West Coast of NZ, mountaineering

April 2017 and Mountain Guide Gaz is just back from a trip to the West coast neve of the Fox Glacier.

Excellent weather and great mountaineering conditions  and a couple of excellent ascents for a couple from Thailand.

lendenfeld

Mt lendenfeld, one of 26 peaks over 3000m in the NZ Alps – ascended this week.

Adventures start from Pioneer hut

Pioneer Hut, @2400m above sea level. The climbing base for the week.

Mountain guiding Aspiring region NZ

Late March, Mountain guide Gaz did  a trip into the Aspiring region with a client from Alpine Guides.  Glacier conditions where pretty reasonable – a result of the many storms during the summer putting down little bits of snow which has kept the glaciers in reasonable nick making for good mountain guiding conditions.

Mt Aspiring aerial image

Mt Aspiring – Aspiring climbing region, NZ

Back alpine climbing

Late Feb/early March Gaz and long time client, friend and business mentor headed for a few days to the head of the Tasman Glacier, and from Kelman hut, got Phils alpine climbing program re started.  The summit of Mt Alymer was acheived and a visit to Tasman Saddle hut (which was being renovated by the DOC mt Cook crew) – many a night has previously been had by Phil, gaz and friends, particularly on ski touring adventures based at that hut :-)

A steady trip down the upper neve to a helicopter pick up at malte brun heli pickup site  was the finale to a great trip

Well done Phil for all the effort put in to enable this to happen.

Phil(right) and mates previously on a ski tour in the Murchesion glacier area.

Phil and mates previously on a ski tour in the Murchesion glacier area.

Specialist mountaineering consultancy

Early 2017, IFMGA Mountain Guide Gary Dickson spent two week with an elite group of people furthering their mountaineering decision making skills in the Southern Alps of NZ – known by this group as an ideal place to hone and test their mountaineering skills – skills  and proficiency that they then can take to any mountain region/range in the world.

Gaz Dickson - professional mountain consultant to some of the world elite

Gaz Dickson – professional mountain consultant to some of the world elite

Private Mountaineering Instruction

Decemeber was busy for IFMGA mountain guide Gary Dickson with him working at Mt Cook doing two 5 day private mountaineering courses.  These shorter courses are ideal in length for introductory or skills update, and being not too long in the mountains, making for a pleasant amount of time for many people to be in the back country.  Both trips were based out of Tasman Saddle hut, at the head of the Tasman Glacier, which was ideal in the quite changeable westerly weather conditions.

private mountaineering instruction course in New Zealand

Tasman Saddle hut, your base for a private mountaineering instruction course

NZ mountain guides assn assessments

Nov/Dec had IFMGA Mountain Guide Gary working as an assessor for the New Zealand Mountain Guides association as an assessor for two four day NZMGA hard ice guide courses.  Both these courses where run on the lower Tasman Glacier ice, a first for the associations training and certification scheme ( usually these courses have been held on the west coast glaciers). All eight of the candidates who put themselves forward for this aseessment( the highest award in NZ for Hard ice glacier guiding) ended up passing. Well done to them all.

NZ mountain guides assocaition HIG courses

back country ski touring

Early November and Gaz and Monte head to the head of the Tasman Glacier for ski touring.  Variable weather conditions worked out OK with an ascent of Mt Aylmer, ice climbing in the Darwin ice fall and good ski turns  from the col nearby to Kelman hut.

There is plenty of winter snow in the head of the glaciers which should help them survive the summer months and make for good climbing conditions.

Glaciated southern alps of nzwind clouds

Alpine ski mountaineering course

In October, Gary headed into the head of the Tasman Glacier, based at Tasman Saddle hut with clients Mark  and Rachel. Learing the skills of ski mountaineering in preparation for a trip May 2017 to Denali.  Cold  snowy weather conditions provided perfect conditions to test gear , back country skiing / ski touring techniques , learn and apply technical mountaineering skills and weather and avalanche knowledge.

Sunset  from Tasman saddle hut

Sunset from Tasman saddle hut

Canyon lands, back basins tasman glacier

Canyon lands, back basins Tasman Glacier