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Day 1: Meet in Wanaka at 9am. After quick gear checks you are driven to the Snow Farm car park on the Pisa Range near to Wanaka, where we gear up with boots, skis and skins. After some avalanche transceiver training we continue past the Snow Farm area boundary, up onwards towards Mt Pisa and to our hut for the night.
Special ski and snowboard bindings are used with releasable heel bindings and we attach a ‘skin’ to the base which slides forward, but not back, so walking uphill is almost effortless. For skiing or snowboarding down you simply remove the skins, reattach the heels (or join the snowboard back together) and ski / board as normal.
There are various options for getting to the hut, staying on the tops in fine weather or skiing in the valley if there is a breeze. After dropping our packs at the hut we head out again for some afternoon turns on the slopes nearby.
Day 2: The next morning after breakfast you’ll likely ski tour right up onto the gentle summit of Mt Pisa 1,963m. Various ski touring options abound, for the adventurous we can ski the steeper slopes dropping towards Cromwell to the east or ski less steep slopes towards the west with views towards Cardrona and Mt Aspiring.
Day 3: Day three will see you up skiing for an early morning run or two, then after lunch at the hut you’ll load up your gear and tour back down to the our waiting vehicle back at the Snow Farm resort, which will seem busy and noisy after your peaceful experience in the backcountry.
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