trip
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9
Intermediate Mountaineering Expedition
Activities
  • 10 days alpine climbing course
Accommodation
  • 9 nights mountain hut/camping
Meals
  • 9 Dinners
  • 10 Lunches
  • 9 Breakfasts

SPECIAL OFFER

10 Days$3180USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: ACI

Trip highlights


  • A 10 day fly in, fly out alpine based learning environment - high mountain hut based with the potential for planned bivouacs
  • Learn new mountain skills and brush up on techniques
  • Instructed by fully qualified NZMGA (NZ Mountain Guide Association) guides
  • Receive a detailed instruction manual
  • Join like minded companions and potentially find your next rope mate on tomorrows objectives

Looking out from behind the impressive ice walls

Experience is imperative before tackling any major mountaineering ascent. This comprehensive climbing course has been designed specifically for fit and motivated people who want to learn modern-day alpine climbing techniques and improve their basic mountaineering knowledge. The 10-day course focuses on advancing your technical skills and developing a climbing strategy pertinent to alpine style mountaineering. In the company of professional NZMGA/IFMGA mountain guides you will gain valuable experience through climbing a variety of alpine routes as well as develop skills in mountain navigation, weather training and crevasse rescue training. Upon the successful completion of this course you will have learnt safe climbing practices and be capable of utilising your skills to attempt ascents of many of the major peaks within New Zealand and beyond.


Today we meet our guides and other group participants at the Wanaka office, 20 Brownston Street, at 9am for a briefing. After everyone is introduced, your guide will outline the course syllabus and the actual venue the course will take place. Next, we get together to discuss and then organise our personal and group equipment (bring all your gear with you, including those items you are not sure whether to include or not). Equipment pertinent to the course will be discussed and you can get all the advice you need concerning equipment from the guides. Anyone requiring rental equipment will be fitted at this time (but please advise in advance of your requirements to ensure you are catered to) and final purchases can be made. Food is pre-sorted for the trip by the guides to save time. It's very important to ration food effectively, too much and your packs become overly heavy, too little and you starve! Basic rope skills and tying in are covered to ensure consistency and revision for those who already have rope skills. This enables us to get right into it when we reach the glacier in a couple of days. Trip planning is covered followed by rescue first aid and decision-making. Once all this is completed we pack up for the trip. Excess items can be left at our office for storage. We travel by road to Fox Glacier township (or Aspiring or Mt Cook) depending on where weather and conditions are best! Please remember a travel bag for use when overnighting in Fox Glacier/Mt Cook village/Wanaka village before and after the trip, see equipment list for details. *Please note you will need to arrive in Wanaka the day before the trip starts as day 1 will be an early start.

Meals:  L,D

After an early breakfast, the group is bundled will fly to the remote Fox Glacier en-route taking in the awesome peaks of the region we will be soon scaling. An initial familiarisation talk to clarify nomenclature and identify the peaks will help you absorb this wonderful environment before moving into the more practical elements of the trip. We utilise the hut system in the region when they are not too full and we move our gear in before we sort ourselves to get out onto the snow. The group ropes up for crevasse travel training and we go for a walk on the glacier. Our other mountaineering gear is introduced as we go along with the rudimentary techniques needed for mountaineering - use of an ice axe, learning to crampon and to self-arrest. The first day out in the mountains is always exciting and eventually we will retire to the hut for a team cook-up and maybe a lesson on weather forecasting while watching the sunset.

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start sees the group roped up and away just on dawn towards a traverse of Grey Peak on the upper reaches of the Fox Glacier. It's good to clear the lungs with a 2 hour climb up the slopes to Pioneer Pass. Here we actually have to place snow anchors and belay on snow or ice towards the summit. At the summit we rest with Aoraki/Mt Cook right there in front of us and we get to see right up into the upper Tasman Glacier! After a quick lunch it's time to descend. We find some suitable seracs and experience ice climbing. It's a chance to hang onto those tools and find the balance point on the crampons. Tired and elated we return to the hut for the night.

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start again, but this time up to Mt Von Bullow, a few kilometres from the hut. The glacier approach is done by headlamp until the dawn breaks just as we near Mt Von Bullow's summit. We climb the final section with a belay and use of snow anchors to the summit. Then we move around on the Davis Snowfield to climb a snow ridge up to West Hoe, our second summit. A welcome cup-a-tea greets you at the hut after a challenging yet rewarding day out with time to dry out sweaty clothes and boots in the afternoon sun.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today a cooked breakfast is followed by a navigation lesson and numerous cups of tea and real coffee. Navigation is a crucial skill and can mean the difference between comfort and concern in the mountains. By knowing these skills one can actually avoid ever getting (completely) lost! A more involved weather lesson follows lunch, and an introductory avalanche awareness lecture then it's time for a game of cards before dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you will practice equalising anchors and discuss some crevasse rescue theory. Weather permitting an attempt on the Minarets, two 3000m peaks in the Franz Josef Glacier area, may be possible. This will require a bivvy at Graham Saddle, some five hours from our hut. Providing an opportunity for the course participants to consolidate the skills they have already acquired by planning and executing a trip under the watchful eyes of the guides. Food is packed, stoves and pots loaded in, and sleeping gear stowed in packs as well. With heavy packs we set off from the hut aiming for a late afternoon arrival at our bivvy site.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today an early start (3.00am) is required to make the most of the calmer weather often available in the mornings. The summit should be reached by about 1pm before the group carefully makes its way back down to pick up the bivvy gear before descending back to Centennial hut for the night.

Meals:  B,L,D

Just near the hut is a perfect crevasse to practice rescue skills. We each take turns to jump into the crevasse while our climbing partners hold our falls. They then carefully pull us up out of the crevasse then we swap around. All the time watched carefully by our guides for safety pointers. In the afternoon we return to our food supplies.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we descend to Chancellor Hut on the Fox Glacier. There are several opportunities to utilise our navigation skills and it's a good chance for the course members to work through this under the watchful eyes of the guide. Not too long after our arrival at Chancellor Hut, a helicopter will arrive (weather permitting) and we are soon on our way to Fox Glacier Township for showers, steak and perhaps a beer.

Meals:  B,L,D

The group gets up early and drives back to Wanaka as everyone is keen to practice some rock climbing on the local crags around the Wanaka region. By mid-afternoon everyone is rather tired, it’s been an action packed 10 days so it’s back to the office to sort out the equipment and debrief the course, after which our trip will conclude.

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • Guide Fees and hut fees
  • All meals and snack foods whilst on the trip
  • Group equipment such as ropes, tents and stoves
  • Ground transport ex Wanaka
  • Course manual (A Climber’s Guide to NZ Mountaineering Techniques, by Guy Cotter and Mark Sedon)
  • Department of Conservation fees (CA/155/Gui)
  • helicopter or ski plane access and egress flights
  • NZ Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • NZMGA and / or IFMGA qualified mountain guide
  • Use of climbing gear including climbing harness with adjustable leg loops, carabiners, belay device/descender, prussics & slings, helmet, ice axe, ice hammer, crampons

  • Travel to/from Wanaka
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal mountaineering equipment not mentioned in inclusions (can be hired)
  • Any accommodation and meals not mentioned in the itinerary

About Your Leader

Professional and experienced mountain guides run the course. We have a commitment to ensure the highest standard of instruction and guiding practices and we only employ guides who share in our philosophy. Our guides will offer you the best possible learning experience, and a safe and enjoyable time. An open and helpful approach is encouraged within the group to help communicate and reinforce the learning process. Our guides are all NZMGA and /or IFMGA internationally qualified. They have been trained and assessed through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association, and operate to the high standards and guidelines set out by the association.


Departure dates


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Total Priceper person from

$3180USD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Alpine Climbing Course trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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