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a guide to New Zealand’s best backcountry terrain

This book is your essential guide to the best backcountry touring and ski mountaineering in New Zealand. Whether you’re new to the world of backcountry snowsports, an enthusiast looking for inspiration, or an international traveller sampling what New Zealand has to offer, this guide will help you plan your next adventure.

There is a wealth of opportunities for self-powered snow adventures in New Zealand’s spectacular mountain environments. It’s no wonder that backcountry snowsports have been steadily growing in popularity in recent years as people discover the challenge and serenity of slopes beyond the ski fields. Today there are more people and a greater variety of equipment in action than ever before.

This guidebook builds on the 2003 NZAC guidebook Backcountry Skiing in New Zealand by James Broadbent. True to the philosophy of the original guide, this book covers the best terrain across all of New Zealand and features a wide variety of routes and locations to suit all levels of ambition and expertise.

The book includes over 200 new route descriptions and all updated information to help you explore New Zealand’s amazing alpine backcountry. A new format with a quick beta panel plus colour photographs throughout is designed to assist navigation and add extra inspiration! Click on the Contents page image at right, to enlarge for viewing.

Access Update

Mt Olympus, Craigieburn Range 

Refer page 66 CR5 Ryton Valley, page 165 Craigieburn Traverse – Mt Cheeseman to Mt Olympus

After a change in land ownership, access through the Ryton Valley to Mt Olympus for ski touring has been prohibited.

Access across New Zealand can change frequently so it is prudent to check WAMS ( for up-to-date public land access information.

210mm x 148mm, paperback
colour images and maps

184 pages

Published: 1st edition July 2018 (reprint May 2019)
ISBN: 978-0-9941210-2-8


Additional information

Weight 0.4 kg
Dimensions 21 × 15 × 1 cm

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