Gary Dickson, Mountain Guide IFMGA/NZMGA
Spring seems to race along in full speed and plenty of typical storms with lots of wind are blowing through, not so typical are all the thunder and lightning we had during the last few weeks though.
The chief mountain guide of Alpinism & Ski Wanaka, being president of the NZ mountain guides association, has just returned from Peru where an international meeting for the industry took place. Gary is now getting ready again for alpinism adventures in the Southern Alps. His schedule for the coming summer season is getting busy but there are a few slots available should you want him in person for your special ascent, a particular training course or ‘just’ an amazing week in the mountains.
Meanwhile in Wanaka, the native and not so native flora is displaying new beauty almost every day and guided walks are continuing to be part of our alpinism adventures.
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
Panorama on a guided climb of Mt Cook
From the December ascents trip we have received some photos: Peter’s guided climb of New Zealand’s highest mountain with Gary Dickson in person. We are allowed to share them here:
A beautiful day for the climb of NZ's highest
two climbers in the distance
Fabulous views of the Southern Alps
Mid December is an excellent time for a trip up to Mt Cook – Aoraki, as the Linda Glacier Route is often still in good condition. A weather front potentially holding them back for a day, disappeared faster then expected and on the 11th Peter and Gary were the only climbers on that day to climb Mt Cook up the Linda, a very special feeling and an extra treat according to our guest.
Gary Dickson, chief of Alpinism & Ski
still climbing up towards the top, 3754 m
The summit is near
Thanks Peter, both for coming and for the photos, best wishes for many good adventures in 2013!
mountain guide Gary Dickson
Plateau hut, an awe inspiring location
The Darrens in Fiordland Nat. Park
March is coming to an end and with it a New Zealand mountain guides course of two weeks. Fully Internationally qualified and senior mountain guides Gary Dickson and Nick Cradock are running this two week course in the Southern Alps. They spent some time in the Darrens in Fiordland, Continue reading 'Mountain Guiding in New Zealand'»
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 Ball, 79, on Mt Aspiring, New Zealand
Doug at 80, climbing a few peaks over 4000m in a week in Switzerland
Doug climbing high above the Dossenhütte, Kingspitze in the back ground
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
Based at Centennial hut for some more alpine climbing
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
Be it an ascent of one of the beautiful peaks in the Southern Alps or a mountaineering instruction course to learn/refresh alpine climbing skills, Alpinism and Ski offers you our diverse range of mountain guiding services. From short and easy rock climbing on the local Wanaka crags, trekking, hiking and walking around the local hills or to more full on and week long missions on the glaciated terrain, just get in touch to help you organize your next trip.
The youngest and smallest having fun on the rock
A future rock climbing star in the making?
Yesterday, Riverside next to the Motatapu river near Wanaka provided a fantastic venue for an introduction to the sport of rock climbing for long time client and friend Phil melchiors Grand sons. It was also a lovely spot for a family picnic and ‘refreshing’ plunge in the water.
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
Typical NZ Spring storms are coming through and just last week we had fresh snow all around the mountains near Wanaka. October ended with our ski touring team coming out of Tasman Saddle hut, a successful Copeland pass alpine trekking traverse and a Mount Cook climb that could not eventuate because of the full on weather and avalanche dangers. IFMGA mountain guide Sean Brooks with mountaineer Rob had an interesting time at Plateau hut with the wind keeping them awake during the nights spent up there. Chief mountain guide Gary Dickson sat out the storm with VIP team Phil, Bill, John and Geoff and they managed a good number of excellent ski turns in the surrounding areas for the next couple of days, finishing with a splendid ski down the Tasman Glacier. However, they witnessed lots of avalanche activity too. NZMGA mountain guide Pete James with Darrin were also in the area, waiting in Mt Cook village for the weather to clear enough. After they saw the Chamoix bar windows blown out and the storm finally calming down, they were able to cross the Main Divide and here some photos (all by Pete James) telling more:
Climbing up towards Copeland Shelter
The shelter and Copeland pass behind it
Darrin on the Copeland Pass, Mt Cook Nat. Park
Lake Alexandrina Alpinism & Ski stopover after brochure drop in Christchurch
Bird watching: alpinism soft recreational activity
Chief guide Gary Dickson is en route as instructor/ assessor with UIAGM/IFMGA collegue Dave McKinley. NZMGA mountain guide Callum Grant is on ascents trip to Mt Aspiring, there are wild winds on the lake, fresh snow on the mountains and the team is on stand by but Wanaka is just beautiful. Specialist training for elite team coming up and climbing in Europe during July and August is starting to be a subject. Gaz has been on 3 SAR trips in 2 days while Christchurch is suffering and is forever on our minds. We were relieved to hear his family is ok and our friends too. For anybody needing accommodation for a few weeks, our alpinism studio is free after the Wanaka A&P show. If you want to sign up for the next newsletter and program update, click here
NZMGA Mountain guiding course participants being trained by Gary - remarkable range, Queenstown.
A fantastic sunset on the west coast during an NZMGA mountain guiding training and assessment course
Gary teaching candidates rope skills on a NZMGA mountain guiding course
Mountain guiding training – In a weeks time, Gary will be training and assessing for 14 days on a New Zealand mountain guides association course. Along with fellow trainer and assessor Dave McKinley, Gary will spend the two weeks with 5 candidates who are being training and assessed in the different aspects of mountain guiding and instructing mountaineering, to the international standard that the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association ( NZMGA) and International Federation of Mountain Guides Association( IFMGA) require.