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.
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!
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.
check out what Phil has to say: here
Phil on the Copeland traverse, Mt Cook
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
The last week of February: mixed weather with fresh snow up high and here some shots of what Michelle from Jindabyne and Gaz got up to: rock climbing, abseiling, refreshing alpine skills…
Traverse of the Remarkables, a fantastic alpine climbing experience
Abseiling - part of alpinism skills
Mountaineering accommodation in Mt Aspiring Nat. Park
further on, that fresh snow and clouds were hanging around for a while. The alpine traverse of Single and Double cones of the Remarkables near Queenstown provided excellent terrain to “get back into it” for Michelle while the team waited for the sun to come back. Then they were off with ice axe, crampons, bivy bags and all..
Michelle, high above Queenstown on the traverse of the Remarkables
Safety is important out there. Here is a site about being SMART on adventures which is advertised by the Department of Conservation. My thought: if you go out there and stay in mountain huts for your alpinism missions, be it alpine climbing, hiking or bird watching, you might as well give the local DoC office your intentions. At least that way there is an indication of how many people stay in the huts … a long subject, so be smart and stay safe.
Diamond lake Rocky Mountain 775 m altitude, views over lake Wanaka on a guided walk, 3-4 hrs return
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
The last month of the year and our Sustainability Statement is now available. Also our latest newsletter is out, check it here and you can sign up for the next one by sending us an email. We promise not to spam you as time outside is too precious! Here some photos from a recent walking adventure, up to Breast Hill above Lake Hawea, a great one day walk unless you go from hut to hut…
high above Lake Hawea
having fun going for a good walk
On the way to Breast Hill: Cameron hut