Remarkables Grand Traverse
The Remarkables Grand Traverse is New Zealand’s premier alpine mountaineering day trip. The route is easily accessed from the Remarkables ski field, near Queenstown. It takes in the summits of Double and Single Cone. In summer the route offers fun and immersive scrambling and jaw-dropping exposure and views down to Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu.
The classic Remarkables Grand Traverse takes in both Double Cone and Single Cone. These summits are the highest points in the range and have excellent viewpoints over the Wakatipu basin. The main difficulties are a series of rock steps on the ridge up to Double Cone. In the early season up until December, some patches of snow remain and crampons and ice axe may be used. Above 2000m, a range of conditions can be expected throughout the year. The North East Ridge of Single Cone can be scrambled down. Alternatively, it is possible to abseil down the South Gully and walk down the eastern flanks.
Remarkables Grand Traverse Itinerary
We can meet in Wānaka or Queenstown and drive up the access road to the Remarkables ski field. A short walk to Lake Alta brings your first sight of the objective and the jagged skyline of the traverse. This area was used as a filming location for Lord of the Rings and Vertical Limit. The start of the route is gained by heading up to and around the ‘Telecom Tower’ where the views down to Queenstown are first encountered. The route can take between 6 and 10 hours depending on conditions. At the end of the day before descending back down from the summit of Single Cone towards the lake and car park.
What to Expect
The route requires moderate fitness and the ability to comfortably ascend and descend between 500 and 1000m in a day.
In summer (November to April), the route involves scrambling using hands and easy rock climbing. Your guide will use ropes and climbing equipment to safeguard the ascent. Some rock climbing experience is useful but more importantly, experience hiking off-track including scree and boulders. There is a sense of exposure with Queenstown almost 2km vertically below.
Winter provides shorter daylight hours and colder temperatures. This makes the route more demanding requiring a full range of mountaineering techniques and the ability to move efficiently over snow and mixed ground. For those without experience in rock climbing or winter climbing in crampons on snow and rock, the summit of Single Cone is an excellent and worthwhile objective. Alternatively, we may recommend a preparation day to cover skills before attempting the full traverse.
Pricing and Dates
|Dates:||Summer: November to April|
Winter: July to October
|2023/24 Price:||$1090 per person 1:1|
Price includes GST, guide fees, compliance costs, transport from Wānaka, and technical equipment