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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
End of August, mountain guide Gary Dickson and Anard take the training that they have been doing and applied it to an ascent of the 4000m Monch, Berner Oberland region of the Swiss Alps.
August had Mountain Guide Gary Dickson and Anand heading to the Kandersteg region of Switzerland to do some mountaineering instruction and crampon milage on the Morgen Horn, Blumlisalp mountains of the Swiss Alps.
In the middle of the July/August Swiss climbing season , Grant and Gary spent a week in the Swiss Alps working on developing Grants intermediate and advanced climbing techniques/skills for smooth, efficient ascent and descent of big peaks.
In July, Mountain Guide Gary Dickson did two trips around the MonteRosa massif – the classic “spagetti tour” which involves alpinism in both Switzerland and Italy, enjoying the spectacular scenery of this alpine world and the excellent alpine culture of Swiss and Italian mountain huttes/refugios.
Again this year , Mountain Guide Gary Dickson travelled to Iceland in June and worked with Icelandic Mountain Guides and this year some other glacier guides from Iceland with their training and certification requirements for the Icelandic glacier guiding industry.