Camp in an ‘igloo’ and ski tour New Zealand’s backcountry

Pic: Geoff Marks

First Tracks Wanaka is pleased to announce that the Geo Dome Heli Camp has been set up in the McKerrow Range as a base for guided ski touring activities over winter and climbing and trekking activities over the summer months.

Already this spring, the guides at First Tracks Wanaka are catering to groups of ski touring enthusiasts who want to enjoy great terrain in the company of their friends with the security of a guide.

We’ve been hosting some groups who just want to tour in the area and others who focus on upskilling their backcountry touring capabilities’ says company owner and veteran mountain guide, Guy Cotter.

First Tracks Wanaka is a subsidiary of Adventure Consultants Ltd which is an international mountain guiding company based in Wanaka, operating trekking trips and expeditions across the globe as well as mountaineering ascents and courses here in New Zealand.

Cotter explains “We’re really excited to have started operating our First Tracks Wanaka adventures from our geodesic dome situated at 1600 metres in the McKerrow Range between Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. Over this last week we’ve been enjoying some great ski touring and basic mountaineering from there”.

“The steel-framed dome is covered in a durable PVC with an insulated liner to retain warmth and a wooden floor. We’ve set this up so groups can enjoy being in an amazing space in the mountain environment” said Cotter.

“We fly to and from the high-mountain location by a short helicopter ride from the shores of Lake Wanaka and from up there we have fantastic views of the peaks and lakes of the region with Mt Aspiring being a prominent feature.”

Cotter said the company plans to send in a second dome a few weeks from now that will enable them to operate with several small guided groups at one time.

“We fly to and from the high-mountain location by a short helicopter ride from the shores of Lake Wanaka and from up there we have fantastic views of the peaks and lakes of the region with Mt Aspiring being a prominent feature.”

Cotter said the company plans to send in a second dome a few weeks from now that will enable them to operate with several small guided groups at one time.

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