January 2016, Ascents trip to the West coast, based at Centenial Hut. Great weather and we had the whole of the 8000ha of the Franz neve to ourselves! and the end of the week , a fantastic traverse of the Remarkables, above Queenstown….
2014 ended with Gary taking Simon from the UK on for a guided climb of Mt Cook. Simon and his wife Jacki had planned eight days based at the Alpinism & Ski studio with the plan for Gary and him to ultimately go for the ascent our New Zealand’s highest peak.
A training ‘exercise’ was a day out on the Remarkables for the classic and beautiful alpine traverse of Single and Double Cones. Stunning views, great rock formation, excellent climbing and just simply an awesome day out.
The team had some ‘weather issues’, and we all enjoyed a wine tour in the area too. But they finally were able to fly to Plateau hut and stood on the summit of Aoraki -Mt Cook (on his shoulder only of course:-) just a day before Christmas. Meanwhile at the base in Wanaka, preparations were going on for a xmas roast and welcome back for the blokes as well as some packing up and we saw our wonderful visitors off on further travels towards the Westcoast.
Mountain guide Gaz’ report on returning was that this had been the most complicated route finding through the Linda glacier he’d ever done. Our Private Mountain Guiding in New Zealand trips in the future will not likely include Mt Cook-Aoraki any more, as it is increasingly hard to climb and guides willing to do it not many around! Some more photos of this last Cook climb:
Mountaineer Matt from Australia came back for a Pure Alpinism week in the Southern Alps and we were very happy to have IFMGA mountain guide Nico available as chief Gaz was booked already. Matt and Nico flew from Mt Cook village to Murchison hut, their base for the first few days of guided mountaineering in NZ.
The adventures started with very nice weather but the next front was on them mid week and bunk bashing aka being hut bound happened, providing time to rest and read. The team relocated from Murchison hut to Tasman Saddle hut towards the end of the week and sun and blue skies were back again to finish off in style. Thanks Matt for the use of your photos and your feedback in the guestbook too!
The summer mountain guiding season in the Southern Alps of New Zealand is rapidly coming closer. Mid November sees our first Mt Cook-Aoraki ascents trip for chief guide Gaz. Instruction courses will again be part of his schedule and next month starts with a guides training week.
Closer to home, from our base or yours while in Wanaka, guided trekking excursions are again available with Iris and the native and exotic flora has started its display of budding and flowering with daily new magic popping out:
No better place than Wanaka to start an Alpinism adventure in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. The small town on the edge of lake Wanaka is only a short drive from Mt Aspiring National Park, a fabulous playground. It is very well situated to go either East to Mt Cook or West to Fox Glacier depending on weather conditions.
Chief guide Gaz is off this afternoon for a few days of mountain guiding in the Southern Alps of NZ with a Swiss couple. The weather forecast looks great and details of this alpinism adventure will follow.
The peak season of mountaineering adventures in the Southern Alps has started with this last month of the year. Guided climbing adventures with us begin most often right here in Wanaka, including ascents of Mt Aspiring, Mt Tasman and of course the highest, Mt Cook – Aoraki.
Also mountaineering courses and Gary has just spent a 7 day trip with three Australians, based at Pioneer hut for the best weather days, learning, refreshing and improving alpine climbing skills, enjoying the alpine ambiance and taking in the wilderness aspect of the Southern Alps:
Mic and Monty have both been on Alpinism adventures here with us before and it was a pleasure to introduce Mic’s son Pat to the fun and excitement of alpine climbing.
Spring seems to race along in full speed and plenty of typical storms with lots of wind are blowing through, not so typical are all the thunder and lightning we had during the last few weeks though.
The chief mountain guide of Alpinism & Ski Wanaka, being president of the NZ mountain guides association, has just returned from Peru where an international meeting for the industry took place. Gary is now getting ready again for alpinism adventures in the Southern Alps. His schedule for the coming summer season is getting busy but there are a few slots available should you want him in person for your special ascent, a particular training course or ‘just’ an amazing week in the mountains.
Meanwhile in Wanaka, the native and not so native flora is displaying new beauty almost every day
That’ s on the Alpinism & Ski program until May this year: be it for a guided ascent of Mt Aspiring or another dream peak or a combination of alpine climbing instruction and peak bagging while on a week of alpinism adventures. Some specialized mountaineering training for Wanaka Search and Rescue members is again on the agenda too, here some photos from autumn 2012 on Fox Glacier:
March is coming to an end and with it a New Zealand mountain guides course of two weeks. Fully Internationally qualified and senior mountain guides Gary Dickson and Nick Cradock are running this two week course in the Southern Alps. They spent some time in the Darrens in Fiordland, Continue reading
Here some memorabilia of Alpinism during the last decade: youtube legendary Doug Ball who spent considerable time climbing with mountain guide Gary Dickson aka Gaz from January 2006 until August 2009.
Doug had climbed Mt Cook Aoraki with his wife Peggy and many other peaks, but never Mt Aspiring. He got thwarted twice while climbing with Gaz because of conditions and weather but third time lucky and for a brief time he was considered the oldest climber to have sumited. He must have been an inspiration … more
He sent us these lines just recently …”I use a slide show of my mountaineering photos as a screen saver so that my memories are not lost but are refreshed every day. Alpinism and Ski certainly made an enormous difference to my life. What would have become of me if I had just thrown in the sponge after Peggy died? I have so much to thank you both for and am not likely to ever forget it.”
keep going strong Doug