Wanaka, a top place to start Alpinism Adventures

In case you wonder: the Gigatownwanaka competition is over – I neglected this blog and supported the cause on all social media, even signed up on Instagram and started tweeting. That’s over, or greatly reduced now as it is more important to be out there on Alpinism adventures. For me here in Wanaka, the native plants and amazing scenery on all the walks provide fantastic times. The festive season is almost on us so here :

Mountain Guide Gary Dickson IFMGA

Alpinism and Ski team Iris and Gary Dickson wishing you a Happy New Year 2015


Mountain Guiding in New Zealand from Wanaka

Start a guided mountaineering adventure in Wanaka

views of Wanaka town, lake and mountains

No better place than Wanaka to start an Alpinism adventure in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. The small town on the edge of lake Wanaka is only a short drive from Mt Aspiring National Park, a fabulous playground. It is very well situated to go either East to Mt Cook or West to Fox Glacier depending on weather conditions.

Chief guide Gaz is off this afternoon for a few days of mountain guiding in the Southern Alps of NZ with a Swiss couple. The weather forecast looks great and details of this alpinism adventure will follow.

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!


Guided Climbing in New Zealand – Alpinism & Ski Wanaka

The peak season of mountaineering adventures in the Southern Alps has started with this last month of the year. Guided climbing adventures with us begin most often right here in Wanaka, including ascents of Mt Aspiring, Mt Tasman and of course the highest, Mt Cook – Aoraki.

Also mountaineering courses and Gary has just spent a 7 day trip with three Australians, based at Pioneer hut for the best weather days, learning, refreshing and improving alpine climbing skills, enjoying the alpine ambiance and taking in the wilderness aspect of the Southern Alps:

Mic and Monty have both been on Alpinism adventures here with us before and it was a pleasure to introduce Mic’s son Pat to the fun and excitement of alpine climbing.

Mountain Guide Gary Dickson back in Wanaka, New Zealand

Professional mountain guides with an international qualification

Gary Dickson, Mountain Guide IFMGA/NZMGA

Spring seems to race along in full speed and plenty of typical storms with lots of wind are blowing through, not so typical are all the thunder and lightning we had during the last few weeks though.

The chief mountain guide of Alpinism & Ski Wanaka, being president of the NZ mountain guides association, has just returned from Peru where an international meeting for the industry took place. Gary is now getting ready again for alpinism adventures in the Southern Alps. His schedule for the coming summer season is getting busy but there are a few slots available should you want him in person for your special ascent, a particular training course or ‘just’ an amazing week in the mountains.

Meanwhile in Wanaka, the native and not so native flora is displaying new beauty almost every day

Alpinism Adventures from Wanaka

Alpinism home base

Wanaka base of Alpinism & Ski

Back in Wanaka, fresh snow has arrived with our return and all around it is as beautiful as ever. The first ski day for Iris has come and gone and chief mountain guide Gaz is preparing for a week of rope rescue course with the experts of the industry. As the present storm goes through, we are catching up with the latest Climber, Forest & Bird and Fish & Game mags. In Wanaka, the Wanakafest addicts are already busy preparing for the event late October, (24-27th) should you have spare time and/or cash to help, get in touch through www.wanakafest.co.nz

Ski touring is on our immediate alpinism activity menu and so are the soft recreational trekking excursions. Just ask if you are interested.

More climbing and climbing instruction in Switzerland, Europe

Alpinism adventures, Leysin, Switzerland

On a rock climbing excursion near Leysin

Only a couple of days left this month and the Swiss National day on first of August will bring fireworks aplenty. There are many keen hikers and mountaineers very dedicated to create a bonfire on just about all the mountain tops. Heavy loads of wood have to be carried up hill along with yummy picnics and appropriate beverages to celebrate the occasion. While party mode is happening for many, climbing and mountaineering fun continues for others and mountain guide Gaz has started this week with Jim on a multi pitch route in Valais. High alpine climbing is on the program for the rest of the week, starting today at the cabane des Dix in the Swiss Alps. Continue reading

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.

Wanaka, base of Alpinism adventures

Spring in Wanaka and it is beautiful watching the various native flowers emerge, from Patotara to Kowhai, now the delicate looking New Zealand Iris and dark red delicious Pittostorum are appearing. Ski touring season has come and gone, guided trekking to Rob Roy glacier cirque started and our mountaineering season is shaping up.

For any interested mountaineers, we have a Technical Mountaineering Course from 6-12th Jan. 2013 with 3 spots left. An alpine climbing instruction course with top New Zealand instructor Gary Dickson in person.

Matukituki valley, Wanaka

Black Swan family, Matukituki valley Wanaka