Ski the Tasman Glacier

We flew out of Mt Cook airport about 10am on a winter’s day that was fine but threatening to deteriorate with an incoming  norwester.  Fortunately the expected deterioration did not occur and the weather improved to a sunny and relatively calm day.  Having each been fitted out with a harness and avalanche locator beacon for safety requirements, we were looking forward to two ski runs on the Tasman Glacier, being relocated by the plane after the first run.   Click on any image to enlarge.

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Attaching our skis


Hogsback clouds over Aoraki Mt Cook , just as we got on the plane


Tasman River

Tasman Valley just beyond the airstrip



Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake



Lower Murchison Valley (drains into the Tasman Valley) from the plane


Guide Ben, pilot Rosco and me, landed at the

With guide Ben and pilot Rosco, landed at  Tasman  Saddle


Kelman climbers hut above Tasman Saddle

ready to start...

Ready to start, heading towards The Minarets


Our guide Ben

Our guide Ben






The orange Tasman Saddle Hut is on the skyline just left of centre.  The dark lines within the seracs are little bits of Australia, a mix of dust and ash,  blown across by summer norwesters.


Skis off and some investigating

Skis off and some investigating


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Looking towards Aoraki Mt Cook which is hidden under cloud


Looking back on our field of ice shapes

Looking back at the serac field


Skiing down to our waiting plane

Skiing down to our waiting plane


Lunch on ice

Lunch on ice


Our plane, a five-seater Cessna 185

Our plane, a four-seater Cessna 185, ready to relocate us for the second run



Looking down valley from the plane to Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake, as we circle to gain height


Beginning our second run....

Beginning our second run from below Hochsetter Dome


asasa in the Ice Canyons

Glacial moulin

Moulins are part of the glacier’s internal ‘plumbing’ system.  They carry melt water down to wherever it may go.  This moulin would have formed several years ago higher up the glacier,  and has then been relocated by the glacier, which moves at a rate of about a metre per day.


At the entrance to the ‘Hochsetter Dome Hotel’



Sculpted ice patterns at the hotel entrance




Our plane waiting for our second, and last, pick up

Our plane waiting for our second, and last, pick up



Retractable landing skis


sasasa on our return flight

Heading back down the Tasman Valley


Returning to Mt Cook Airport

Arriving at Mt Cook Airport


6 thoughts on “Ski the Tasman Glacier

  1. Wow… I had no idea there were landscapes/snowscapes like this. It looks like a giant has been out carving exquisite structures. I am in awe of nature. Thank you so much for sharing and continuing my learning about my country.


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