Just back from a week of magnificent ski touring at the head of the Fox Glacier, based out of Pioneer hut 2400m , with a young, enthusiastic couple from Nelson. Wow , what a great settled week of weather.
Ski touring locally off the back of Treble Cone and Cardrona is looking good as the snow is there and the storms have put the snow down. A reasonable cover of snow has been good for the ski fields and also the back country ski touring conditions. The weather forecast this coming week is for great sunniness and excellent local ski touring.
8 day mountaineering trip – destination, West Coast of the NZ Southern Alps. Base, Pioneer Hut 2400m. Lots of glacier, snow and ice.
Great weather and Primo conditions were had by Mountain Guide Gary and Australian mountaineers Fernando and Jamie.
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…..
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…. 🙂
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.
Saturday 16 April 2016 – Yes, the annual Epic mountain bike event around Lake Hawea was once again a great success with Mountain Guide Gary again providing safety services for this event to run safely and smoothly. 600 riders having one of the rides of their lives through rugged and spectacular Wanaka region high country.
Our main base is Wanaka here in Central Otago, New Zealand.
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.
What you need to know about aircraft access/egress for our guided mountain climbing and mountaineering courses here in the NZ southern alps
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.
Alex from Aspiring Helicopters, Wanaka
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.