Wanaka, New Zealand

Our main base is Wanaka here in Central Otago, New Zealand.

Lake Wanaka NZ

We live on the shores of Lake Wanaka. The climate in Wanaka is dry as it is out of the mountain weather so ideal for preparing for a trip or hanging out waiting for a weather change before going into the big mountains.

Wanaka as a town is just the right size for having the conviences of modern living, but not overly busy. We have nice recreation options such as rock climbing, sailing, mountain biking, wine tasting….

Wanaka is idealy suited as a base for a mountain guiding operation as it is central for access to the southern alps. Mt Aspiring national park is at our door step, Mt Cook National Park is 2.5hrs drive away and Fox glacier, gateway to the Fox and Franz Josef glacier region is 3 hrs away.

Queenstown has an international airport or connects easily for our guests to international flights out of Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland, and is only 40  minutes drive away over the crown range for us to come and pick you up – yep , nice and handy.

Lake wanaka with early snowLake wanaka autumn coloursCBD, wanaka township

From mountaineering in NZ to climbing in Switzerland and back to NZ ski touring

Guided ski touring in NZ

Ski touring in New Zealand, skiing amoungst the ice towers on the Tasman Glacier.

Southern Alps back country ski touring

Back country ski touring amoungst very “cool” terrain






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.


Alpinism & Ski base in Wanaka, sustainability and eco friendly

Wanaka, base of Alpinism & Ski

Autumn colors in Wanaka

The colorful leaves on trees and bushes will be gone very soon and winter woollies, boots and adventure gear used again. This ‘in-between’ season is always fabulous too, no early starts or not too many. The Alpinism & Ski team took a break, sailing in the Marlborough Sounds, enjoying the road trip through the Mainland and visiting friends.

Now it’s preparation time for our stint in the European Alps again and we look forward to many great rock climbing trips and summer mountaineering adventures in Switzerland, France and Italy. The Alpinism studio-cottage has a winter tenant, available again for short term holidays from mid Oct. and our base will be looked after by the same wonderful friend while we are away. We can boast about another sustainability achievement with an extra layer of flooring in the studio which should improve warmth. Another year for the Alpinism & Ski base has just been confirmed as being a ‘low user’ energy wise which should be thanks to our solar system.

We shall be away for the first part of the winter but for those of you following our blog and keen on winter activities around here, the annual Remarkables Ice and Mixed Climbing Festival this year is held from 14th – 16th of August and more on their website www.iceandmixedfestival.co.nz – Also, from 3-7th July another awesome thing we are missing out on is the Wanaka Film festival, enjoy if you are here.


Avalanche course in New Zealand

Fresh snow is visible on Treble Cone – good for the winter vibes of everybody looking forward to play in the snow coming winter. Autumn leaves are still being blown around and chief mountain guide Gaz today is going zen with his chain saw.

The Avalanche Course in NZ price for Sept/Oct. 2013 has been set and here are the details:

  • 3 field days visiting the back country areas near Wanaka
  • theory sessions include: mountain weather, snow physics and pack assessment, hazard evaluation and forecasting as well as avalanche search and rescue techniques and equipment
  • based at the luxury hut /humble lodge of Alpinism and Ski in Wanaka, enjoy a sauna after a day of instruction out in the back country
  • Price one person NZ $ 2960, two or more $ 1625 per person

Included in the price are guide fee, accommodation for 2 nights incl. dinner, lunch and breakfast, local transport and a one day back country lift pass at TC. More here or email us for more details

Wanaka and Alpinism adventures with a mountain guide

alpinism ventures

Gaz expanding from mountain guiding to helicopter missions

As summer is racing along, mountain guide Gary Dickson is presently on a guided Pure Alpinism week with Mark from Christchurch. They managed to fly as planned up to Pioneer hut on Monday, aiming to climb peaks such as Lendenfeld and Haidinger.

The native and not so native plants continue to display their beauty with new flowers popping out somewhere every day, at the moment, the ground covering, creeping vegetable sheep, raoulia, coprosma and celmisia show off their minuscule splendor and edible berries are not far away.

At the Alpinism & Ski base in Wanaka, when no guided mountaineering or trekking trips are on, sustainability projects continue. The latest project, to insulate the last part of the walls, has just been completed with an awesome rock wall by top handyman Gaz:

Eco friendly

Sustainability projects continue to happen

Wanaka rock and sutainability

harmony and sustainability = related?

You wonder where the chief’s helicopters come in? watch this space but expansion of the business into flying is happening and the first pictures have been taken from the air for an estate which is for sale, interested? check this out:

Gaz' other passion: flying

Mt Aspiring in the back – mountain guiding and flying are related too

should you be keen on a top quality home in Wanaka just click through to this link . But, back to Alpinism adventures: inquiries and bookings are welcome anytime, for guided trekking excursions, mountaineering courses and guided ascents in New Zealand and soon again in the Swiss, French and Italian Alps.



Wanaka for Alpinism adventures

Lake Wanaka New Zealand

Wanaka, base for Alpinism Adventures

Christmas day, once again Gary Dickson the chief guide aka Gaz got called out on a SAR mission. Iris prepared for a guided trekking excursion to Mueller hut in Mt Cook National Park and enjoyed an otherwise perfect day in beautiful Wanaka. A couple of years ago the Search and Rescue team in Wanaka was being filmed and presently on TV NZ the eight episodes are being shown. If you are interested, here the links:

Alpinism adventures are on our program this summer, from guided trekking, to mountaineering courses and ascents, the Southern Alps offer fantastic opportunities and Wanaka is the most fantastic base to start from.

Ski Touring in New Zealand

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.

Back country ski touring in New Zealand

Fabulous terrain for back country adventures