- Alpine (Technical) 5
It is usually easy to find a good line to ski through the crevassed icefalls west of Tasman Saddle Hut, passing through the 2200m contour at grid ref 944404, although there are a few places where you need to be able to turn sharply on steep and narrow terrain. The gradient then eases and it becomes a cruise down to Darwin Corner, about 30 minutes from the hut. Darwin Corner (i.e. the junction of the Darwin with the Tasman Glacier) is a common location for a ski plane pick-up for a return to Mt Cook village. This should be pre-arranged on the hut radio of course. Arranging this pick-up for the afternoon allows time for some skiing in the Darwin and Bonney during the day while awaiting the flight. Alternatively you can go down to the region of De La Beche Hut for a flight out. If there’s enough snow and you’re keen, you can ski and walk out all the way to the Ball Hut Road. Glacial moraine is tough walking, especially with a full pack and skis on the back, but you need to be prepared to do this if necessary, as suitable weather conditions for flying cannot always be relied upon. One full day’s travel on ski and foot from Tasman Saddle or Kelman Hut to the Ball Hut Roadend.