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Trip Report: Spring Ski Touring at Tukino

By Jon Glover

While on a recent trip to Samoa, I received an email from Mac stating that those fine people from down south were holding a ski touring meet at Tukino and would I be interested in joining. Now snowy peaks and fresh lines are a far cry from white sandy beaches and razor sharp coral, but hey, you can never miss out on an opportunity especially for some late season skiing.

Cutting work a bit early on Friday we arrived at Tukino to find Auckland had invaded the Wellington meet, well for ski touring at least. Jim, Jon and Mac representing the big smoke while Dave, Eric and Sarah represented Wellington. Fiona made up the 4th representative from Auckland, residing in Taupo which is obviously on the Auckland side of Tukino. Gary being from Napier gave half point to each side.

Saturday morning started abruptly with the climbers in the lodge getting off to a semi alpine start, while the skiers stayed in bed for a more humane touring get away. A brisk jaunt up the Whangeahu Glacier popped us out just below the Crater Lake and a short skin to the summit plateau provided a spot for lunch. Eric through no word and only actions had demonstrated that he was a beast in the fitness department having reached the top of the glacier and then skiing half way down and skinned up again before the “young” folk at the back reached the top.

After a chilly lunch David punished his body by following Eric down the Whakapapa side, the skiing being so good they went all the way to the bottom of the Fast West T. The younger folk in the group started down the Mangatoetoenui Glacier enjoying wide turns in perfect spring skiing conditions. The sun was out and hardly a cloud in the sky. A break half way down led to an hour’s rest perched on a warm rock shooting the breeze.

A lovely afternoon was spent in the hut, with a few of the younger folk getting a bashing from the old guard. Eric’s team nacho extravaganza was enjoyed by all and made sure there was enough energy around to get up the hill again in the morning.

Another perfect day dawned and this time the skiers were out of the hut before the climbers….just. A quick skin directly up the Mangatoetoenui Glacier found us enjoying more great skiing conditions with everyone back at the hut in plenty of time to get back to the respective destinations at a reasonable hour.

Thanks to all those who organised, looking forward to seeing everyone on the hill again.

Posted: 01/02/16

Posted By: Sefton Priestley