As autumn colors are getting better and better, the alpinism summer season is winding down and not long and the ski touring season here in New Zealand will start up again. The first inquiry has arrived which reminded us of some dates to organise. Alpinism & Ski will start late winter activities from 10th September this year, as we are on again for climbing and mountaineering in the Northern Hemisphere during July and August. Don’t hesitate to get in touch early to slot in your favorite dates for the grandiose sport of back country ski touring in New Zealand. But for now, we wish you excellent autumn times. Here in Wanaka, the Festival of Color with arty activities and shows is on this week, if you are here enjoy, if you are not, consider coming next year, it’s worth it and if you are really art inspired, you can join the autumn art school.. more about ski touring and mountaineering again soon.
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:
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:
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.
Checking up on keywords, I came across these 8 youtube creations about alpinism activities by Doug Ball from New Plymouth and Gary Dickson, his IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guide from 2005 until 2009. Those two were all in all on a douzen mountaineering adventures in New Zealand’s Southern Alps as well as the Swiss, French and Italian Alps. On days where climbing in Europea and/or mountaineering in NZ were affected by the weather, they kept busy with technology and smart talks and somewhere along these were made:
- 2 climbs from Centennial hut, Westland National Park, NZ
- climbing from Homer hut, Fiordland Nationl Park, NZ
-climbing the Dossen, central Swiss Alps
- rock climbing on Pierre de Moëlle, near Leysin Switzerland
- a windy day on the Remarkables, near Queenstown, NZ
- climbing in Fiordland, Southern Alps New Zealand
- climbing from Pioneer hut
- climbing from Centennial hut
This autumn, guided trekking to Rob Roy Glacier cirque will end 1st of April as the bridge is going to be closed for replacement. How about trying out the guided trek up the Eastern branch of the Matukituki valley instead? Glacier Burn and views of Avalanche glacier might be just the right alternative.
Summer continues to spoil us with perfect weather. A few good weeks for mountaineering in the Southern Alps are still available.
Planning a visit to Wanaka? our Alpinism studio is there for your independent holiday, be it over Easter, during the Festival of Colour or the Autumn Art School.
February’s mountaineering highlight for us was Mark’s Pure Alpinism week in the Southern Alps of NZ. The team was able to fly up to Pioneer hut as planned on a Monday morning and the weather turned out to be much better than expected during the six days. Only another couple of people were up there during that week. For IFMGA/NZMGA Mountain Guide Gary Dickson and Mark it was the third mountaineering trip together in New Zealand and he promised it won’t be the last.
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:
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:
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.
One of the finest half day guided trekking excursions on the South Island is only 20 minutes driving from the little alpine town of Wanaka. Cruise along the lake up into the Matukituki valley until you reach the car park of Rocky Mountain and Diamond Lake conservation area. While on this walk, get to know some native fauna and flora, learn about edible plants and berries and which ones to avoid!
“I absolutely enjoyed my time with Alpinism and Ski. The TMC course was an excellent course which provided much of the training I was hoping to attain. Gaz’s knowledge was incredible, and he taught me a great deal which I could not learn in Australia. Though, those crevasses are bloody dangerous, and it was nice to get an introduction to them. Both Gaz’s and Iris’s hospitality in Wanaka was a welcome attribute, and I enjoyed the charm of the town. Also, Ziggy is an awesome dog. Reminds me of my Samson. I will be recommending Alpinism and Ski to anyone who is interested in learning any of their courses or looking for guiding. I’m sure I’ll be back soon. Thanks again!”
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: