A cosy private hut in a stunning setting
Snowshoers in front of the Caroline Face of Aoraki / Mt. Cook
Enjoy a great adventure in spectacular alpine terrain
All snowshoeing gear is included - no hidden costs
Mt. Cook Snowshoe Expedition
A snowshoe expedition to Caroline Hut
Trek through amazing winter terrain, surrounded by New Zealand's highest peaks and longest glacier. Enjoy a night in the warm, private Caroline Hut, savouring the fabulous views of the 2000m high Caroline Face of Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest ice face. Relax in its wonderful setting on the Ball Ridge, high above the Tasman Glacier, and be awed by the avalanches rumbling down Mount Cook. This is a trip for those who are willing to go the extra mile for awesome views!
Mt. Cook Snowshoe Expedition is a 2-3 day snowshoe trip for experienced hikers/snowshoers. You will climb up 850m to private Caroline Hut which is fully stocked so pack weight is able to be kept to a minimum. From the hut you can snowshoe up Kaitiaki Peak (2222m/7290ft) and admire stunning mountain panoramas - Mount Cook, Mount Tasman, Minarets, Elie de Beaumont, Malte Brun Range... and many more!
All gear included in our prices - even hiking boots if you need them. No need to pay extra to hire snowshoes or avalanche transceiver.
|Participants||2 days||3 days|
|returning client discount (on individual bookings), if you have been on an Alpine Recreation trip before.|
|Group Booking Discounts (NZ$ per person)|
|Group booking of 3|
|Group booking of 4|
|A per person surcharge of NZ will apply to all prices on.|
- IFMGA/NZMGA certified mountain guide
- National Park fees
- Heated PRIVATE hut accommodation
- Local accommodation for any nights required during the trip
- Free transport (Tekapo - Mt. Cook return)
- ALL meals (including snacks & energy bars) for the duration of the trip
- ALL avalanche safety, snowshoeing and mountaineering equipment
Meals and accommodation before/after the trip are NOT included.
+Minimum & Maximum Numbers
A minimum number of 2 participants is required to run this trip. If you end up being the only person booked on the trip, you will be offered the choice of:
- paying an additional fee of NZ for 2 days or NZ for 3 days
- rescheduling to another trip/date
- a full refund
The maximum number of participants per guide is 4. The maximum group size is 8, with 2 guides.
Take advantage of our group booking discounts and get a group of family and friends together. The amount of discount you will be eligible for will depend on the group size - the more people you book, the more your discount will be! If our scheduled dates don't suit your group's travel plans, please contact us as we can reschedule a trip to suit (subject to guide availability).
Please note that group bookings are not private bookings - if you wish to keep your group closed (ie. you have a private guide just for your group), a surcharge will apply. Alterntatively you can book a group of 4 or 8 (which will ensure there are no others in your group).
Mount Cook Snowshoeing dates are scheduled on a case by case basis - please contact us with the dates you would like.
Green : Minimum reached - guaranteed departure.
Orange : Only 4 or fewer places available.
Red : No availability.
*incur a surcharge of NZ per person per holiday.
Venue: Caroline Hut
↑ Caroline Hut is warm and cosy and a great base for snowshoeing adventures.
Caroline Hut is the only guide/operator-owned mountain hut in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and is available for the exclusive use of Alpine Recreation parties. As we are not using public huts there is no risk of overcrowding, facilities are clean and you have a guaranteed bunk.
Located at 1820m on Ball Ridge, directly opposite the Caroline Face of Aoraki Mount Cook, Caroline Hut is a great location to experience the mountain views in comfort.
The hut is equipped with firewood, gas, solar lighting, satellite phone, Department of Conservation radio, sleeping bags and nonperishable food. A wood-fired stove means there are good heating and drying facilities.
The hut consists of two rooms, sleeping up to 10 participants and 2 guides in total. There are no showers, but warm water and a basin can be provided for washing. The two traditional longdrop toilets have one of the most spectacular views in the country!
JANUARY 2020 UPDATE - BALL PASS, BALL HUT & CAROLINE HUT ROUTE CHANGES
The intense and prolonged rainfall of 1-8 December 2019 caused significant damage to the traditional route to Ball Hut and Ball Pass across Husky Flat. Alpine Recreation guides are familiar with the changes to the terrain and have options for bypassing the slip. We will continue to use this route until it becomes unviable or work on the new route is completed. An alternative foot access route to Ball Ridge has been successfully established, and continuing work is being undertaken to improve it to a comparable standard with the traditional Ball Ridge route.
The current foot access to Caroline Hut takes approximately 90-120 minutes longer than previously and is through rough and challenging terrain. If you are unsure whether your fitness and agility are sufficient, please contact us before booking your trip.
Alpine Recreation will be continuing to run trips to Caroline Hut and Ball Pass for the foreseeable future and we are open for bookings for the 2020-21 season.
6-8 hours trekking.
8:30am gear check at Alpine Recreation's Edelweiss Lodge, 8 Erebus Place, Lake Tekapo.
Travel to Mount Cook (about 1 hour), and the end of the Tasman Glacier. Climb 850m steeply up to Ball Ridge and to Caroline Hut at 1800m, perched right opposite the awe-inspiring Caroline Face of Mount Cook. The panorama includes Aoraki Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, all the mountains adjoining the Tasman Glacier, and Lake Pukaki.
As the hut is fully stocked we only need to carry some fresh items of food (e.g. bread, fruit, vegetables, meat) and our personal clothing and equipment.
6-8 hours return from Caroline Hut.
Ascend to Ball Pass and climb Kaitiaki Peak (2222m/7290ft) to take in the dramatic views of the South Ridge of Aoraki and across the Hooker Valley to Mount Sefton. Crampons as well as snowshoes may be required.
Back at Caroline Hut take time to watch the sun set on Mt Tasman and the ice avalanches thunder down the Caroline Face.
5-7 hours trekking.
Return down to the Tasman Valley, finishing at about 5pm back in Tekapo. Depending on conditions and group ability, your guide may choose to return via a different route. Note that these snowshoe expeditions do not cross Ball Pass.
Fitness & Experience
How difficult is snowshoeing?
If you enjoy bushwalking, tramping or just ordinary hiking, then you'll enjoy walking over the snow on snowshoes. You don't sink into the snow as you would with just boots on. Using snowshoes is very straightforward - it's as simple as strapping them onto your normal hiking boots, grabbing a pair of ski poles and walking!
Winter conditions are much more demanding than in summer, with short daylight hours and cold temperatures. We expect you to have considerable hiking or backpacking experience (including some 6-8 hour multi-day hikes), before applying for this snowshoe trek. You need to have good tramping stamina and above average fitness. Previous snow trekking experience is recommended. Be prepared to wear crampons if necessary.
For an easier option we recommend Snowshoe Hikes in the Lake Tekapo High Country.
Why go with a guide?
- You can get into the mountains without having to bring a lot of gear. The snowshoes, ski poles, avalanche transceivers and shovels are provided, along with any other gear you may need to borrow, including boots.
- It's safer. Winter mountain travel does bring hazards such as avalanche potential and white-outs which are not present in summer. Guides know where avalanche danger is, how to avoid it and are equipped to deal with it. They have navigation skills with both compass and GPS.
- You're above the bushline all the time, so it is very easy to get lost when cloud comes in. The guides' local knowledge is a huge advantage.
- No heavy loads to carry because sleeping bags, stoves, fuel and nonperishable food are at the hut.
- You have a clean hut and a guaranteed bunk.
Alpine Recreation provides snowshoes, ski poles, transceivers, shovels, crampons and helmets. A detailed equipment list will be sent at time of booking. Outdoor clothing, packs and boots can also be provided at no extra cost if necessary.
All of your equipment will be checked during the gear check at our office at the start of your trip. Any equipment you need to borrow from us will be issued by your guide.