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After being out there in the back country for mountaineering, trekking, hiking, climbing and ski touring, here some feedback from guests. The Alpinism studio-cottage accommodation guest reviews are now part of it too via this link: feedback and further feedback about alpinism adventures on our blog
We look forward to share special moments with you, be it in the mountains or at our base or both!
Experienced mountaineer Simon from the UK decided to add New Zealand's highest to his 'collection' of summits around the world. His wife and him had this to say about their week here, staying in the Alpinism studio, and the guided alpine climbing ascents trip to Aoraki-Mt Cook:
"Thank you Iris for making my stay so welcoming and showing me around your paradise. Great food, company and lovely Ziggy walks. Fantastic scenery. Thanks to Gary for taking Simon to the 'top' and bring him back safely. Merry Christmas – lots of love”. Jacki, and: “so lovely to have met you, having lovely people like you in the world makes life so rich.”
“Thanks for all your hospitality and to Gary for arranging perfect summit day weather and getting me up and down safely and even bringing me breakfast in bed the morning of the climb”, Simon
From us: it was awesome to meet such a wonderful, adventurous couple and share such precious times together!
A testimonial by Andrew & Dave (Sydney, Australia):
Gary, our wives and children thank you for safely delivering home their two Aussie husbands (mid-40’s) from a recent 6 day mountaineering instructional course in New Zealand’s Mt Aspiring National Park. We arrived with a good level of physical fitness and a healthy dose of trepidation given we had no real mountaineering experience between us. Gaz, reviewed our clothing before distributing necessary climbing gear and food and then we headed into the mountains via helicopter. Gary’s professionalism quickly became apparent as he tailored a logical instruction framework with constant risk assessment whilst providing respectful critique of our efforts throughout. We gained exposure to crampon travel over rock, ice and snow; an array of safety knots as well as both short rope and glacial travel roping techniques. Gary’s ‘keep it simple’ philosophy helped us grow in confidence as we trained in anticipation of a summit opportunity during our stay at Colin Todd Hut only to be dealt a poor hand by the weather gods. Not to worry, our hut day was filled with indoor classes in map reading, glacial navigation, weather forecasting and prussiking. Our instruction also covered off on anchoring, self-arrest and crevasse rescue techniques all of which enhanced our comfort levels and our skills. The hike out required a solid effort so be warned. An awesome experience, an extremely experienced guide and leader, a magnificent amphitheatre in which to learn new skills and be at one with nature in New Zealand’s majestic Southern Alps. Highly recommended, we’ll be back!"
Matt Molyneux, 14th Dec. - after a Pure Alpinism week
and we look forward to your next visit Matt! photos and thanks Matt too for being able to show them.
Climbing in Europe:
Rob Roy Glacier Cirque:
Mt Cook Aoraki guided ascent, Peter Laurenson from Wellington: "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." some photos on our blog
From Phil Melchior, click on his name to see his contribution - Phil, Alpinism & Ski's best client and supporter, turned friend and business mentor, here on Mt Cook-Aoraki with his friend and neighbor Bill Day, also from Wanaka, chief Gaz= Gary Dickson and fellow mountain guide and mate Sean Brooks (inset).
Alpinism Studio guests Linda & Alex from the UK: "We had a great stay in Wanaka. The studio really had everything we needed and was very comfortable, just perfect for a week of relaxing and exploring around Wanaka. Thanks for taking care of us, the loan of the bikes and the bottle of wine were also much appreciated! We would definitely stay there again next time and you never know we might be able to fit in some big hikes around Switzerland with you in the summer!"
Ski Touring in New Zealand, trip with Hideko, John and Peter at Pioneer hut and
from legendary Charles Day: "Dear Iris and Gary, Many thanks for a most hospitable stay and the ingenious flexibility in adapting to my minimal skiing ability. It was also great to visit Tasman Saddle again in perfect conditions and to explore some of the off-piste areas near Wanaka." from the Alpinism & Ski team: well done Charles, not many Gentlemen at 73 years of age are having a go at it!
More specialised alpine training,: "Dear Gary, 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. Frankie"
Specialised training: "We would like to express our appreciation and thanks for the recent rock and alpine Search and Rescue training Gary delivered to the Wanaka Police SAR team on Mt Aspiring. For us to respond in the field on SAR operations we need both safety and competency. Gary's excellent technical knowledge, ability to role model sound decision making and facilitate real time training with appropriate learning outcomes is highly regarded. We all enjoyed his enthusiasm and commitment to improving the team's skills in this alpine environment. We look forward to our next professional training opportunity Sergeant A. Nicholson, Officer in Charge, Wanaka Police SAR"
Guided Ascents of Mt Aspiring:I’d been wanting to sit down and say a big thanks once again for how welcome you made me feel before we got onto the mountain and then how much I enjoyed the climb. Words are inadequate. I know how lucky I was to get the hill to ourselves but it was the whole package that made it so good. I was still very much “in the mountains” for several days afterwards which was great... Thanks once again for such a fantastic all round experience. Malcolm Wootton, Ashburton
I wanted to thank you again for looking after me and for a successful trip, the weather notwithstanding. Mt Aspiring was a good choice as an objective and was appropriately challenging and rewarding. Some more time in the hills would have been good of course but we were i think pretty lucky to be positioned to well use that time that we were given. A total pleasure on and off the hills and again i have come home energised and full of ideas. Thanks, Anthony Day, Hongkong
Mountaineering and alpine climbing instruction course: Had a brilliant 6 days at top of Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers being taught mountaineering skills, climbing out of a crevasse the highlight!! Very professional, experienced guiding and teaching from Gary and awesome meals from both Gary in the huts and Iris back in Wanaka. Thank you very much, it has been a fantastic course. Will definitely recommend and lovely Ziggy an added bonus. Ruth Littlejohn, UK - Had an excellent time and one of the best instructed courses I've ever been on. Gary is a mountaineering expert, Shaun Hazell, Australia, PS: Iris is a great cook.
Thank you for the half day walk at Lake Diamond loop track, arranged at short notice. The information about plants, birds and the landscape was really appreciated as was your cheerful companionship. Diolch yn Fawr, Heather from Walesm UK
From Monty, returning from Oz for more climbing:
From Spanish hiker to Rob Roy glacier cirque, Alejandra:
USA visitor Anita:
Two cousins from the UK:
Seriously though... it's been a great six days. The choice of location was top notch, the cooking was cracking, the routes you picked were brilliant and it was a great laugh to learn from you - a good combination of clear instruction, deep patience and taking the piss when appropriate! You both made our time in NZ very, very memorable. Thanks a million and best wishes, Lorna and Rob"
the Kalozdi family, visiting NZ for 2 weeks from Louisiana USA:
from Mic Savage, Australia:
October, ski tour based at Centennial hut with Maroubra
Mick from OZ, back for the third time:
lake loop track:
Jan from Whangarei, NZ - Diamond lake loop track:
Ski touring Wayne B., Invercargill:
March: Rob Roy Glacier Cirque:
Thanks to all for a great base camp and for 3 varied and excellent days in the hills, Nick, Waimate / UK
Une semaine intense et très exotique, nous avons eu du beau temps, merci pour tout, Thierry, Tahiti
Thank you for all of your time and assistance with all. In particular thank you very much to Iris in helping me get here alright, all of the local information that you gave and the wonderful meals you prepared for us. Gaz, I don't know where to start, but thank you for all of your time and patience...also for all your deep levels of information and for pushing me as far as you could despite my whinging. It was the most amazing week, and don't you go thinking you've seen the last of me!!! Kat from Oz
Mueller Hut in Mount Cook:
'Totally fantastic trip, amazing to think such a place can be so accessible to us. The best way to spend my birthday. Thank you so much Iris' Lauren. - 'Awesome walk. Learnt a lot about the plants and bird life (love the keas), thanks' Sarah Picard, VIN Wanaka
'Nous avons passé une journée formidable et complète.
Tu es une guide très complète et tu vie tous ce que
tu fais. Le repas, magnifique' Blanca et José Aycona,
'I really enjoyed the perfect day, thanks' Ian, Canada
'Here from 5th-27th Dec. 2002. Great time - fabulous hospitality, working out how to get back.' Tony Gladstone, English Lake District
|Alpinism & Ski Ltd, Wanaka, New Zealand :: Ph 027 229 5534 :: e-mail: email@example.com|