Not really a sailing post, but I have found that many of my sailing friends are skiiers too. And if you happen to be in New Zealand over the winter, then skiing the Tasman Glacier is a spectacular thing to do!
I did this back in 2011. We caught the snow plane from Mount Cook airport. Mt Cook is New Zealand’s highest peak and the Tasman Glacier runs along the valley below the mountain. Landing on the snow in the plane was a unique experience and the views from the top were incredible. From there we skiied through some ice boulders and then down through the valley. The photo’s really don’t do it justice as you really can’t get a feel for the scale of this place. Even in real life it was hard to judge the distances until I saw a speck on the mountain which was a big hut.
The first run covered off 8km of terrain and then we caught the helicopter back up to the top and took a different route down the glacier before being picked up and flown back to the airport.
The skiing wasn’t particularly challenging. It was deep powder, but only the top third of the glacier was steep, and the rest was a gentle slope which enabled you to take in the stunning scenery around you.