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In winter the New Zealand high country turns into a ski touring paradise. Unfortunately compared to overseas it can be hard to access the good snow. Most valleys with roads do not reach snow line, so it can take a bit of cunning to get where the skiing is. The best option is to use the roads that are put in by ski areas.
Treble Cone Ski Area offers fantastic ski touring opportunities. Reaching the top of the Saddle Chairlift there is easy touring out along Towers ridge. Check in with the ski patrol at the top of the lift to find out about avalanche conditions. By following the ridge to the west you will have a world of ski touring options.
Cardrona Ski Area offers the highest access road in the country with great skiing right out o the car park.. Contour around to the west and follow the Sky Line trail. You will have your pick of runs dropping down to the left. Follow the trail to the top of Captain’s Chairlift and more mellow runs can be reached in the broad basins to the northwest.
Across the Cardrona Valley you will find The Snow Farm, another high access road. This is a Cross Country Ski Area where you can pay to use their excellent groomed tracks. However there is a public access track to the Pisa Conservation Area. This is a huge area of mostly mellow terrain where you can tour to your hearts content. Check in at the Snow Farm office and pay the road toll and find out where the access track is.
Aspiring Guides offers guided day trips from their base in Wanaka. They can pick where the snow is best on the day and their professional guides are experts at making you feel at home on the snow. If you have always wanted to to see what is on the other side of the ski area boundary, just give them a call at 03-443-9422.
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