New Zealand Cycling and Hiking Adventures

Ball Pass Summit Trek

Ball Pass Summit Trek

Trip Highlights

  • Hike up high in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, home of New Zealand's highest mountains
  • Challenge yourself to an adventurous alpine trek, crossing snow fields, a small glacier and untracked, rugged terrain
  • Explore the Mount Cook Range from the Tasman Valley
  • Get close to the mighty Aoraki Mount Cook and enjoy breathtaking views of nearly all of our 3000m peaks
  • Be awed by Aoraki's Caroline Face as you hike up the Ball Ridge and watch its ice avalanches from the safety of Caroline Hut
  • Learn new skills from your mountain guide and challenge youself on new and unfamiliar terrain
  • Enjoy the comfort of two nights at the private Caroline Hut at 1830m/6000ft, with guaranteed bunk space in a spectacular location
  • Relax in the company of like-minded adventurers and hear an exciting tale or two from your guide

Trip Summary

The view of the South Ridge of Aoraki Mount Cook from near Ball Pass&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Gottlieb Braun-Elwert</i>

This exciting adventure offers a three day alpine trek, exploring the Tasman Valley up to Ball Pass. With ten peaks over 3000m, the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park offers stunning alpine scenery and is New Zealand's premier climbing region. Most of the peaks are accessible only to experienced mountaineers however alpine trekkers can also enjoy the forays up-close to Mount Cook, in the company of experienced mountain guides, along the Ball Pass Crossing. The trail follows the Ball Ridge high above the Tasman Glacier and opposite New Zealand's highest icefall - the mighty Caroline Face of Mount Cook. You will spend two nights at the private Caroline Hut at 1830m, using the middle of the day to climb Kaitiaki Peak (2222m) and explore the Ball Glacier. During your time in the National Park you will encounter rich alpine flora and unique birdlife, but it's the uninterrupted views of New Zealand's highest peaks that will truly take your breath away.

Trip Grading

For the guided Ball Pass Summit you need to have previous hiking, backpacking, tramping or bushwalking experience. This trek is beginner mountaineering and is more demanding than other guided hikes in New Zealand, such as the Milford or Routeburn Tracks, because it is alpine, traverses snow fields and a small glacier and there is no track in parts. Where there is a track it is narrow, uneven and you have to place your feet carefully.


Travel to Mount Cook (about 1 hour), and the end of the Tasman Glacier. Hike up the old Ball Hut Road, parallel to the glacier. From Ball Shelter, climb 850m up the Ball Ridge to Caroline Hut at 1800m/6000ft, 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. 5-6 hours trekking.

Meals:  L,D

Learn basic mountaineering techniques. Climb Kaitiaki Peak (2222m/7290ft) south of Ball Pass and take in the dramatic views of the South Ridge of Aoraki. Maybe explore a crevasse on the Ball Glacier. Back at Caroline Hut take time to watch the sun set on Mt Tasman and the ice avalanches thunder down the Caroline Face. 6 hours return.

Meals:  B,L,D

We return to Mount Cook Village via the Tasman Valley, this time with the 29km long Tasman Glacier stretching out in front of us to the north. Our descent route allows good views out over the ever-expanding terminal lake of the Tasman Glacier. (4-5 hours hiking.) Return travel to Lake Tekapo.

Meals:  B,L

What's Included

  • Experienced guide
  • All meals and snack foods whilst on the trip
  • Hut accommodation
  • Ground transport ex Lake Tekapo
  • Crampons, ice-axe, and all other climbing equipment (including boots if required)
  • Department of Conservation fees
  • NZ Goods and Servies Tax (GST)


Duration:3 Days
Starting Point:Lake Tekapo
Activities:3 days trek/climb
Grade:Challenging  Click for more information
Trip Code:BPT
Prices From:NZD$1330
Public Holiday Supplement:NZD$100 

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Since 1992, Adventure South NZ has operated an exciting range of guided cycling, hiking and multi-activity holidays right across New Zealand – and the world - to suit all levels of fitness. We are part of the World Expeditions Travel Group.

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