Cass Valley and Memorial Hut

The Cass Valley is a valley off to the north-west of Lake Tekapo access and accomodation is provided by way of Glenmore Station, a very large sheep and cattle station that starts from the banks of Lake Tekapo. There is a long 4wd track that goes through the riverbed of the Cass River from the station up to 1070m where Memorial Hut is located. Luckily, Tom Harry has a Russian made tank of a 4wd that made the trip up and back without issue. Also in attendance was Chef Tom from Ohau lodge.

There is plenty of snow up high but snow line really starts between 1400m and 1500m. With the hut at 1070m there is quite a lot of climbing through tussock (or more dreadfully, riverbed) to get to snow line.

The first day started partly cloudy but unfortunately the clouds moved in around midday and the afternoon we skied some low visibility, still not quite soft corn. We made it to the head of the Ailsa stream and to Ailsa pass. We would have been able to see down onto the Murchison Glacier… If we could see more than 50m. To end the day, we had a several km walkout on a riverbed with multiple wet-feet river crossings and some 007-james bond rock descents.

The second day was bright, hot and sunny from the get-go and many a sunburn was inflicted on all. We attempted to ski a route called the Scorpion. Tom and I made it to the pass at the top of the route but elected to ski the sunny slopes we ascended rather than the original loop.


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