Ski Tourin’ Aotearoa – Ep 1 Sentinel Peak

A sadistically leg busting, but deliciously rewarding ski tour in a rarely skied area of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea.

After a steaming cup of coffee with Ross Mackay who bounded up the Sawyer Burn way last year, I was convinced to approach Sentinel Peak from the West instead. This was made possible by gaining permission from Hunter Valley Station to use their farm track.

Setting off at 6am I was joined by the Canadian carpenter Ian Colvil. We pushed bikes to the snow line. Before trotting, skinning and plodding along rocky ridge lines to the West Peak. From here we had a delightful pitch of skiing, before skins were back on, followed by crampons.

An hour or so later, we were 30m or so below the top. We decided to stop here, due to potentially dangerous conditions on the thinly covered and rather exposed solar aspect. Bit of a niggle, but we skied from where we would have skied from anyway and oh my giddy aunt did we get the goods! Nice velvety snow, in a short and sexy lil’ couloir. One more up on the skins and then a long and n’ swooshy descent back to the bikes. Brake pads toasted, we were back at the cars after a meaty 12 hour round trip.

Wicked day.

Thanks to Hunter Valley Station for the access track.

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