New Zealand Southern Alps
New Zealand's Southern Alps are rugged, steep, beautiful, and adventurous. Add in the fact that they are littered with comfy huts, roaring glaciers, steep faces, 3000m summits, and are supported by helicopter access/egress and they make for an amazing venue for climbing. On this trip we'll spend a few days climbing around Queenstown on their beautiful crags and in-a-day alpine routes, then we’ll drive to the venue that offers us the best chance for summitting one of the stunning high peaks. Possible locations include Mt. Cook (Aoraki), Mt. Aspiring, Homer Hut in Fjordland, or the West Coast. Possible peaks include Mt. Aspiring, Mt. Cook, Mt. Lendenfeld, and many others.
Price: $3500/person for 1; $2400/person for 2
Trip Length: 6 days
Dates: January 14 - 19, 2019
Completion of a mountaineering introductory course that introduced you to the following basic topics: Basic climbing knots, belaying, rappelling, crampon use, ice axe use.
Moderate level of mountain fitness. See more below…
Day 1: Meet in Queenstown, NZ. Climb at Wye Creek. Overnight in Queenstown.
Day 2: Alpine start. Climb the Grand Traverse in the Remarkables. Pack and prep for the next days. Overnight in Queenstown.
Day 3: Drive to the airport, fly into the mountains, travel to hut. Objectives may include Mt. Aspiring, Mt. Cook, Mt. Lendenfield, or several of the other 3000m peaks depending on weather, abilty, goals, and fitness.
Day 4: Alpine Start. Summit day. Attempt one of the fine peaks of the NZ alps.
Day 5: Recover. Climb a lesser peak or begin our egress.
Day 6: Egress out of the mountains, drive back to Queenstown for celebratory dinner. Say our goodbyes and on to the next adventure!
*This itinerary is flexible and subject to change due to weather, skill level, or other unforeseen events. We will climb where and when the weather is good at a level appropriately challenging for your level of experience, skill, and fitness!
6 days of guided climbing in the NZ Alps
IFMGA Licensed Guide with local experience and knowledge
Ground transportation from Queenstown to Queenstown
Mountain Hut Fees
Land fees associated with guiding on the public land
Group gear, permits, insurance, logistical support, etc.
*a note on whats included: This is the baseline of what our priced packages include. Due to the nature of mountaineering and travel, unforeseeable expenses can come up and will be addressed on a case by case bases to settle upon something that is fair for both parties involved. For example, if we do not go into a mountain hut there is the difference in cost between hut fees and in town accommodations.
Whats not included:
Helicopter flight in and/or out of mountains. Budget ~$300-$600 for this expense
Accommodation while in town
Personal backcountry skiing and mountaineering equipment
This trip requires a moderate level of mountain fitness. To climb any of the 3000m peaks there is at least one very long climbing day involving up to 16 hours of constant on-the-go climbing. This is similar to what you would might have experienced on summit day while climbing Mt. Rainier, Mont Blanc, The Matterhorn, Denali, or other notable and prominent peaks. In addition, we try to get more climbing in throughout the week to make your trip as enjoyable, rewarding, and/or educational as it can be. To train, focus on hiking with a pack, trail running, ARCing (if training in a climbing gym) and other endurance oriented activities. We recommend logging at least 10 days hiking 3000’ of elevation in the months leading up to your trip, with at least 1 day over 4000’. We can help you prepare with trips in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Cascades, or the Whistler Area if you would like.
Due to the mountain huts and the helicopter approaches we do not typically need to carry very heavy packs on this trip. On the heaviest of days plan to carry your personal mountaineering gear, 2L of water, your food for 2-3 days and nights, a lightweight sleeping bag, and your climbing clothing system.
This week of physical toll can start to add up if you are not used to using your body in this manner back to back, day after day. The designed itinerary balances days with a heavy toll with easier days and leaves room to adjust the itinerary to accommodate full rest days if need be.
Altitude is rarely an issue while climbing in NZ. Since the peaks top out at 3500m, and we will be sleeping at 2000m, most people do not have an issue except for shortness of breath while nearing the summits. This actually helps make this a great venue for a big alpine climbing trip since we don’t have to burn precious days and time acclimatizing.
At the minimum we ask that you have completed an introductory mountaineering course such as those offered by many of the large guide services and climbing schools. If you have not completed one of these but you have equitable experience please let us know. If you are interested in obtaining the basic knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to join this trip then please drop us a note and we will help you find a course.
The climbing during this trip will be calibrated to your level of skill, but almost all of the objectives require rock climbing up to 5.4, 50 degree snow and ice climbing, and efficient travel across 2nd and 3rd class terrain. The rock climbing and snow and ice climbing skill can be taught throughout the trip, you must arrive already being an efficient 2nd and 3rd class hiker.