Black Peak Ski-Touring

This is a trip report of a ski touring trip I did while I spent three weeks in New Zealand. Most of this time was spent in Wanaka and the surrounding area. I participated in two of Aspiring Guides’ courses during this time. During other times I skied at Treble Cone. This page concentrates on the avalanche awareness course run by Aspiring Guides.Ski touring near Black Peak

The avalanche awareness course was to be held over a four day period in July However, weather in latter part of the course was disrupted by incoming weather.

The day prior to the official start of the course the members met at Aspiring Guides’ office in Wanaka. At this time gear was inspected and last minute preparations were made. Arrangements were made for an early morning departure to Treble Cone ski area.

Ski touring near Black PeakEarly the next morning we made use of the lifts at the ski area to gain the summit area of Treble Cone. From there we descended down to the ridge that would lead us to the hut below Black peak. The ski trip took us approximately six hours. That night we learnt some theory of conditions controlling the likelihood of avalanches.

The following day was spent studying the factors controlling avalanches. Of coarse some time was made available for some skiing. Later in the day one of the bindings on the skis I was using broke. The weather forecast for the following day (and my broken binding) resulted in us ordering a helicopter to take us out.

Ski touring near Black PeakThe balance of the course was conducted at and near the Treble Cone ski area. I found the course very good and learnt a considerable amount about avalanches (at least enough to make me very wary of avalanche territory). The only disappointing aspect of the course was the snow cover but I am coming to realise that this is the way New Zealand is!

I can highly recommend this course to anybody. The guides were very friendly and knowledgeable. An added advantage with Aspiring Guides is that most of their programs have a two day contingency. This means that if the weather is unstable at the beginning of the course they will postpone the commencement for up to two days.

Ski touring near Black PeakSki touring near Black Peak