Arrival back in NZ – ski touring

On the 19th of September, Gary and Iris will arrive back from Switzerland to their Wanaka , NZ base . Ski touring is on the agenda. Late winter /spring is a superb time to take your winter ski fitness, and enjoy the warmer temps and more stable  and stronger snow to go ski touring based out of the NZ alpine huts in the middle of awesome glaciated terrain. Come join us…..

Guided ski touring in NZ

Glacier Ski touring in New Zealand

Magnificent glacier features to ski around, explore, photograph, experience….

 

Ski touring in NewZealand

Winter in NZ has arrived down under. Enjoy the slopes and get into the groove and shape for an awesome ski tour in late Winter/Spring( the most superb time for alpine ski touring on the NZ Glaciers).

The Alpinism & Ski team will be back from the Dolomites Mid September, back at the Wanaka Base ready for a great Kiwi ski touring season.

Enjoy the snow….  🙂

Fresh winter snow – September ski touring in NZ

Fox Glacier Guides specialized mountain training

October. 10 days on the wild west coast of New Zealand.  Mountain Guide Gary Dickson has just been working with the senior staff of Fox Glacier Guiding with some specialized mountain training. Chancellor Hut beautifully situated above the Fox Icefall was a great location as a base for some of the training. Chancellor dome and the Fox Ice provided great terrain.

Gaz On the Fox Icefall, FGG specialized mountain training

Gaz On the Fox Icefall, FGG specialized mountain training

A fantastic ice tunnel currently on the Fox Glacier.

Gaz meandering thru a fantastic ice tunnel currently formed on the Fox Glacier.

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

Aircraft access/egress in NZ

What you need to know about aircraft access/egress for our guided mountain climbing and mountaineering courses here in the NZ southern alps

Heliaircraft used for mountaineering adventures

fox neve drop off

 

 

Accessing glaciated mountaineering terrain in the Southern alps requires travelling in to our National parks some distance. Most locations if done on foot would require a good weather period, 2 days travel with big packs and a substantial elevation gain all in good weather.( same to get out) Often when the party travelling in via foot access gets to the climbing location the weather is already on the turn, the party gets some hut time, finds their food is running out and then is forced to start heading out down the valley again. Hmmmm.  Yep, as a young student at university, this used to be a common scenario. I got a bit done, but not as much as I could have…..

Alpinism and Ski uses helicopters to access and egress the climbing venues ( this is actually  a very common and standard thing for NZ mountaineering). There are many helicopter bases close to  the mountain venues we go to which is ideal. Yes this is an added expense, but one which many climbers who understand kiwi weather  and logistics regularly use.

Flying in and out maximizes your precious time in the alpine zone. Last but not least, when you fly in, your legs are fresh for your climbing, mountaineering and ski touring adventure and so is the food.

Knowing and understanding Kiwi weather is cruicial for trip planning and  working in with the helicopter companies. This is where my 30 years of exerience and my solid understanding of local weather patterns comes in.

Our guided mountaineering and ski touring parties wait for good weather in the mountains to arrive and then quickly, efficiently and painlessly fly in. If the weather is bad for flying in, time is spent rock climbing/scrambling, revising rope skills and/or relaxing at the Alpinism and Ski base.

Aircraft cost for alpinism adventures in NZ

Your New Zealand mountaineering and ski touring adventures with Alpinism and Ski Wanaka do not include the price of flights in or out of the mountains. Why….?

Trips in NZ are driven by the weather and conditions options, sometimes you end up going into your first objective,  often you end up going somewhere different that first thought.

Prices of flights vary depending on the area flown in to (e.g. Mt Cook-Aoraki National park or Westland National park) as well as aircraft used. The rules and regulations governing these areas vary too. I am more than happy to explain it and  give estimates on application to help you with budgeting. You pay directly to the aircraft company involved. there is no fee taken by us for that part of the trip.

We leave the flying to the expert aviation companies. We have an excellent working relationship with them and they and us do our best to get the most efficient and economical flight deals for your New Zealand alpinism adventures.

Mount Aspiring ascent

Mt Aspiring NW ridge

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.

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.

 

Sustainability at the Alpinism and Ski base in Wanaka

A very  important thing happening this week: one of our sustainability projects for the Alpinism and Ski base here in Wanaka is finished, a long term dream as well, ticked off the bucket list and we are mighty proud of it: as of now, we are putting power back into the grid with our brand new solar system. So, life is good and we’ll continue to plan more projects and dream a little.

 

Mountaineering instruction courses in New Zealand

Alpine climbing instruction course in NZ

Mic, Monty and Pat high up on the Fox Glacier, New Zealand

 

A few months ago, we heard from Mic who had climbed Mt Cook as well as Mt Tasman with Gaz some years ago. He was keen to introduce his son Pat to Alpinism adventures and last month, together with his longtime mountaineering buddy Monty, the threesome arrived for a seven day mountaineering instruction course. At the base, this was the opportunity to finalize the latest Adventure Tourism auditing request and then our team hit the road to Fox Glacier; photos on the last blog but here now the feedback:

from Monty, after his fourth trip:

” Thank you very much again for a wonderful and friendly experience. I always come away from climbing trips with ‘Gaz’ with more confidence and desire for more mountain excursions. I know Mick and I will be planning our next trip as soon as we get back home. Gaz, your patient tutorial towards Pat in getting him to understand the complexity of climbing and how he can still enjoy it was most beneficial & assuring. A great mentor.

Iris, your hospitality as always was warm and generous. Till next time, Monty”

Thanks Monty, we look forward to it!