Discover Alpine Recreation

Alpine Recreation are family-owned and operated and offer unique year-round alpine adventures with exclusive access to the most stunning backcountry locations in the Southern Alps. Explore far from the beaten track to remote mountain locations, avoid the crowds and rest assured that you’re in good hands; Alpine Recreation have over 40 years of experience (since 1981) guiding in the Tekapo backcountry, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and Southern Alps. Small group sizes ensure you’ll be well looked after and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime!

Alpine Recreation specialise in self-powered snow-based adventures and their friendly and professional IFMGA and NZMGA qualified mountain guides will take you on snowshoe hikes, ski and split-board tours, avalanche courses, glacier skiing and ski mountaineering adventures. They offer family-friendly overnight stays in remote mountain huts, heli-assisted day tours from their Edelweiss Lodge in Lake Tekapo, through to backcountry and avalanche skills courses at their private mountain huts and trans-alpine crossings of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

Edelweiss Lodge – Tekapo Accommodation

Alpine Recreation’s very own Edelweiss Lodge in Tekapo Village provides the perfect starting point for their Tekapo and Aoraki Mount Cook based adventures. Walking distance from the town centre, restaurants, cafés and hot pools, their modern and well-equipped lodge provides everything you might need before and after your adventure.

Private and remote mountain huts with spectacular views

Alpine Recreation own two private huts:
– Rex Simpson Hut in the Two Thumb Range with stunning views over Lake Tekapo; and
– Caroline Hut in the Mount Cook Range in front of the impressive 2000m high Caroline Face of Aoraki Mount Cook.
Both huts are heated and well supplied with food, sleeping bags and equipment, keeping you warm and comfortable on your mountain adventure and your pack light for the hike in. They are also amazing places for star-gazing, located within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve and far from any light pollution.

Ski & Split-board Touring – Two Thumb Range

Backcountry tours on the peaks and ranges overlooking Lake Tekapo. The Two Thumb Range near Lake Tekapo is a backcountry skiing paradise with an amazing landscape providing a good variety of terrain in a series of parallel valleys which allows for a different ski tour each day. Suitable for beginner to advanced ski / split-board tourers.

The mountain range forms the eastern boundary of the Mackenzie Basin, close enough to the Southern Alps to get great views and regular snow fall, but sheltered enough to escape many of the predominant north-west storms hitting the Main Divide.

Add in a cosy, heated hut and you have the recipe for a great backcountry holiday!



Ski & Split-board Touring – Cass Valley, Gamack Range

Backcountry ski/split-board the ranges north-west of Lake Tekapo

The Cass Valley and Gamack Range near Lake Tekapo is an exciting backcountry skiing & split-boarding venue in the middle of an impressive landscape with a good variety of terrain. The mountain range is just east of the main Southern Alps and from the tops provides stunning views of Aoraki / Mount Cook and many more of New Zealand’s 3000m peaks. Being close to the Main Divide, this area receives regular snow fall and has great skiing for intermediate to expert ski / split-board tourers.

Add in a cosy, heated hut and you have the recipe for a great backcountry holiday! The huts are provided by Glenmore Station. Will and Emily Murray, the station owners, are great ski enthusiasts and have built the huts in their favourite backcountry locations. The huts are very well sited to provide diverse backcountry experiences from each hut. Ski / split-board tours on a variety of aspects are possible from all huts, but each location has its own character.

As well as our regular tours at each hut, we offer the opportunity to ski between the huts: The Alpine Recreation Gamack Range Ski Traverse. If you have been to the Cass Valley huts before, then you might have thought that it would be fantastic to link them all – or maybe just 2 of them. Are you up for the challenge?


Heli-assisted Snowshoe Hikes and Ski / Split-board Day Tours

Lodge based day tours on the peaks and ranges around Lake Tekapo. Snowshoe hikes and ski / split-board day tours for those wanting to be based out of Lake Tekapo, but still access the backcountry for adventurous and rewarding day trips. You may be holidaying with family in Tekapo or haven’t got the time for the walk into our huts. Or maybe you simply prefer staying in a comfortable holiday home or hotel rather than a backcountry hut. Here is the mountain adventure for you! Our trips can cater to families, first-time snowshoers and ski / split-board tourers as well as to experienced groups.


Backcountry and Avalanche Skills Courses

Alpine Recreation offer a range of instruction courses based at their private huts and lodge, catering to complete beginners, through to experienced skiers and boarders wanting to refresh their skills. Professional IFMGA / NZMGA qualified mountain guides will teach you all the skills you need to know to stay safe in avalanche terrain and on your backcountry adventure. Small group sizes ensure you’ll make the most of the learning opportunities on your course.



Glacier Ski & Split-board Touring

Backcountry Ski & Split-board Touring amongst the glaciers of the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks. We typically base ourselves at Kelman, Tasman Saddle, Centennial, Pioneer or Plateau Huts, and undertake day tours from there. The glacier runs are spectacular: Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers in the west and Tasman and Murchison Glaciers in the east – all provide access onto a myriad of surrounding smaller glaciers.

The itinerary is completely flexible and can be customised to suit your needs. You can opt for an instruction based course to improve your winter mountaineering skills, or the focus can be on climbing peaks or skiing as many different runs as you can!

Once a year, this adventure is also offered as an exclusive ladies-only adventure: “She’s on Skis”. Guided by one of New Zealand’s select few female IFMGA mountain and ski guides, this is the perfect opportunity for the ladies to take there ski touring to the next level!



Symphony on Skis

New Zealand’s ultimate trans-alpine backcountry ski tour!

Linking together New Zealand’s 4 main glaciers and traversing the Southern Alps from east to west, the “Symphony on Skis” is New Zealand’s ultimate multi-day trans-alpine ski tour. “The Symphony” starts in the Godley Valley at the head of Lake Tekapo and finishes at Fox Glacier on the West Coast. Covering 47km with 4100m/3800m of vertical ascent/decent this is a challenging adventure through New Zealand’s most spectacular ski touring terrain and should be on every experienced ski mountaineer’s bucket list!



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