Looking back along the route towards Barron Saddle
The Sealy Range provides great views of the Main Divide peaks
Skinning up the Williams Glacier, Welchman and Bannie Glaciers in the background
A ski tourer returning to the hut after a great day out
A nice spot to watch the sunset on Aoraki
Ski Mountaineering - Sealy Range Traverse
A high level ski mountaineering traverse with stunning views and steep terrain
The Sealy Range above Aoraki Mount Cook village is a remote and exciting ski mountaineering venue surrounded by New Zealand's highest peaks. While the northern end of the range is popular during the summer months, Barron Saddle is not often frequented by ski tourers and provides a remote mountain experience, while only being a short flight from the airport. The mountain range is just east of the main Southern Alps and provides stunning views of Aoraki Mount Cook, Mount Sefton and many more of New Zealand's 3000m peaks.
|Participants||4 days||5 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 and ski guide
- National Park fees
- Hut accommodation
- Local accommodation for any nights required during the trip
- Local transport (Tekapo - Mount Cook Village return)
- ALL meals (including snacks & energy bars) for the duration of the trip
- ALL avalanche safety and ski mountaineering equipment (with the exception of ski boots)
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 4 days or NZ for 5 days
- rescheduling to another trip/date
- a full refund
The maximum number of participants per guide is 4. The maximum group size is 4.
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 (which will ensure there are no others in your group).
+Aircraft Access - not included
Sealy Range Ski Traverse dates are scheduled on a case by case basis - please contact us with the dates you would like. Before you book please check hut and guide availability with us. We recommend that you settle guiding dates well in advance as guide availability during peak season is limited. Please allow extra time in case you are held up in the mountains due to weather.
Venue: Barron Saddle & Mueller Huts
↑ Barron Saddle Hut
Barron Saddle and Mueller Huts are public huts that cannot be booked. The huts work on a first-come first-served basis.
Barron Saddle Hut is located at 2000m at the head of the Sealy Range. It is a basic 8 bunk hut with a water supply, toilet, radio and an amazing view. There are no gas cookers or fuel.
Mueller Hut is located at 1800m at the northern end of the Sealy Range. It is a 28 bunk serviced alpine hut with gas cookers, solar lighting, water supply, toilet and radio. It is directly across the Mueller Valley from Mount Sefton.
Participants must carry their own sleeping bags, personal gear and some of the group equipment, food, stove, fuel, and cooking utensils (all provided by us).
Ski Mountaineering Fitness & Experience
A high level of aerobic fitness is required. Participants need to carry a pack of about 10-12 kg plus their skis on technical sections of the traverse and on the walk down from Sealy Tarns. The ski traverse from Barron Saddle to Mueller Hut is long with significant climbs with a full overnight pack, expect a 10-12 hour day. On day trips from the huts, days packs will be light, but participants will be doing the equivalent of a 6-8 hour walk/climb.
The Sealy Range Ski Traverse is suitable for advanced to expert skiers. You need to be able to ski safely and confidently in variable, untracked snow conditions while carrying a 10-12kg pack. We recommend refreshing ski touring skills on easier tours such as the Liebig & Gamack Ranges prior to this expedition.
Previous backcountry ski touring and multi-day tramping or hiking experience is essential. Basic mountaineering skills are recommended.
8:30am gear check at Alpine Recreation's Edelweiss Lodge, 8 Erebus Place, Lake Tekapo. Drive to Aoraki Mount Cook Village. Fly in to Barron Saddle Hut and enjoy an afternoon ski tour refreshing ski mountaineering skills, including cramponing, ice axe use and self-arresting.
Explore the terrain around Barron Saddle, soaking in the stunning views of the upper Dobson Valley, Mueller Glacier and surrounding peaks. There are multiple tour options, including the Bannie Glacier, Welchman Glacier and Williams Glacier. Further refine ski mountaineering skills in preparation for the traverse. 6-8 hours.
An early start sees us crossing the Williams Glacier to the crux of the traverse - a steep and exposed sidle bringing us around the North Ridge of Mt. Darby. The Mueller Glacier is almost 400m below us at this point. After overcoming the crux, an enjoyable 400m skin takes us up to Sladden Saddle.
The northern side of Sladden Saddle is steep and descending it is dependant on safe snow conditions. The terrain mellows as we cross the Metelille Glacier and Annette Plateau. A series of ski runs and short climbs along terraces on the western side of the Sealy Range brings us below Mt. Kitchener and Mt. Ollivier to Mueller Hut. 10-12 hours.
Spend the morning skiing runs from Mueller Hut on the western flanks of Mount Ollivier - the views towards Mount Sefton across the valley are spectacular! It is usually possible to ski down as far as Sealy Tarns before the steep descent down the walking track and staircase to Mount Cook Village. Return to Lake Tekapo, arriving back around 5-6pm.
It is well worth considering an extra day to allow for more day trips from Barron Saddle or Mueller Huts.
Alpine Recreation provides alpine touring skis, poles, skins, ski crampons, avalanche transceivers, shovels and probes. Mountaineering equipment including boot crampons, ice axe, harness and helmet are also provided. Ski tourers need to bring their own alpine ski touring boots. Snow boarders will need to bring their own split-board setup, including split-board skins and crampons. Outdoor clothing and packs 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.