AGL Skill

Difficulty
Endurance

Duration

3 days

Ratio

1 : 2

Equipment List

Download PDF

Price

From $2,100 NZD

 

Barron Saddle Ski Tour

Barron Saddle Tour is one of Mount Cook region's classic ski tours. It is a mission for fit, competent and experienced ski tourers. The trip includes professional guide, helicopter access and hut fees. We prefer guests to have some alpine climbing experience.

Barron Saddle Tour is an achievable mission for competent, experienced ski tourers, preferably with some alpine climbing experience. 3 days allows for a relaxed pace and time to work around weather and snow conditions.

This tour is available from mid-August into spring, when snow conditions are generally at their best.

Barron Saddle Hut

Based at 1995 metres, Barron Saddle sits between the Mueller and Dobson Valleys. It sleeps 8 and is most often visited in early summer for climbing instruction.

High Traverse Route via Sladden Saddle

The trip from Barron Saddle to Mueller is easily achievable in a day for fit parties. With the right team, summiting Mt Sealy (2,557 m) on the way out is also possible.

The trip’s “crux” is the sidle between the Williams and Sladden Glaciers. In firm conditions this short section may have to be done on crampons, and your guide may belay you through. This is where cramponing/front-pointing experience is a must.

BarronST.jpg

Alternative Exits

Strong parties may ski to the valley floor via Sawyers Stream, if snow and avalanche conditions allow.

In rare occasions with poor conditions/weather may require an exit via the low route, down the skiable length of the Mueller Glacier, then climb the moraine wall and skin up to Mueller. You need to be fit and strong for this ascent of 600+ metres.


What's included:

  • Guide and National Park fees

  • All meals form lunch day 1 to lunch day 3

  • Helicopter access

  • Hut fees

  • Free use of a range of technical equipment

  • Local accommodation for any nights necessary during the trip

  • Weather contingency day

The maximum guide to participant ratio is one guide to 2 participants.

Please contact for prices for parties of 3 or 4 (with 2 guides)

How to Book

Contact us with your proposed dates. We can provide a guide to work around your plans, subject to availability.

“Walk-in” and short-notice enquiries may not be possible to fill. We recommend making reservations well in advance.

Experience Required

Minimum requirements:
  • A high level of aerobic fitness

  • Be at least a strong-intermediate to advanced downhill skier/snowboarder

  • Experienced ski tourer or split-boarder, comfortable in all conditions

  • Basic alpine climbing skills

  • Used to touring with a backpack


Barron Saddle Ski Tour Details

+ Itinerary

Every trip will be slightly different due to weather and snow conditions. This is a typical schedule.

  • Day 1: Meet your guide at Alpine Guides base at 08:30 on day one. Sort gear, pack, discuss weather and options. Fly in to Barron Saddle from Glentanner or Mt Cook Airport. Unload at the hut and head out for an afternoon tour.

  • Day 2: Leave early, touring via Sladden Saddle to Mueller

  • Day 3: Ski and walk down to Mt Cook Village.

A one day weather contingency is included at no cost in order to roll back the start date by a day at the trip start, if the weather is bad.

Possible Side Tours

If you have time, and weather/conditions allow, a side tour into the Mueller and Welshman Glaciers make a great afternoon diversion.

+ Mountain Hut Venues

BARRON SADDLE

Built in 1981, Barron Saddle sits at 1995m at the head of the head of Mueller Glacier, on the saddle looking into the Dobson Valley. It is the 3rd hut at (or close to) this location.

The hut sleeps 8 but is seldom visited through winter, making it a cozy barrel on the hill. Provisions include: blankets, cooking utensils, crockery, cutlery, pots, water tank, toilet, park radio, solar powered lights.

MUELLER HUT

Built in 2003 (3rd hut) Muller, sitting at 1800 m is the busiest hut in the Park during summer, but much quieter in winter.

Mueller has 26 bunks and is provisioned with water tanks, toilets, park radio, solar powered lights and LPG stoves.

Read more about mountain hut living conditions here on the FAQ.

+ Aircraft Use

We use helicopter access to reach Barron Saddle to start the tour. If an exit flight is required due to injury, lack of fitness or ability, this will be an additional cost.

There are no permitted aircraft landing sites in this area of the National Park except at Barron Saddle hut.

+ Ski Touring and Snowboard Hire

If you need to hire gear please do this prior to arrival. We have a handful of sets of aging ski touring gear - for emergency hire only!

RECOMMENDED GEAR HIRE STORES

Wanaka - MT Outdoors

Queenstown - Small Planet

Christchurch

+ Equipment and Clothing

Please let us know what gear you need to rent - including any equipment supplied free of charge.

Our gear lists cater for all eventualities. Sometimes you may not require everything on the equipment list your guide will help you sort though your kit at the start of your trip. Weather and mountain conditions when your trip starts will help determine what is needed.

Temperatures, weather, and snow conditions will vary. The gear list is designed to work around these possibilities.

Read more about seasonality, weather, temperatures and snow conditions here.

SM-11.jpg