, mountaineering on skis and taking some of natures’ best powder without a helicopter bill.
The Queenstown area has some of the countries easiest accessed ski touring areas along with the Wakatipu basins legendry good helping of fine weather.
Learn to ski tour – it’s a whole new lifetime dimension in skiing.
Contact Chris for know how on gear, safety and training.
Enjoy the photos of the Queenstown Touring arena