“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!”
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.”
check out what Phil has to say: here
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
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
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!”
August last year, Thanks for the feed back and photos Michael:
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
Here some memorabilia of Alpinism during the last decade: youtube legendary Doug Ball who spent considerable time climbing with mountain guide Gary Dickson aka Gaz from January 2006 until August 2009.
Doug had climbed Mt Cook Aoraki with his wife Peggy and many other peaks, but never Mt Aspiring. He got thwarted twice while climbing with Gaz because of conditions and weather but third time lucky and for a brief time he was considered the oldest climber to have sumited. He must have been an inspiration … more
He sent us these lines just recently …”I use a slide show of my mountaineering photos as a screen saver so that my memories are not lost but are refreshed every day. Alpinism and Ski certainly made an enormous difference to my life. What would have become of me if I had just thrown in the sponge after Peggy died? I have so much to thank you both for and am not likely to ever forget it.”
keep going strong Doug
“We’ve had a great trip as part of our training for our Patagonia trip. We loved being taken up to the Tasman Glacier and improving our off piste skiing skills and we appreciated the expertise Gary showed in extending our skills slowly but surely. We came away refreshed and more informed and skilled for future ventures. Great food, great fun, great location, great weather.
The hospitality back in Wanaka is exceptional – thanks for feeding us beautiful food and making us so welcome.”
Linda, Kerryn, Rob – here a link to their Patagonia adventure and more
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.