A major tributary of the Waimakariri River. Barker Hut, at the head of the valley, is located on the exposed buttress of the White and Marmaduke Dixon glacial valleys. It is the highest hut in the national park (1560m), and provides an excellent base for climbing a variety of nearby peaks. Mt Murchison (2408m) at the head of the White Glacier is the highest peak in the area.
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|WHITE VALLEY, Ski Touring.||
Map K33 Keen types may also consider a trip to Kahutea Col from a base at Barker Hut (10 bunks, pay fees of $5 per night to the Canterbury Mountaineering Club) in the headwaters of the White River. In years of good snowfalls the skinning can begin at the Taipoiti confluence. The recommended route goes up the true left of the White River. Be aware of prevailing avalanche conditions before venturing into this area. In winter a temporary snow-bridge forms over the White River chasm below Barker Hut. Assess its strength and rope-up before using it, alternatively use the ramp a little further upstream (just below the 28m waterfall) or, which would be safer, travel via the terminal of the Marmaduke Dixon Glacier. Note that the nevés of the White and Marmaduke Dixon Glaciers are both prone to avalanches. One ski tour is to the head of the Marmaduke Dixon Glacier to its (corniced) saddle separating it from the White Glacier. Another tour is up the White Glacier to Kahutea Col. The best route is to stay to the true left of the White Glacier’s icefall.