3 Days 35 km 1400m ascent


  • Panoramic views to Tasman Glacier
  • Trek through ice and snow
  • Mountaineering



A high level of fitness is required for this walk.

Ball Pass Crossing is a demanding route that rewards experienced trekkers with the unforgettable alpine scenery of the Mount Cook ranges.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Ball Ridge, Christchurch - Canterbury

Ball Pass Crossing Itinerary


Lake Tekapo > Tasman Glacier > Caroline Hut 

Follow the old Ball Hut Road to Ball Shelter where you will begin the 850m climb up Ball Ridge to Caroline Hut. Gaze on the awe-inspiring Caroline Face of Mount Cook and panoramic views across Mount Tasman and the nearby mountain ranges.

4 hrs approx. 


Caroline Hut > Kaitiaki Peak > Caroline Hut 

Watch the sunrise over the Malte Brun Range before beginning the climb over Fergun’s Knob to Ball Glacier and Kaitiaki Peak (2222m). Take in the dramatic views of Aoraki's South Ridge before returning to Caroline Hut for the evening. 

6 hrs approx.


Caroline Hut > Mount Cook Village/Lake Tekapo 

Navigate the steep descent from Ball Pass, which usually requires the use of crampons or ropes. Follow old moraine terraces as you travel into the East Hooker Valley, and hike through some of the lushest vegetation to be found in the National Park.

8-10 hrs approx.


Department of Conservation

Click the link for more information and detailed maps of this hike.

BALLS PASS CROSSING(opens in new window)

More information

 Alternative Routes

  • Ball Pass Summit Trek mirrors Ball Pass Crossing except that you return via the Tasman Valley instead of crossing Ball Pass.
  • Aoraki/Mt Cook Trek is a 2-day hike return hike to Caroline Hut and does not include Ball Pass.



  • For accommodation before the walk there are plenty of options in Lake Tekapo. After the trek you can return here, or overnight in Aoraki/Mt Cook Village.
  • Caroline Hut belongs to Alpine Recreation, which operates guided Ball Pass Crossing treks. 
  • There are camping sites in the Tasman Valley and Hooker Valley. Ask about them at the DOC visitor centre at Mt Cook. 


Guided Walk Operators


Safety in the outdoors: Information on how to prepare before you start exploring New Zealand's great outdoors.


Please Note: If you intend to hike this crossing independently, you'll need previous mountaineering experience.

You may also be interested in...