Mountaineering courses in New Zealand are based out of great huts like the NZAC owned centenial hut – located at the head of the Franz Josef Glacier
At the head of the Franz Josef glacier is Centenial Hut. The recent NZ high alpine skills course run by Gary for the NZ Alpine Club, based themselves here for a few days of good weather covering crevasse rescue, pitching on snow and ice, navigation and weather forcasting.
specialised rock training, MJ leading
Aaron ready to belay us up
Aaron and MJ
Multipitch rock climbing on the granite slabs near Homer Tunnel in the Fiordland, Darren mountains was the start of this summers specialised Police SAR squad training.
Stunning location and excellent rock and even the Keas behaved themselves and did not destroy our packs.
The plan to do a traverse of Mt Macpherson over to Mt Talbot was thwarted by the Fiordland jungle mist, so after a slightly soggy ascent and descent to homer saddle, the continuation of specialised training was on the way back to Wanaka, with a climbing stop off at Kingston. Superb multipitch climbing with excellent lake views before a Queenstown burger.
Next climbing instruction installment will be in March …..what will we get up to then?…..
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.
learning to place ice screws on a climbing course
End of the month, two fit fellas will be arriving from Aussie to go on an intermediate-advanced climbing course with mountain guide Gaz. The NZ weather looks to have settled into a more settled state of play and alpine conditions look excellent for the 10 day specialized mountain training.
If you are looking for a climbing course we have two sceduled courses comming up:
- Intro to alpinism - 6 days 20th-25th February
- Total Alpinism – 7 days 04th-10th March
If you are an individual or a group looking to have a week of private mountaineering instruction, just get in touch and we can see if we can fit around your schedule.
Working as a trainer for the New Zealand Mountain Guides Assn, Gaz and his small team flew up to Centennial hut in windy, cold South West conditions. His crew made up of 3 Fox Glacier guides who are keen on the NZMGA Alpine Trekking Pathway and one from Invercargill/Queenstown keen on becoming a NZMGA ski guide. There is an excellent amount of snow cover on the glaciers and lots of good guide techniques taught to the students . After a couple of days in that location they then re-located to Pioneer hut and finished the 6 day mountaineering instruction course at Chancellor hut from where they flew back down to Fox. A good week in the Southern Alps to improve technical skills and knowledge.
Need a mountain guide during December/January?
Due to a cancellation, Gaz is available for personalized mountain guiding or offer you a great mountaineering instruction course…
Guided walks in the Wanaka area and Mt Aspiring National Park. There are Rob Roy Glacier Cirque, Glacier Burn taking the Eastern branch of the Matukituki, Diamond lake loop track for those with only a small half day to spare: great views of Mt Aspiring, the river and Lake Wanaka. Even if you only have a couple of hours, they are so worth while checking out the best view points and eco tours in our Wanaka paradise…. call Iris for suggestions
Life is too short , let's get out and play