Novemeber 2017 – a momentous occassion having the ‘crew’ back doing a fabulous ski touring trip based at the recently spruced up Tasman Saddle hut, Head of the Tasman Glacier, NZ. John C, Phil, Bill and ( new to the ‘crew’) John K had four days of excellent spring ski touring, hut banter and general sunny alpine / backcountry skiing goodtimes. Great to having it happen again for the base crew after a break of several years.
As snow lovers in New Zealand had started the best winter in a long time, we enjoyed an amazing run of summer weather in Europe and particularly lots of good climbing in Switzerland. Interested? again in July/August 2016 and don’t hesitate to ask!
Presently, ski touring is still on in the Southern Alps and masses of snow are left for some good ski touring fun out there, as long as those crazy Spring winds would settle somewhat! soon!
Gary can be booked again as a mountain guide this coming NZ summer. Top quality mountaineering instruction courses right here in NZ, Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud. From now on, he will offer his guiding service under the concession and sms of Alpine Guides in Mt Cook-Aoraki. Our guided trekking excursions are now part of the past, but we can give you tips and advice anytime for free.
The Alpinism studio-cottage is available again for your independent holidays here in Wanaka, be it action packed or relaxing or mixed.
Enjoy whatever you do and stay safe.
With all the fresh snow fallen a week ago, winter activities will be on many minds, here just a small selection of photos from past trips in the Southern Alps. While some keen snow lovers are already out there ski touring somewhere in the mountains of New Zealand, remember that back country skiing amoungst glaciated terrain can still be very dangerous and the amount of snow fallen has by no means filled up the crevasses nor made the bergschrunds safe just yet. Enjoy but make sure you have the skills out there. Courses are offered by top mountain guide instructor Gary Dickson, IFMGA expert in NZ. His next job is instructing/assessing in Iceland again, helping the professional glacier guides with quality standards in the industry. But before we leave, the annual general meeting of NZMGA is on the agenda where he’ll act as Mr President.
The first ski tour has been put on the schedule and if you – or anybody you know – are keen on an NZ back country ski tour late winter/spring with chief guide Gaz, at this stage you have the choice from 23rd September on wards. We can be reached any time via email, just beware that occasionally we might be out of touch longer than usual, sitting in plane, or otherwise relocating in the Swiss Alps without the online setup.
A mountaineering guest of ISM – International School of Mountaineering – sent this feedback about a week with our chief guide Gaz in the Swiss Alps during last August:
Just a quick note to say thank you for a great week in the hills last week, even if the weather didn’t fully cooperate. Your deep knowledge of “the alpine”, your participation in international guide diplomacy/policy making, your teaching abilities (and patience), your local community involvement, your broad and varied interests, your good company, and of course your sense of humor are nothing short of inspiring. All of the rest of us have a lot to work on…
A month has flown by and the change from ski touring in New Zealand into the Northern summer season and mountain guiding in the Swiss Alps has gone smoothly. The long winter here has left many places with lots of snow which is excellent for mountaineering addicts, especially on glaciated terrain. Because of the everlasting snow falls during Spring, the awesome and colorful flora is still displaying many more beauties than usual during this time of the year. Gary was with James at the Dix hut last week to climb Mont Blanc de Cheillon. Continue reading
Ski touring has been the main subject since our return from Switzerland a few weeks ago. Three Australian guests visited Fox Glacier and Pioneer hut with Gary, in between the snow storms that rendered the Southern Alps very wintry indeed. Not that much snow around the hut was one of Gaz’ comments. – The next 7 day ski touring adventure started for Charles Day after a day visit to Treble Cone. A legendary mountaineer from way back who knows the mountain guiding scene of New Zealand very well, having had many fine trips with IFMGA guides here, to name but a few Nick Cradock, Anton Wopereis and Dave Hiddleston – he also climbed Mt Aspiring with Geoff Wyatt, walking in and out! but some more photos of ski touring:
Back in Wanaka for a week now! Returning from our Alpinism activities in Europe, fresh snow has arrived and ski conditions on the local ski fields are the best all winter – so we’ve heard and tested! Iris checked it out during mid week and thoroughly enjoyed Treble Cone while Gary with his team of three keen ski tourers flew up from Fox Glacier to roam the areas near Pioneer and Centennial hut.
Ski Touring in October 2012: there is a window for a private ski touring adventure with chief Mountain Guide Gaz in person, choose your 6 or 7 day trip between 6th – 16th Oct. 2012, bookings taken now, email for inquiries.
We are still in Switzerland, currently enjoying a week of rock climbing sessions on beautiful lime stone formations above Leysin. Only a few weeks before we are back in Wanaka and welcoming our first ski touring team of the season for a trip mid September. Guided trekking excursions will start up again and we are counting on some more snow to fall for our return, to have some fun on the local ski fields. The best times for ski touring adventures in the Southern Alps of New Zealand in our humble opinion is during September and October. Days are longer and snow conditions often optimal, with participants having had time to acquire winter fitness on skis or snowboard.
Typical NZ Spring storms are coming through and just last week we had fresh snow all around the mountains near Wanaka. October ended with our ski touring team coming out of Tasman Saddle hut, a successful Copeland pass alpine trekking traverse and a Mount Cook climb that could not eventuate because of the full on weather and avalanche dangers. IFMGA mountain guide Sean Brooks with mountaineer Rob had an interesting time at Plateau hut with the wind keeping them awake during the nights spent up there. Chief mountain guide Gary Dickson sat out the storm with VIP team Phil, Bill, John and Geoff and they managed a good number of excellent ski turns in the surrounding areas for the next couple of days, finishing with a splendid ski down the Tasman Glacier. However, they witnessed lots of avalanche activity too. NZMGA mountain guide Pete James with Darrin were also in the area, waiting in Mt Cook village for the weather to clear enough. After they saw the Chamoix bar windows blown out and the storm finally calming down, they were able to cross the Main Divide and here some photos (all by Pete James) telling more:
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:
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.