Technical Mountaineering: instruction and special training courses

The mulit-pitch rock climbing excursion mentioned earlier in the Southern Alps was just part of the whole picture. It was followed up by some ice climbing and more training of technical mountaineering skills last week at Fox Glacier, this time with Emma also part of the team:

special mountaineering training

Ice climbing on Fox Glacier

ice climbing in NZ

Not a bad day in the office

Presently, the chief is on a workshop in Mt Cook to keep up and refresh with expertise in his field(s) but a few more shots from the Fox Glacier mission where a couple of days were spent on the ice:








Specialized mountain training

Late March and Gary spent three days away with Wanaka Police SAR squad members MJ and Az, doing alpine rock training. Location: Head of the South Temple valley.  First objective was a 10 pitch climb on the Weta Prowl Buttress of Mt Steeple.  Multi-pitch climbing to max approx grade 13; reasonably sound rock but requiring good route finding and rope work amongst some loose stuff.  After success on this, another route on one of the many buttresses was completed. This was excellent route finding and terrain assessment for the lads with no existing topo.  An excellent venue for this specialized SAR training and Alpine rock techniques.


on the upper part of the weta prowl


access via the usual SAR method


Up thru the choke pitch


Mountain guiding and alpine climbing instruction

That’ s on the Alpinism & Ski program until May this year: be it for a guided ascent of Mt Aspiring or another dream peak or a combination of alpine climbing instruction and peak bagging while on a week of alpinism adventures. Some specialized mountaineering training for Wanaka Search and Rescue members is again on the agenda too, here some photos from autumn 2012 on Fox Glacier:

Mountain guide providing special training

SAR team members on a special training mission

Fox Glacier New Zealand

Special training on snow and ice

ice climbing instruction

Skills training for mountaineering

how to place ice screws

Ice screws in good use

instruction course for mountaineering

“hard work” on snow and ice

technical mountaineering skills

from ice and snow onto rock, that’s mixed climbing

mountain guiding in NZ

nice day in the office

mountain training in NZ

Southern Alps of New Zealand for special training

SAR members on special training

Who climbs up will have to come down












Specialised Mountain training and search and rescue on TV

Alpinism and Ski does specialist mountain training for a number of organisations

Wanaka LandSAR team in training

Here are the links (11.12.2012)

Episode one 26th Nov

Episode two 3.Dec

Episode three in Fiordland


If  you are interested in what Gary and the Local Wanaka Land search and rescue people do, then tune into NZ TV channel One 8pm  on a Monday night  for eight episodes of reality TV of “high country rescue” ( the first episode was Monday 26th November and seems to have been well received by those we have talked to and those that have sent messages about it)

Mountaineering instruction courses in New Zealand

use of ice screws

learn some tricks while on a specialized training course

How to stay safe in the mountains is part of the skills practiced on an instruction course, be it for winter mountaineering or summer alpine climbing. Avalanches happen during the whole year, so knowing the basics about safety is part of the game. We have two scheduled trips on the program and free spaces available for each: October ski touring/snow boarding, the other an intermediate mountaineering course, Total Alpinism. Search and Rescue training is Continue reading

Intermediate-advanced climbing course

climbing course - learning to place ice screws

learning to place ice screws on a climbing course

End of the month, two fit fellas will be arriving from Aussie to go on an intermediate-advanced climbing course with mountain guide Gaz.  The NZ weather looks to have settled into a more settled state of play and alpine conditions look excellent for the 10 day specialized mountain training.

If you are  looking for a climbing course we have  two sceduled courses comming up:

  • Intro to alpinism    –    6 days  20th-25th February
  • Total Alpinism         –   7  days  04th-10th March

If you are an individual or a group looking to have a week of private mountaineering instruction, just get in touch and we can see if we can fit around your schedule.


Specialized training for Icelandic Mountain guides

Approaching the summit, Moint de Mourty, Switzerland

Some of the Icelandic team approaching the summit of Point De Mourty, Switzerland

Ivar, chief guide, Icelandic Mountain guides

Ivar, Chief guide for Icelandic Mountain Guides enjoying some swiss granite

Refreshing dip!

Some of the team take a refreshing dip after 8 days of training.

Latter half of June, and Gary and Chief guide of Icelandic Mountain Guides, Ivar, spent 8 days in Switzerland with 8 of IMG’s senior guides for some assessment of  Alpine trekking skills and knowledge and up-skilling/training of guiding on solid alpine rock.  Both the Zinal (Moiry Glacier) and Trient Plateau areas were used and provided perfect rock ridges for training missions and snowy passes and glaciers for assessing skills and knowledge.

The Icelandic team head back to Iceland for another busy season guiding on the dynamic guiding terrain of Iceland with hopefully ” a few more tools in their tool box”.

Gary having a few days off rock climbing with Iris on the local Swiss crags before heading away for a week with an ISM client.

New Zealand mountaineering instruction

Alpine Climbing Instruction courses in New Zealand

Southern Alps of New Zealand, a great play ground for Alpinism

May 2011

Dear Gary,

I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank you again for your help, support and instruction on our recent visit. We all appreciated the way in which you were able to tailor the package to meet our requirements and were most impressed with the professional conduct and level of instruction given. Everyone gained a huge amount and this has hopefully sewn the seeds in the guys to take this new capability forward. Please pass on our thanks to Callum and Iris for their instruction and assistance during the package.

We look forward to having the opportunity to work with you again in the near future to help further develop our capability in the mountains.

Best wishes and safe climbing.



Alpinism Instruction

mountaineering courses in New Zealand, specialized training


wild & full on, beautiful & awesome

Alpine huts in New Zealand

Perched high in wild places for alpine climbing

Mountaineering instruction course with Alpinism & Ski

Wanaka still displays a beautiful palette of autumn colors and the weather has been stunning. We’ve been having fun rock climbing, mountain biking and sailing but now are getting ready for a private mountaineering instruction course in the Southern Alps. A keen team of eight blokes will be heading up into the mountains from either Mt Cook-Aoraki village or Fox Glacier with alpine mountain guides Gary Dickson and Callum Grant this coming week. This specialised training mission will include all the technical tricks of how to be and stay safe in extreme conditions and alpine terrain.

Autumn mountaineering and alpine climbing instruction

“We would like to express our appreciation and thanks for the recent rock and alpine Search and Rescue training Gary delivered to the Wanaka Police SAR team on Mt Aspiring. For us to respond in the field on SAR operations we need both safety and competency. Gary’s excellent technical knowledge, ability to role model sound decision making and facilitate real time training with appropriate learning outcomes is highly regarded. We all enjoyed his enthusiasm and commitment to improving the team’s skills in this alpine environment. We look forward to our next professional training opportunity

Sergeant A. Nicholson, Officer in Charge, Wanaka Police SAR”

Mountaineering instruction and training

Mountaineering instruction and training in Mt Aspiring National Park