21st-24th September 2022. Normally I'm pretty cautious about heading to the mountains with strangers. Still, when Luke Frisken reached out about heading up to do some ski mountaineering on the Upper Tasman I was instantly keen to join him, Adam and Eric for the few days I could muster off around work. The only problem was needing to share the Helicopter ride, so the whole thing nearly didn't happen until a last-ditch effort linked me up with Maz and then suddenly we were heading to the mountains for a few days!
We skied Darwin's Chair, Elie de Beaumont, Hochstetter Dome, ice climbed in the canyonlands and played Bananagrams on top of the block we climbed. On our last day we skied the headwall of the Murchison Glacier and the Mt Ackland on the Aida Glacier before it was time to head back to the real world. Time well spent in an amazing place.
Tasman Glacier

Upper Tasman Glacier

Tooth shaped glacial ice

Glacial tooth!

Clouds in the mountains

Evening clouds on the Upper Tasman Glacier

Tasman Saddle Hut

Tasman Saddle Hut, perched unexpectedly on a rock prow in the glacier

Black and white photo, clouds on the Tasman Glacier

Light play on the Tasman Glacier

Tasman Saddle Hut

Approaching Tasman Saddle Hut

Glacial pattern

Alpenglow in the mountains

There's something magical about Alpenglow

Alpenglow on Elie De Beaumont

Looking at tomorrow's plans in the Alpenglow

Skier skiing

Maz putting in some sharp-looking tracks

Black and white photo glacier blocks

Black and White on the Upper Tasman Glacier

Sunset at Tasman Saddle Hut

Sunset at Tasman Saddle Hut

Sunset on Elie De Beaumont

Sunset on Elie De Beaumont

Sunset on Aoraki Mt Cook

Sunset on Aoraki

Climber and Tasman Saddle Hut watching sunset on Aoraki Mt Cook

What a great tooth-brushing view

Sunset on Aoraki Mt Cook from Tasman Saddle Hut

Sunset on Aoraki from Tasman Saddle Hut! It just gets better and better

Ski tracks on the upper Tasman Glacier

All those ski tracks

In the ice of the Canyonlands Upper Tasman Glacier

Exploring the Canyonlands!

Inside the Upper Tasman Glacier

Inside the Tasman Glacier

People inside Tasman Saddle Hut

It can be pretty cramped in Tasman Saddle Hut at times but you also never know which amazing people you might meet

Looking out from Tasman Saddle Hut

And there is an excellent view out the window

Inside Tasman Saddle Hut

Make the most of every last inch, drying gear and hanging out swapping stories.

Sunrise at Tasman Saddle

Sunrise at Tasman Saddle, about to drop the Murchison Headwall

Sunrise Tasman Saddle

I love the way the sun is catching the ripples of snow on Tasman Saddle

Black and White photo looking into the Upper Godley

The view from Mt Ackland on a perfect day - so still you can see the reflection three glacier lakes over. Such epic country to explore.

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