Ball Pass Crossing is a demanding two to three-day alpine route, crossing the Mount Cook Range between the Hooker and Tasman Valleys. The route provides spectacular views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Sefton, the Copland Pass and the Hooker and Tasman Glaciers.
The trip can be started from either valley but, for safety reasons and in order to gain the best views, the recommended route is to start at the White Horse Hill camping area and travel up the East Hooker, over Ball Pass (sidling around under Mounts Rosa and Mabel) and down the Ball Ridge to the Tasman Valley and Ball Shelter.
Ball Pass is best attempted between the months of December to March. Snow cover limits travel outside this season, and avalanches can occur at any time of the year.
South Island ▷ Mount Cook - MacKenzie ▷ Mount Cook
This trip was every bit as good as I'd been led to believe. The Company were most professional when the first date had to be changed on account of an approaching cyclone and arranged accommodation for me. We had two excellent guides Jonno and Axel accompany us for two days of the trip. They are passionate about the mountains and showed this throughout the trip. The Caroline hut is very comfortable and the food was plentiful and tasty. I was quite diffident at the beginning of the walk but gained confidence as the guides were very encouraging and helpful. Day 2 was very useful for practising the skills we would need on the final day. While the final day over the pass is quite demanding 11-12 hours Johnno egged us along with his enthusiasm for the outdoors and knowledge of alpine fauna and flora. We were lucky to sight a rock wren and lots of crickets and cicadas. I would definitely recommend this company but make sure you're fit for it.
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Highly recommend this trip!
It is a magical experience being up so high in the mountains looking directly across at Caroline face of Mt Cook and the surrounding mountains, glaciers and valleys. The guides were brilliant - professional, knowledgeable, fun and excellent cooks! The alpine skills part of the trip was really enjoyable and the Ball Pass crossing was stunning - kept pinching myself to make sure I was actually awake and not dreaming this fabulous experience. Amazing scenery with a bit of physical challenge thrown in - definitely need a good standard of fitness.
Alpine Recreation were super helpful answering questions leading up to the trip and the gear we borrowed was all of a high standard and comfortable including the boots!
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍