BACKCOUNTRY SPLITBOARD AND TOURING EXPEDITION INTO THE SOUTHERN ALPS
So you got hold of a splitboard. Wise investment. So the question is when are you going to get the experience to use this gear to its full capacity and where are you going to use it?
The New Zealand Splitboard Camp is situated in the high alpine terrain of the Ben Ohau Range of the Southern Alps and it’s here where we set-up basecamp for the four day tour. Out here there’s no phone reception so all you need to worry about is listening to our backcountry guides and progressing your touring skills in this epic part of New Zealand.
Learn first hand from local guides who are professionals, trained and certified through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association or IFMGA training program. They will show you how to set up camp and use your gear with greater efficiency to ensure you “earn your turns” with ease. Get expert advice to help refine skinning and climbing techniques and learn pro-tips for route finding, weather observations and avalanche awareness.
The tour is also hosted by local Mint guide and head photographer Jeremy Black, so you’ll not only come away up-skilled in backcountry touring but also have a collection of incredible photos and video of the Mt Cook alpine region to share with friends.
13 September - 18 September, 2021
Guest to Guide Ratio
4 guests : 1 guide
AUD $3,490 per personCurrency Convertor
Backcountry - Splitboard / ski tour experience and moderate fitness required
Why Travel With Mint
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. We are a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conduct business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
Learn valuable backcountry techniques and skills including avalanche hazard evaluation, avalanche transceiver searches, uphill skinning/snowshoeing technique, route finding, terrain analysis and mountain navigation.
Our local Mint photographer and backcountry ski guide is on-hand throughout to capture everything from the flight into camp, set-up, skills training and all of the skiing and snowboarding throughout the tour using stills, video and drone footage.
Your expedition style tents and equipment are helicoptered into camp which is located around 1700m, above the snow line and have amazing views right across the valleys. A combination of North Face 2-Metre domes and VE 25 tents. are used. A private camping toilet set up will be explained by your guide.
Get in touch for a detailed tour itinerary and more info
WHAT IS A SPLITBOARD CAMP
We helicopter in and out from our base, set up a snow-camp and then spend our days touring and riding with our qualified backcountry guides. Campsites are cozy expedition-style tents, backed up with snow caves (or a mountain hut). The campsite locations are stunning high-altitude zones located around 1700m, above the snowline and have amazing views.
The Ben Ohau Range runs east of Mount Cook and the Main Divide. The terrain is non-glaciated, featuring extensive valley systems, with mellow to steep runs across all aspects. It offers great options for touring in nearly all weather and snow conditions. We normally set up camp in either the Duncan Basin, or Whale Stream areas.
SNOW & CONDITIONS
It is not uncommon to ski and ride powder after a spring storm, but you are more likely to find corn snow. Corn is better suited to first time backcountry skiers and snowboarders. Daylight hours are longer and warmer. Snow cover is at its maximum. More terrain can be accessible due to better stability/avalanche conditions.
The tour is best suited for advanced ability skiers and snowboarders with off-piste experience and moderate to high level of fitness. Be prepared to ski and ride terrain featuring mellow to steep runs across all aspects and be able to traverse in alpine terrain carrying a bulky backpack.
Full gear list is provided once the tour is booked. We can provide all of the safety gear, and tents, inclusive. We can also provide anything else you need for a very reasonable rental price through our NZ guides. For those coming from Australia, our partner Twelve Board Store has an excellent range of splitboard equipment to purchase.
After you sign up for a tour, you will receive pre-trip emails with specific information about your tour, the arrival and departure day process, information about the destination, packing suggestions, and other relevant information to help you prepare for your trip. In addition to this, you have access to our customer care team who are just a phone-call away. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
Meet your guides
LOCAL GUIDES & PARTNERSHIPS
Your snowboard & ski guides have an in-depth knowledge of the local area, terrain and conditions. You can be assured we will always find you the best snow conditions available. Our goal is to get everybody on tour enjoying themselves and pushing your riding in a relaxed and fun environment.
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES
- 3 nights snow camping in the Southern Ben Ohaus
- 4 days of professional backcountry guiding
- All meals, snacks and water during snow camping
- All transport throughout the tour
- Helicopter flights in and out of the Southern Ben Ohaus
- Free use of a range of technical backcountry camping equipment
- 2 nights twin share pre / post camp accommodation
- Mint Tours host and photographer on-hand throughout tour
- Twelve Board Store discount code
- Return Christchurch Airport transfers
The New Zealand Splitboard Camp is for 5 nights. If this isn’t enough, then ask us about additional pre / post tour accommodation and activities such as heli-ski warm-up with Mt Cook Heliski.
WEEK 1 13 September – 18 September, 2021
PRO-TIP – GO PRIVATE!
Book this tour as a private departure – with your own guide and all the benefits of a Mint group tour – for any group, big or small (even just one traveller). Get in touch to discuss.
WHY TRAVEL WITH MINT?
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. Mint is a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conducts business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we can take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre-or post tour arrangements.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BORDERS ARE CLOSED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
The global health crisis has impacted everyone enormously, so we want to make sure your future travel plans are safe and reassure you that we are committed to supporting our customers in the best way that we can. You can view our latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates HERE
WHAT HAPPENS ON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE DAY?
Once you’ve signed up for the tour we will send you through a comprehensive guide with details about the tour including the arrival and departure day process, a map of where we meet, recommended arrival and departure times, flight options, Visa requirements and transportation information.
WHAT IF I’M TRAVELLING SOLO?
About 99% of our guests are travelling solo, so you’ll be in good company. If you are travelling solo, you will be paired with another guest to room with. The accommodation for this tour is twin share per tent. Your group will be made up mostly of solo travellers. Our groups generally mix well due to a shared interest in snow sports and an eagerness to explore all that New Zealand has to offer.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON THIS TOUR?
Each tour is different, but we know that by offering one of the smallest client to guide ratio in the industry allows you to ski or snowboard at your preferred pace, and ultimately leads to a better experience for everyone. We have a maximum of 6 people on this tour. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us, and keeping the groups small means less time waiting and more time riding.
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR ME?
This tour is best suited to strong skiers and snowboarders wanting to progress their alpine touring in a unique environment while experiencing camp life and eating under the stars. Each day is spent exploring the bowls, chutes and faces of the Southern Ben Ohau Range while getting to know your equipment and honing your skills.
WHICH MOUNTAINS WILL WE VISIT?
We are based at the Southern Ben Ohaus which runs east of Mount Cook and the Main Divide. The terrain is non-glaciated, featuring extensive valley systems, with mellow to steep runs across all aspects. It offers great options for touring in nearly all weather and snow conditions. We normally set up camp in either the Duncan Basin, or Whale Stream areas.
CAN I ARRIVE EARLY OR STAY ON AFTER THE TOUR?
For most tours you can arrive earlier or stay later. We can tailor the trip to suit your travel plans. Speak with one of our tour specialists when you are booking and they will be more than happy to assist.
WHO ARE THE GUIDES?
All of our tours are guided by friendly, knowledgeable and expertly trained guides who are passionate about the mountains. Most of our guides work for us season after season. If you have a preferred Mint guide, just let us know and we’ll be able to tell you which tours they are leading.
CAN YOU BOOK FLIGHTS?
Yes. Let us take the hassle out of selecting the right flights for the tour. We can book you the best flight options for the tour, with no booking fees.
ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED?
No, flights are not included. If you need assistance booking flights, we can book you the best flight options for the tour, with no booking fees.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes. All guests on tour need to be covered be comprehensive travel insurance. Once you have booked on the tour, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We offer all of our tour guests discounted snow specific travel insurance.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE I’VE BOOKED?
Once you’ve booked your spot on tour, we will send you through a booking confirmation and provide updates about the tour including the arrival and departure day process, a map of where we meet, recommended arrival and departure times, flight options, Visa requirements and transportation information. We will send out a Pre Departure Guide 30 days prior to departure. Prior to the tour commencing we will invite you to a group chat which is managed by your tour manager and guides.
HOW CAN I CHECK MY ABILITY LEVEL?
The best way to check if a tour is suited to your ability is by speaking with one of our tour specialists. They will be able to determine if the tour you have selected is a good fit for your ability, as well as suggesting other tour options.
HOW DO I GET TO THE CAMP?
We’ll provide you with a pre-departure guide with details on how to get to Christchurch and where to meet your hosts. If it’s your fist time to New Zealand or if you’re unsure about travel arrangements, often we can link you up with other tour guests to travel with.
HOW DO I CHECK AVAILABILITY?
Speak with one of our tour specialists. As this is a small group tour with limited availability, it’s best to get in touch early to avoid disappointment.
DO YOU TAKE SKIERS & SNOWBOARDERS?
Yes! We are ski and snowboard friendly.
ARE LIFT TICKETS INCLUDED?
NO. Lift tickets are not required when splitboarding. However, we can assist with lift tickets for any pre / post tour ski area visits.
CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT?
Yes! We can arrange rental equipment for most destinations, however we do recommend bringing your own equipment.
WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD I BRING?
Skiing and snowboarding in the New Zealand backcountry is like nothing else. Expect all kinds of weather and snow with temperatures typically ranging from +10 to -10. We recommend that guests have a good quality waterproof jacket and pants, lightweight insulated layer, merino base layers, merino gloves and waterproof gloves, goggles with low light & high light lenses, sunglasses, balaclava, beanie, and helmet. We recommend that all guests bring their own ski or snowboarding equipment for the tour (board, boots, bindings & outerwear).
Please let us know what gear you need to rent – including any equipment supplied free of charge.Our gear lists cater for all eventualities and your guide will help you sort though your kit at the start of the tour. Weather and mountain conditions when your trip starts will help determine what is exactly needed.
WHO WILL BE ON MY TOUR?
Your group will be made up of travellers from diverse backgrounds and will be varied in age. Our groups generally mix well due to a shared interest in snow sports and an eagerness to explore all that New Zealand has to offer.
PRICE PER PERSON
The New Zealand Splitboard Camp is AUD $3,490 per person
RESERVATION AND DEPOSIT
To secure your spot on tour, a non-refundable 25% deposit is payable within 3 days of booking. The balance is due 90 days prior to tour departure. You can view our terms and conditions HERE and COVID-19 policy HERE
If you would like some more information or a quote for the tour you can contact us by:
Enquire below and one of our New Zealand Tour Specialists will be in touch with further details.
2. OVER THE PHONE
Call us and follow the prompts to speak to one of our New Zealand Tour specialists.
Within Australia (03) 8563 9437
Drop us an email and one of our New Zealand Tour Specialists will be in touch with a with a quote, availability and further details about the tour.