Welcome to SP!  -
Tasman Valley to Hooker Valley
Trip Report
Contribute 
 
Geography
Parents 
Trip Reports
 

Tasman Valley to Hooker Valley

 
Tasman Valley to Hooker Valley

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: New Zealand, Oceana

Object Title: Tasman Valley to Hooker Valley

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

 

Page By: Dan Baker

Created/Edited: Apr 18, 2006 / May 12, 2011

Object ID: 188976

Hits: 1695 

Page Score: 71.06%  - 1 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

This is a great tramp/climb and the walk out the Hooker-side is a nice way to finish up since it is prettier than the Tasman-side (IMO). I have read that this way is a little more dangerous than going from the Hooker to the Tasman since you descend down the ice/snow slopes on the Ball Pass rather than going up.

Route Description

Begin by trekking up the Tasman Valley along side of the Tasman Glacier. The huge moraine walls where the glacier ice was once level with only 100 years ago are quite a sight.

You will soon reach Ball shelter, a small shelter sitting precariously on the top of the moraine wall. In years to come as the moraine wall continues to slump and cave in, it will likely be "relocated" to the glacier below as the wall collapses from under it. From the shelter, it is a steep scramble up to the Ball ridge. Once the ridge-line is gained, follow it south-westwards until Caroline hut comes into view. Walk and rock-hop towards the hut. Be sure to take plenty of water especially if it is hot. I made the mistake of cutting back on water to save weight and became very dehydrated this first day.

Once you reach the hut, (if you don't decide to camp around here somewhere), it is a steep climb/scramble to the upper ridge line to what is called Fergan’s knob (spelling?). The climb up to Fergan’s knob can be a little exposed in parts so take care. From here follow the ridge-line in a southwest direction until you can access the snow fields/glacier which leads up to Ball Pass. Look for the rock cairns along the ridge line. There are some nice spots on this snow field to pitch a tent and spend the night before crossing Ball Pass.

Trek up the easy snow slopes to the Pass and be sure to take some photos from the top of the Pass (2121m) down to the Hooker valley below. The views are great!!! Since the Hooker-side of the pass does not get the morning sun, it can be a bit cool in the shade and the snow can be quite hard and icy, especially if the night before was cold. When crossing the pass and descending down the Hooker-side, track left down towards the rock/scree slopes. You cannot head straight down the snow slopes as there is a nice big cliff a couple of hundred meters down. Although the slope is only about 33 degrees, watch your step; in March 2005, three climbers (roped together) slipped and tragically lost their lives here.

Once you have made your way diagonally down and left across the snow slopes, you can pick out a feint track along the rocks. Continue in a southwest direction towards the Playing Fields, a flat, grassy plateau offering great views of the upper Hooker and of Mt Cook’s Low peak – break out the camera!!! This is also a great spot to have some lunch.

From the Playing Field, descend a gulley of loose rock and scree and, as you get further down, you can have some real fun “skiing” / running down the shingle-scree (trust me, heaps of fun and a very quick decent!!). At the bottom of this gulley, you will have reached the bottom of the Hooker valley. From here, it is an easy walk out to White Horse Hill camp ground. There is a track in parts and plenty of rock cairns to guide you (well there were plenty when we went through). There are some great views back up the Hooker and of the glacier terminal head and terminal lake. The walk down the hooker valley back to the village is really quite scenic and enjoyable, much prettier than the more baron and rock-strewn Tasman side.

All in all, a great crossing and I highly recommend!!!

Essential Gear

Crampons, Ice Axe, Tent/bivy bag, usual alpine clothing. Perhaps a rope and some anchors (picket/screws etc) if you are not comfortable waling down the sloped of the Pass un-roped.

Images


Comments


[ Post a Comment ]
Viewing: 1-2 of 2    

ScottRoute Page??

Scott

Hasn't voted

Page looks OK, but this should really be a route page rather than a Mountain/Rock Page, in my opinion.
Posted Apr 18, 2006 2:29 pm

Dan BakerThanks guys

Dan Baker

Hasn't voted

You're probably right guys, I've fixed this up. thanks for your comments.

Cheers,
Dan
Posted Apr 18, 2006 9:34 pm

Viewing: 1-2 of 2