/ ice climbing New Zealand

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Paul Troon - on 21 Jan 2014
Hi as any one been to new Zealand ice climbing. There is a small chance that i may go and see my brother who lives there and wondered when it is the best time to go and may be try some of there ice routes. any help thank you

The Potato - on 21 Jan 2014
In reply to Paul Troon:

If you go to the south island you can have a play on the glaciers any time of year.
I dont know any specifics of what months are best for general ice climbing though
James Edwards - on 21 Jan 2014
In reply to Paul Troon:

Have a look at

Bush Stream was being developed when i lived there. I haven't kept up with what is what. There are lots of undiscovered places like bush stream but they are hard to get to, this is what you may find in NZ.
The winter stuff in the Darrans is very exciting in my opinion.

james e
KiwiPrincess - on 21 Jan 2014
In reply to Paul Troon:

Hi Queenstown has Ice at Wye creek( local Guide book good) , And Wanaka at Black Peak
Twin streams is an otherplace to google.
Ice is reliable in July /August Maybe a bit either side.
High mountain Ice is available other times Has some Route info
damowilk on 22 Jan 2014
In reply to Paul Troon:

Little to add to the locations above, some ice forms in a few places in Arthur's pass: Temple basin, the crow face of Rollison etc. I'd probably add that little ice is "reliable" in NZ. The usual stalwart of Wye Creek didn't form up for long this year, and had gone by the time of the Remarks Ice and Mixed Festival mid Aug, buggering up my plans to ski tour in there before the festival.
There isn't really anywhere like the big venues in Norway, Canada, French Alps etc. There are usually long walk-ins and not much ice in one place. The Darrans can be great, but also inconsistent, some lines don't form up often, and weather is renowned as unpredictable.
JIB - on 22 Jan 2014
In reply to damowilk:

Was definitely an early season phenomenon last year - best skiing was early in the season too. Worth mentioning that it was also the warmest winter on record

damowilk on 22 Jan 2014
In reply to JIB:

Yep, it was a bit of a crap winter! But worth adding that the year before, Wye starting falling down and becoming unclimbable shortly after the festival, about the same time of year. I only have the last two years of experience with Wye creek conditions, I will be happy to be told that they were both unusual and that normally it is reliable July and Aug!
AdrianC - on 22 Jan 2014
In reply to damowilk:

Wye Creek is normally reliable July and well through August! But last year was really rubbish - I didn't get in there at all. To the OP - there's heaps of ice around but getting to it is much harder than the more well known venues.
KiwiPrincess - on 22 Jan 2014
In reply to damowilk:

Wye creek is usually on for July and Aug reliably.
I've been in May and Sept but definately wouldn't book a trip then.

The festival is Quite late in the season and only the left End was safe that First year.

I was ill this year so think it is waiting for me!
Damo on 22 Jan 2014
In reply to Paul Troon:
In my experience Wye Ck is the only place that might qualify as 'reliable' for climbable ice, and even then it's pretty limited compared to any overseas venue. It's a solid 2hr snowshoe or ski from the parking area at The Remarkables ski field. There's usually beta at least, on what is in, or not.

I've done two trips into Bush Stream when it was in good conditions and I think it's better than Wye Ck. Both times I have helicoptered in, stayed a couple of nights and walked out. It's about 4hrs out to the road, but not much of a track. It gets some avo danger, but not extreme and there's a better selection of lower grade (WI3ish) routes than Wye, as well as longer harder routes. Wye has better access to steeper routes though, if that's what you want.

In terms of reliability, I think there will always be something climbable in at Bush Stream in a normally cold July-August, but it will vary. You can see the top of one of the main WI5 routes from the road, just, so that gives you some idea before you commit.

There is a guide, made nearly 10 years ago, at:
Post edited at 21:34

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