The Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for First Tracks Wanaka Heli-Accessed Ski Touring.
You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:
First Tracks Wanaka Heli-Accessed Ski Touring Trip Notes 2020
First Tracks Wanaka Heli-Accessed Ski Touring Trip Notes 2021
The trip will run with a minimum number of three people and a maximum of eight. The guiding ratio is 1:4.
Professional and experienced mountain guides run all of our First Tracks trips. First Tracks and Adventure Consultants have a commitment to ensure the highest standard of instruction and guiding practices and we only employ guides who share our philosophy. Our guides will offer you the best possible experience, and a safe and enjoyable time. An open and helpful approach is encouraged within the group to help communicate and reinforce the learning process.
Our guides are all NZMGA and/or IFMGA internationally qualified. They have been trained and assessed through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association, and operate to the high standards and guidelines set out by the association.
Head Office Support Team
Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the First Tracks staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.
Suze Kelly, General Manager
Suze has been coordinating the office at AC headquarters since 1996 and was our Everest Base Camp Manager in 2000, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Much of the quality of our expeditions and the way we go about things here at AC is owed to the attention to detail which Suze applies in her role. Suze has skied and climbed in New Zealand all her life, including ascents of Mt Aspiring and Mt Cook and internationally she has climbed Island Peak, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Lhotse, Everest and Vinson.
Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.
Level of Experience Required
Skiers are to be a minimum of strong intermediate off-piste skiers. You will be grouped with similar ability skiers as much as possible to maximise your day.
Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.
Preparing for Your Trip
To make the most of your skiing experience we encourage you to work on your fitness and skiing/snowboarding prior to the trip.
We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself in the case of injury or mishap prior to/or whilst on our trips. This is usually available as an option when you purchase your airfare.
Whilst our focus is on safety and our track record supports this, the mountains do have hazards and there is always the potential for mishap.
If you were injured whilst on the trip the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) will pay rescue costs, however, you would not be eligible for bulk compensation payments. You are responsible for any medical or evacuation costs beyond the cover provided by ACC. Hence it is worth getting travel insurance for your trip.
We will provide a nutritious and hearty lunch for the day. We can cater for special diets such as vegan and gluten/dairy free, please advise us at the time of registration.
Wanaka has a range of accommodation from backpackers, motels, hotels and luxury lodges. We are happy to assist with your accommodation arrangements.
Clothing & Equipment
While winter ski touring in the New Zealand mountains requires good personal gear due to the potential cold weather conditions, your regular ski clothing, bulked up with some extra warm layers will normally suffice.
We will provide your avalanche safety equipment, transceiver, probe and shovel, but you will need to come prepared with your ski touring equipment, personal clothing, sun cream and water.
There are a number of rental options available in Wanaka and we can help you with sourcing rental of specialised touring skis, boots and climbing skins. We have snowshoes available for rent for snowboarders or we can help you rent a split board and climbing skins.
We commence this trip from our base in Wanaka. The nearest airport is located in Queenstown, approximately one hour's drive away. Air New Zealand and Jetstar airlines provide daily services to Queenstown from Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington. There are also direct international flights from most major Australian cities.
A shuttle service operates several times daily between Queenstown and Wanaka (from $35 each way), see https://www.ritchies.co.nz/wanaka. We are happy to assist with your transfer arrangements.
Bus services also operate daily between Christchurch and Wanaka (approximately 6 hours' travel time).