Summit to Sea: Glacier Ski & Snowboard Tour 5 days


New Zealand's famous West Coast ski touring. 

Trip of a lifetime...

Aaron, USA

It was a wonderful learning experience. It was great to learning safe travel practices for glaciers,  ski the glaciers and experience the mountains of NZ.  Trip of a lifetime! It opened up a whole new world to me.

More Information

There are few places in the world where you can ski on glaciers while looking out over the ocean.  This is a unique place and in the world of backcountry touring, the west coast of New Zealand is incomparable.  This is the perfect introduction to ski touring on the glaciers.  Just because the mountains are big does not mean the skiing is all steep, the upper glaciers offer a world of moderate slopes.

The exact itinerary of each trip is up to the motivations of the participants and the conditions. You could expect a variety of different objectives from searching out good snow and lapping a good slope, exploring a bit further afield or going for a summit.

If you are an intermediate or above skier, don’t miss out on a great ski adventure.  Before the trip begins you will receive a complete gear equipment list and we will help you through any questions you might have.   We include all the technical gear required for glacier travel (ie., harness, crampons, ice axe) free of charge.  All you need is your own ski & board touring equipment.  

While the West Coast glaciers are our aim, if weather conditions restrict access to this location, not only do we have our weather contingency day bonus, we offer the widest range of alternative backcountry skiing locations, including the Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring regions and locally our Black Peak & Robrosa private huts.  This is a HUGE advantage if you are wanting to experience true backcountry rather than being restricted to sidecountry options from ski resorts in bad weather.

Available Dates

2018 Dates Status
July 30 - 3 Aug Open
Aug 10 - 14  Open
Aug 19 - 23  Open
Aug 25 - 29 Open
Sept 3 - 7 Open
Sept 9 - 13 Open
Sept 17 - 21 Open
Sept 30 - 4 Oct Open
Oct 14 - 18 Open

C= confirmed departure

Are your preferred dates are booked? Don't worry - please contact us and we'll see what we can do.  We can also run private trips - inquire about dates and prices.

Private tours are available: Book a private trip and choose any dates that work best for your group. We only need 2 people to confirm a tour.


Technical Difficulty

Participants need previous experience with backcountry touring.  You will need to be a strong skier/rider in off piste conditions.

Physical Difficulty

A good level of fitness is required.  Participants need to be able to travel up steep hills and be strong enough to handle variable conditions.

Price Details

Guide Ratio Price
1:2 NZ $3,175
1:3 or 4 NZ $2,350


What's Included
  • NZMGA qualified guide
  • all meals and energy snacks
  • all technical gear required for glacier travel ie., crampons, ice axe, harness etc.
  • hut fees
  • air access to mountains
  • bonus weather contingency day.

Not included :

  • Flight out of the mountains
  • Ski or snowboard touring equipment rental not included.  It's not a problem if you don't have your own ski or snowboard touring equipment, this can be rented from a local Wanaka outdoor store.

Itinerary / Trip Options (multi)

Day One

We usually meet at our office in Wanaka at 8:30 in the morning when we do a final check of your equipment and answer any last minute questions.  We drive 3 hours to the small village of Fox where we load the helicopter and relocate to Pioneer Hut (2400m) at the head of the Fox Glacier.  Your guide will instruct you on the safety aspects of glacier skiing.  The journey from the rain forest of the west coast to the world of massive glaciers is one that you will never forget.


Day Two

Ski tour day trip to Pioneer Pass.  With only day packs it is an easy tour up to the top of the main divide where you have great views all the way down to the eastern side of the mountains.  You will be surrounded by the tallest peaks in New Zealand.  


Day Three

Ski touring is all about finding the best snow and then covering it with your own tracks.  By now we have figured out where the powder is and there is nothing better than a day of long runs in unbroken snow. If you are after some easy summits, Grey Peak or Mt Von Burlow will be your objective for the day.


Day Four

If conditions are favourable, you may choose to ski tour over to Centennial Hut at the head of the Franz Josef Glacier.  This is an enormous glacier and it is a fascinating tour over Newton Pass and across the ice field.  There is no hurry and plenty of time to ski one of the many interesting lines you see along the way. Otherwise continue to explore the many options around Pioneer Hut.


Day Five

Ski tour to Chancellor Hut.  The longest tour of trip takes you all the way down the Fox Glacier, via the head of the Victoria Glacier and down to the hut ending on a thrilling perch high over the Fox Glacier icefall. The route from Centennial Hut traverses four separate glaciers. Here the helicopter will pick us up and transport us back down to ground level.

NB: Please note that this itinerary is a sample only and the actual itinerary may vary at the discretion of your guide depending on weather, conditions and personal ability.

Backcountry skiing New Zealand

Equipment Details

This video provides practical demonstration of how alpine ski touring (AT) equipment works.

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