Touring on the Liebig Range
What: Ski touring
Where: Cass Valley, Lady Emily Hut
When: 10-12th October 2015
Who: Peter Taylor, Damian Wilkinson, Estee Farrar, Shelley Hersey and Matt Burke (Scribe)
We recently had an awesome two-night ski touring trip into the Cass Valley (Liebig range) based at Lady Emily Hut. The hut is owned and can be booked by contacting Will (For bookings call Will Murray on 03 6806 752 or 0211869087). Cost is approx. $40 per night and the well equipped hut sleeps 4-6 people. Will tells us that there is a plan to expand the accommodation. This is a great hut set up for ski touring in a great location and has heating and gas plus cooking pots and plates etc. Just bring food and a sleeping bag!
After an entertaining 2 hour 4wd in to the hut from Tekapo (high clearance needed) we spent two nights based at the hut and explored the two valleys above the hut. Being mid-October with a freezing level over 3000m we were skiing an isothermic snowpack, but it was still great fun nonetheless. The ski touring potential in this area is huge ranging from easy day skiing to full-on tours and steep terrain.
The two obvious valleys above the hut make for easy height gain on skis and are wide enough to be reasonably safe in high avalanche conditions (as opposed to Alisa stream which is a huge terrain trap). A link up can also be made between the two valleys assuming the cols that link them have not been stripped or too heavily loaded. Longer trips into Alisa stream and Mt William Grant are also possible. We found out quickly how well insulated the hut is after I made the mistake of lighting the wood burner (save that for mid winter)!! This resulted in Pete sleeping outside (either that or all the talk of the effects upon the digestive system of backcountry meals and/or the random sleep talking….!)
Thanks to Pete for organizing and the rest of the crew. All in all a great recce trip for us all (and great company!) We will definitely be back next winter.
More info: http://skitouring.co.nz/cass-valley-liebig-range/
Posted By: Sefton Priestley