This classic is exploding in popularity, and it's easy to see why. It's thoroughly enjoyable Ski Mountaineering objective with easy road access and spectacular summit.

Mt Hector's main route requires a ski mountaineering ascent. It moves through a lot of complex avalanche terrain, across glaciers, and through many terrain traps. Most people will do this route in spring, aiming to be off the mountain before noon.  This route should be attempted only by very fit parties parties with experience in glacier travel. It is a route the requires constant movement. This route can, and has been snowshoed, but often over two days as it's tough for snowshoes to move at the necessary pace to not get stuck in the avalanches. 

The route begins at a easy to miss turn off for the Mt Hector drainage that lies between Andromache and Hector. The skintrack leads up along the trail for a kilometre before steepening considerably. Most years a bootpack is required here to get up to the valley above.

Following the valley, keep to the south Hector side, gaining elevation until reaching a series of moraines. From here pick a route that suits the snow conditions best. 

Past this is a good spot to rope up as you step onto the glacier. Keep your ski crampons ready as they will be required presently. The route steepens as you progress. Eventually Ski Crampons become necessary as the terrain, and rock hard spring conditions make for tricky skinning. Many people bootpack this section instead. 

Gaining the base of the summit block, there is slight gulley just beneath the upper col between the main peak and the subpeak that pushes through the first band. Ascend here, up the snowfield then traverse westwards, up a couple rock steps onto the summit. 

Well done you've made it. The down climb is tricky and as of yet there are no solid options for rappels. Descend back to your skis, and let her rip down the valley. The run is beautiful, and while the snow is rarely superb, it's great fun.

Back down the valley, into the gulley be very cautious. Andromache has a bad habit of early morning avalanches the wipe out the gulley. Scrambling down the rock bands above the gulley to the west is often the safer option down. 

Pack List

  • Avalanche Recue Kit
  • Crevasse Rescue Kit
  • Rope
  • Helmet, Harness, biners
  • Ice axe, crampons
  • Fast moving ski clothes
  • Headlamp
  • Snacks and Water
  • Map, compass, gps
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RT Distance 8.6 Miles
Elevation Gain 5275.6 Feet
Activities Snowboarding, Skiing, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Advanced
Season Spring, Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back


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