Mt Aspiring NW ridge
On the 11th of December Mountain guide Gary Dickson and kiwi client John flew into Bevan col looking for a reasonable break in the current weather for a Mount Aspiring ascent attempt. Unfortunately the weather gods did not play ball and the two mountaineers walked over to Bevan col 4 days later in ‘interesting’ navigation conditions and later flew out to Wanaka. Even though it was a dissappointing trip not to have summited, it was a good trip into the hills with plenty of good hut comraderie, photo opportunities and technical skills updated for John.
Comming up in January, return Alpinism and Ski client Anthony will be jetting in from HongKong for a week of ascent action with Gaz.
In late November/early December, Mountain Guide gaz worked up at Mt Cook instructing on a technical mountaineering course/intermediate mountaineering course.
The scheduled courses are closed for the rest of the NZ summer but private trips are available to realise your dream adventure in the Southern Alps. Be it a guided ascent of a special peak or an alpine climbing instruction course for beginners or intermediate-advanced mountaineers. If you are keen, get in touch for us to help you organise it.
The Epic mountain biking race second half of April will be chief Gary’s last mission before European summer activities will take over his schedule. Until then though, there is some more fun in the mountains: next week, a 5 day trip with Australian lady Michelle who is coming back for more alpine beauty and experience, ice axe, crampons and helmet etc are ready.
The Southern Alps of New Zealand offer beautiful terrain for alpinism adventures
learning to place ice screws on a climbing course
End of the month, two fit fellas will be arriving from Aussie to go on an intermediate-advanced climbing course with mountain guide Gaz. The NZ weather looks to have settled into a more settled state of play and alpine conditions look excellent for the 10 day specialized mountain training.
If you are looking for a climbing course we have two sceduled courses comming up:
- Intro to alpinism – 6 days 20th-25th February
- Total Alpinism – 7 days 04th-10th March
If you are an individual or a group looking to have a week of private mountaineering instruction, just get in touch and we can see if we can fit around your schedule.
Michael and James, a week with ISM, here on Tête Blanche
August last year, Thanks for the feed back and photos Michael:
On behalf of James and myself, thank you very much for an excellent week at the Orny and Dix huts. It was an ideal mix of instruction, rockclimbing, snow and ice experience, and mountaineering on mixed terrain. Mt Blanc de Cheilon was a great way to end the week – a beautiful mountain and a superb, satisfying climb. Thank you especially for your patience and for not only ensuring our safety but taking the time at every stage to explain clearly what we were doing and why. We also greatly appreciated your steady pacing, which provided several first-hand examples of the hare and tortoise principle in practice; I can’t speak for James, but do not underestimate the achievement of getting me to the top of Mt Blanc de Cheilon in (just) under guide-book time, still breathing comfortably and with an acceptable pulse-rate.
Many thanks again.” Michael Firth
James enjoying the views from the summit of Mont Blanc de Cheillon, Matterhorn in the background( above his helmet) - well done team!
Snow and ice techniques on a mountaineering course
crevasse rescue on an instruction course
pitching up a ridge on an alpine instruction course
The New Year is approaching fast and the last few weeks have brought us excellent weather for adventures in the Southern Alps.
We have two mountaineering courses on the program, one for beginners and the other for intermediate to advanced mountaineers keen to brush up, renew and confirm their alpine climbing skills to stay safe in the mountains while having fun, here the details:
- Intro to Alpinism, 6 days from 20 – 25th February 2012, $ 2426 pp
- Total Alpinism, 7 days from 4 – 10th March 2012, $ 2830 pp
One of those mountaineering instruction courses could be just right for you, so don’t hesitate and get in touch for more details.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
The last month of the year and our Sustainability Statement is now available. Also our latest newsletter is out, check it here and you can sign up for the next one by sending us an email. We promise not to spam you as time outside is too precious! Here some photos from a recent walking adventure, up to Breast Hill above Lake Hawea, a great one day walk unless you go from hut to hut…
high above Lake Hawea
having fun going for a good walk
On the way to Breast Hill: Cameron hut
Working as a trainer for the New Zealand Mountain Guides Assn, Gaz and his small team flew up to Centennial hut in windy, cold South West conditions. His crew made up of 3 Fox Glacier guides who are keen on the NZMGA Alpine Trekking Pathway and one from Invercargill/Queenstown keen on becoming a NZMGA ski guide. There is an excellent amount of snow cover on the glaciers and lots of good guide techniques taught to the students . After a couple of days in that location they then re-located to Pioneer hut and finished the 6 day mountaineering instruction course at Chancellor hut from where they flew back down to Fox. A good week in the Southern Alps to improve technical skills and knowledge.
Need a mountain guide during December/January?
Due to a cancellation, Gaz is available for personalized mountain guiding or offer you a great mountaineering instruction course…
Guided walks in the Wanaka area and Mt Aspiring National Park. There are Rob Roy Glacier Cirque, Glacier Burn taking the Eastern branch of the Matukituki, Diamond lake loop track for those with only a small half day to spare: great views of Mt Aspiring, the river and Lake Wanaka. Even if you only have a couple of hours, they are so worth while checking out the best view points and eco tours in our Wanaka paradise…. call Iris for suggestions
Life is too short , let's get out and play
Ski Touring in the Southern Alps of New Zealand
September and October are perfect to explore the glaciated and grandiose terrain amongst the main divide. A keen team, Linda, Rob and Kerryn, came from Australia to practice their mountaineering and ski touring skills in preparation for an adventure in Patagonia. Based at Tasman Saddle hut in Mt Cook National Park, they enjoyed pretty good weather, awesome views and some wonderful moments:
adventures amongst the highest mountains of NZ
late winter fun on a ski touring trip
the smile says it all, here at Tasman Saddle hut
Now, chief mountain guide Gaz is on handyman duty before his next ski touring trip, while Iris is off to Rob Roy glacier cirque for a guided trekking excursion.
After this coming weekend and a gathering of New Zealand mountain guides to discuss and celebrate their industry, nine days of specialized, intensive alpinism training will continue to keep Gaz busy. Instruction includes glacier travel, rope work, cramponing, use of ice axe and hammer, belays, snow stakes, crevasse rescue, even kiwi mountain hut life and many other tricks to stay safe in the wilderness, especially at this time of the year. Be it in New Zealand or Switzerland but June is booked out for chief mountain guide Gary Dickson. This last course in the Southern Alps precedes a high quality training session with the Icelandic glacier guides who come to Switzerland this year for their instruction and assessment course with Gary.
A glimpse of what awaits us on the other side of the world:
Via Ferrata at the Tour d'Aï in Leysin
Rock climbing in the Grimsel area, fabulous granite
Mountaineering in the Swiss Alps
NZMGA Mountain guiding course participants being trained by Gary - remarkable range, Queenstown.
A fantastic sunset on the west coast during an NZMGA mountain guiding training and assessment course
Gary teaching candidates rope skills on a NZMGA mountain guiding course
Mountain guiding training – In a weeks time, Gary will be training and assessing for 14 days on a New Zealand mountain guides association course. Along with fellow trainer and assessor Dave McKinley, Gary will spend the two weeks with 5 candidates who are being training and assessed in the different aspects of mountain guiding and instructing mountaineering, to the international standard that the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association ( NZMGA) and International Federation of Mountain Guides Association( IFMGA) require.