Category: Feedback

Sustainability at the Alpinism and Ski base in Wanaka

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By , March 6, 2014 3:25 pm

Wanaka is showing off another stunning day after a nice covering of snow on the mountains all around earlier this week. Mountain guide Gaz headed to Fox Glacier on Monday for another instruction course, this one for NZMGA. It was blowing such gail force winds on day one, the team could not fly up but spent the day on the lower glacier, going through all sorts of technical skills for mountain guiding. In the meantime, they are based at the Centennial hut, high up on the Franz Josef glacier.

We recently received some feedback from an instruction course participant, so here it is thrown into our latest :  “…great course, Gary was a fantastic instructor and covered all aspects. Felt comfortable to ask questions and seek advice. Will recommend it in future. Thanks”

Now for the most important thing happening this week: one of our sustainability projects for the Alpinism and Ski base here in Wanaka is finished, a long term dream as well, ticked off the bucket list and we are mighty proud of it: as of now, we are putting power back into the grid with our brand new solar system. So, life is good and we’ll continue to plan more projects and dream a little.


Guided trekking from Wanaka, NZ

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By , February 14, 2014 9:40 am
Edelweiss in Mt Aspiring National Park

New Zealand flora at its best on a guided trek: Edelweiss

February is always pretty nice for guided trekking excursions from Wanaka and here some feedback from a couple of visitors, one trip was to the Rob Roy Glacier Cirque and the other to Brewster hut, both guided trekking trips in Mt Aspiring National Park.

Jessie from Canada about the Brewster hut visit: “Iris, thanks so much for the wonderful guiding and lovely company! I learned tons about New Zealand”

Chris from Stockholm in Sweden: “it was a lovely day and I enjoyed every minute in the mountains with you” and more:” This tour was a real pleasure for me. You are a  good guide with your deep knowledge of the nature and a very nice walking companion”

Thank you ladies!

Mountaineering instruction courses in New Zealand

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By , December 11, 2013 12:05 pm
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!


Technical Mountaineering Instruction Course

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By , February 8, 2013 9:04 am

P1010001 P1010003 P1010011 Matt from Australia, January 2013:

“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!”

Guiding in Mt Cook National Park

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By , January 16, 2013 1:34 pm

A guided climb of NZ’s highest with mountaineer Peter from Wellington ended the year for Gary Dickson. 2013 has started well with a mountaineering instruction course and may it go on like that. Here is what Peter had to say:

“Due to the flexibility and vast alpine experience offered by Alpinism and Ski I finally realised a long held goal to reach the top of Mount Cook in December 2012, the month following my 50th birthday. I also enjoyed a warm up on Anzac East and a warm down on a traverse of Double and Single Cones on the Remarkables, as well as some heart warming southern hospitality back at Wanaka – all in five fabulous days. Aoraki Mount Cook has been my most ambitious climb so far and the sheer scale of the terrain deeply impressed me. Without Gary it would have also scared me in places but, his utter dedication to safety and professional, efficient guiding ensured that I could just absorb and really enjoy it. I also learnt much on the other end of Gary’s rope.

My time with Gary and Iris surpassed my expectations and hopes. For the best alpine experience, safety and service look no further.”

guiding in Mt Cook Nat. Park

guided climb of Mt Cook Aoraki

Phil Melchior from Wanaka, Mountaineering with Alpinism & Ski

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By , October 4, 2012 11:56 am

check out what Phil has to say: here

Phil on the Copeland traverse

Phil on the Copeland traverse, Mt Cook

Alpinism and Ski mountaineering adventures

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By , October 3, 2012 11:49 am
New Zealand Ski Touring

September on Fox glacier

Guestbook entries late winter and spring 2012. Ski touring visitors from Australia who spent time on the Fox glacier-Pioneer hut. They were keen to improve their skills for further alpinism and ski activities and mountain adventures around the globe. It was a great pleasure!

“Thank you for a really wonderful trip. Gary, your experience in mountain guiding showed us a lot of wonderful scenes of NZ and taught us a lot of mountaineering skills. We must also thank you for your hospitality in hosting us at your wonderful house. Peter Huang”

“We had a wonderful time during the week that we spent with you. Being our first trip (in ski touring) we learnt a lot of new skills, all of which we will put to good use back in Australia and beyond. Hopefully we will meet again soon after we have spent more time on the slopes learning how to ski! Iris thank you for your hospitality and especially the lamb roast (the) last night.Your friendliness and warmth really makes up for Gary’s sarcasm which we had to endure during the time that we were away! John Cheng” and from Hideko: “we hope to come back one day (soon!) as better skiers”

We think they might have the bug for ski touring and will be back for more, some pictures here


Rob Roy Glacier Cirque guided hiking, trekking excursion from Wanaka

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By , March 5, 2012 10:40 am
Waterfalls from Rob Roy glacier

Views from the guided hiking excursion to Rob Roy glacier

February guided hiking included visits to Rob Roy glacier and here some feedback:

“Iris, thank  you for a terrific day! We got a lot more out of the hike to Rob Roy glacier by doing it with you. We hope we can remember half of what you told us! We will be sure to recommend you. Bart & Jean Alfano”

and more from where they stayed in Wanaka: “The guests absolutely loved their time with you- we wanted to pass on the written comments that they left from their stay…..

“Iris, of Alpinism + Ski (recommended by Craig) did a great job guiding us on the Rob Roy Glacier hike- a good choice for a couple in their mid 60’s who are reasonably fit. “

Thank you for providing our guests such an enjoyable excursion!

Warm regards, Carole, Whare Kea Lodge

Guided hiking photos can be seen here and more comments this last summer:

” Dear Iris, Today was a brilliant hike, thanks so much for guiding me on the trek, it was brilliant to be able to learn about the local flora and fauna, something I’ve always been curious about! All the best, Atif” 13.12.2011

” This is one of my best one day hikes. The weather is nice and the scenery is beautiful and of course the guide Iris was so knowledgeable on plants, birds and history etc. It was memorable, I will come back again.” Yang Yue from Singapore, 3.12.2011

Guided walks and hiking

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By , February 25, 2012 2:09 pm
best half day walking excursion in Wanaka

Christy on a guided walk around lake Diamond loop track

trekking near the Motatapu valley

Hiking in native beech forest near Wanaka

Lake Alta, Remarkables

Brilliant scenery up in the Remarkables

February 2012 by Christy Thompson: ” Dear Iris, I am so glad I found you in the Lonely Planet. I thoroughly enjoyed our walks + talks together and the hikes and the education of the birds, plants and animals. I also really enjoyed staying at your home stay and all the fresh fruit and delicious sandwiches with avocado and brie. The next time I come to the Wanaka area I will let you know. Hopefully it will work out for Chamonix too!”


ISM – Alpinism instruction, mountaineering course

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By , January 11, 2012 12:21 pm
Mountaineering in Europe

Michael and James, a week with ISM, here on Tête Blanche

August last year, Thanks for the feed back and photos Michael:

“Dear Gary,

On behalf of James and myself, thank you very much for an excellent week at the Orny and Dix huts.  It was an ideal mix of instruction, rockclimbing, snow and ice experience, and mountaineering on mixed terrain.  Mt Blanc de Cheilon was a great way to end the week – a beautiful mountain and a superb, satisfying climb.  Thank you especially for your patience and for not only ensuring our safety but taking the time at every stage to explain clearly what we were doing and why.  We also greatly appreciated your steady pacing, which provided several first-hand examples of the hare and tortoise principle in practice; I can’t speak for James, but do not underestimate the achievement of getting me to the top of Mt Blanc de Cheilon in (just) under guide-book time, still breathing comfortably and with an acceptable pulse-rate.

Many thanks again.”  Michael Firth

Mountain guiding in Europe

James enjoying the views from the summit of Mont Blanc de Cheillon, Matterhorn in the background( above his helmet) - well done team!

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