New Zealand: Touring the Southern Alps

  |  Gorp.com

For a world-class hut-to-hut vacation, there's no substitue for skiing New Zealand's Southern Alps. You'll traverse high mountain passes, learn the basics of ski mountaineering, and get a taste of glacier skiing. Accommodation is in provisioned, heated huts, so you carry a minimum of gear. Routes can be customized for all skill levels, and private guides can lead you to virgin wilderness areas. For those with the financial wherewithal, a variety of heli-skiing options are available. If you've got the dough, go with a chopper. In New Zealand, the higher you go, the better the snow. With New Zealand's notoriously changeable weather, in the lower elevations the snow regularly melts and refreezes, leading to crusty conditions than get frustrating in a hurry.
Having traveled so far in search of alpine adventure, while you're in New Zealand you might want to set aside a few extra days for winter camping and ice-climbing. The country's national parks make it winter wilderness adventures all the more accessible.

Published: 8 Jul 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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