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.
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.
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.
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.
Per Person, Twin Share