Fresh snow is visible on Treble Cone – good for the winter vibes of everybody looking forward to play in the snow coming winter. Autumn leaves are still being blown around and chief mountain guide Gaz today is going zen with his chain saw.
The Avalanche Course in NZ price for Sept/Oct. 2013 has been set and here are the details:
- 3 field days visiting the back country areas near Wanaka
- theory sessions include: mountain weather, snow physics and pack assessment, hazard evaluation and forecasting as well as avalanche search and rescue techniques and equipment
- based at the luxury hut /humble lodge of Alpinism and Ski in Wanaka, enjoy a sauna after a day of instruction out in the back country
- Price one person NZ $ 2960, two or more $ 1625 per person
Included in the price are guide fee, accommodation for 2 nights incl. dinner, lunch and breakfast, local transport and a one day back country lift pass at TC. More here or email us for more details
Alpinism & Ski Wanaka – ski touring from Centennial hut
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:
Ice climbing on Fox Glacier
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:
- Fox Glacier New Zealand
- Ice climbing
- Position of tools and crampons on ice
- Safety: part of the fun
- Fun on ice
- getting of the ground and up up up
- Belaying, an important role
- checking foot work
- getting higher
- looking good
- some technical parts
- up or down
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
Mountaineer Doug Ball, ready for Mt Aspiring, aged 79
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
Mt Avalanche Glacier
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.
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!
stunning views over lake Wanaka/Matukituki river
walking up through native bush
looking back towards Wanaka
Part of the Southern Alps, Mt Aspiring far right
enjoying a moment on the summit, 775 m
learn about NZ fauna & flora, here edible coprosma berries
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:
SAR team members on a special training mission
Special training on snow and ice
Skills training for mountaineering
Ice screws in good use
“hard work” on snow and ice
from ice and snow onto rock, that’s mixed climbing
nice day in the office
Southern Alps of New Zealand for special training
Who climbs up will have to come down
Matt roped up for glacier travel coming down the Fox Glacier
January had Gary instructing Matt from New Castle Australia the skills required for alpine climbing for NZ and global mountains (Matt having aspirations of international peaks in the future). The course was based at Pioneer hut at the head of the Fox Glacier. A storm in the middle of the 7 day course had very strong winds – the weather forcast was predicting 150 kmph winds at 2000m and 3000m elevations. The team and the hut weathered it well. Fresh snow made for some interesting glacier travel and use of a pre prepared navigation plan was needed for the first part of the journey from Pioneer down to Chancellor hut.
Before driving back to Wanaka, Matt enjoyed using his Alpine climbing skills on the blue ice of the lower Fox ice.