Improve your chances of summiting by ensuring you are properly prepared. Name your peak and we'll train you with the appropriate skills, building on the skills you already have, extending you and helping you achieve your goals under the expert tuition of NZMGA/IFMGA mountain guides.
This climbing programme is ideal for experienced mountaineers or previous climbing course participants. It combines instruction with one or more ascents with the emphasis on putting things into practice by climbing peaks. The course can be customized specifically to your needs and can be more focused on achieving summits or more on instruction - your choice.
The low guide-client ratio 1:2 allows the guide to focus on your specific skill level and ensure you are properly trained. If you are a bit rusty with some of your techniques, take this chance to get up-to-speed with modern climbing practices and improve your saftey standards.
We include all the equipment including boots. Avoid extra costs from having to purchase or hire gear. Reduce luggage weight while travelling.
"I think you run trips very well, it feels like a very personal company right down to being able to talk to you personally, Anne, on the phone about a trip, and you are always there to meet the clients. It was well organised. I found Paul a great guide, he found out what we wanted to learn, where we were at and helped me develop my climbing skills past that, enabling me to make more decisions and take on more of a leader role in my climbing rather than mainly seconding and not making many decisions. I think he did this in a great way. Thanks for a great trip." Advanced Climbing Course. A. Pheasant, New Zealand. February 2013. More client comments.
1 or 2 participants only per guide.
COMBINED COURSE SPECIAL - Combine an Intermediate Course with an Advanced Course for 12 days in our Southern Alps and pay only NZ$4620 per person.
|2013-14 Season: Price per person in NZ$ (valid 1 May 2013 - 30 April 2014)|
|$100 returning client discount, if you have been on an Alpine Recreation trip before.|
|Participants||5 days||6 days|
|Combined Course discount|
|Intermediate + Advanced Course (12 days in total)||4620|
Please note that on public holidays there will be a surcharge of NZ$90 per person per day.
New Zealand public holidays 2013: New Year 1/1 & 2/1, Waitangi Day 6/2, Good Friday 29/3, Easter Monday 1/4, Anzac Day 25/4, Labour Day 28/10, Christmas Day 25/12, Boxing Day 26/12.
New Zealand public holidays 2014: New Year 1/1 & 2/1, Waitangi Day 6/2, Good Friday 18/4, Easter Monday 21/4, Anzac Day 25/4, Labour Day 27/10, Christmas Day 25/12, Boxing Day 26/12.
Included: guide, hut accommodation, all food, surface transport* Lake Tekapo - Mount Cook return, all climbing equipment including crampons, ice axe, helmet, boots, National Parks concession fees, 15% GST.
* For travel to West Coast venues an additional NZ$300 for the vehicle applies, to be shared amongst participants.
Aircraft access (not included): Flights are not included in price because cost varies according to venue, type of aircraft and occupancy. Ski plane carrying 3 + gear from Mt Cook Airport to Tasman Saddle NZ$615. Return flight is often cheaper if you can catch the back-flight of other climbers flying in. Helicopter carrying 5 + gear to Tasman Saddle is NZ$944. Helicopter for 3 + gear from Fox/Franz Josef to Pioneer/Centennial Huts NZ$495. Helicopter Chancellor Hut - Fox NZ$255. Prices subject to change.
Optional climbing manual covering course material is available for purchase for NZ$20 before/after the course. A letter certifying course completion is available on request.
Meals and accommodation before/after tour are NOT included.
Choice of venue
The venues we choose for our Advanced Climbing courses are usually Kelman Hut, at the head of the Tasman Glacier, Pioneer Hut high on the Fox Glacier or Centennial Hut on the Franz Josef Glacier Nevé. Venue can be decided finally after closer discussion between you and the guide to determine your requirements and taking into account hut occupancy, weather and snow conditions.
Kelman, Pioneer and Centennial Huts are public huts that cannot be booked and work on a first come first served basis. Climbers must carry their own sleeping bags and personal equipment to the huts, and a share of the following items, which Alpine Recreation provides: food, stove, fuel and cooking utensils.
Instruction and/or guided ascents
Advanced Climbing can take the form of a course with emphasis on instruction, and putting things into practice by climbing peaks; or it can take the form of private guiding where the emphasis is on climbing as many peaks as possible. Advanced Climbing Course photos.
Instruction topics include:
Several of these topics can be covered indoors if bad weather confines you to the hut.
We can bring your skill level up to standard, but you need to prepare yourself fitness-wise. If you have not used crampons, ice-axe or a rope before, then you are recommended to start with our Introductory Course. If it's been a few years since you did a course or used crampons and ice-axe, we recommend refreshing your skills on our Intermediate Course.
Recommended fitness training:
All trips start at 8am in Lake Tekapo with gear outfitting at Alpine Recreation's office, 30 Murray Place, Lake Tekapo. No extra cost for any gear you need to borrow - from boots to helmets and technical gear.
Drive to Mount Cook. Fly in to one of the high alpine huts. We usually arrive at the hut before midday.
The afternoon is spent getting familiar with your new playground and beginning instruction on your choice of mountaineering techniques.
The guide will ascertain what needs to be taught by assessing your skill level with crampon and ice tool techniques, snow and ice anchors, belaying methods...
We aim to improve your proficiency while climbing peaks in the vicinity with the major goal being a 3000m peak towards the end of the course.
|Venue||Main Goal||Other possible peaks|
|Kelman Hut||Elie de Beaumont 3117m *||Hochstetter Dome 2820m
|Centennial Hut||Minarets 3055m||Spencer 2788m
Meteor Peak 2624m
De La Beche 2992m
|Pioneer Hut||Glacier Peak 3002m
or Lendenfeld 3194m
|Grey Peak 2882m
Douglas Peak 3085m
* Some of the peaks above are only "in condition" early season (November- mid-January), depending on the route chosen.
The final day can be spent on instruction or a short ascent followed by a flight out, or the day can be used to walk back to civilization.
Walking out from any of the venues is not easy and can only be done by very fit groups. It is occasionally spread over the last two days of the course. Walking out is by no means a waste of time as it allows you to put into practice many of the things you have been learning and allows you to experience the full range of mountain terrain. However, most participants opt to fly out in order to maximise use of good weather for climbing.
+ How does this course compare with other climbing courses?
The major difference between our Advanced Climbing Programme and other climbing courses is our 1:2 guide-client ratio and the fact that we include an ascent of a significant peak as part of the course. The low guide-client ratio has some huge advantages:
+ Who is the Advanced Climbing Course for?
This course can be customised to your wishes. Many people come to us with some climbing experience and want to progress towards climbing big mountains independently.
The 1:2 guide-client ratio on this course makes it ideal for those with such aspirations. The course can begin with instruction on any deficiencies in your knowledge, progress onto semi-guided ascents and finish with your making ascents yourself, under the close but hands-off supervision of the guide. This is the perfect progression toward self-sufficiency.
Preparing for guided ascents
These courses will equip you with the technical skills to tackle peaks such as Mt. Tasman and Aoraki Mt. Cook with a guide; they cannot, however, give you the experience and judgement required to ascend such peaks unguided. Such attributes can only be acquired gradually over time after many trips into the mountains.
Those who have done a mountaineering course but have had a few years since using the skills learnt are recommended to use our Intermediate Course to update with modern techniques before launching back into technical climbing on the Advanced Course.
+ How should I decide between the Intermediate and Advanced Climbing Course?
Guide-client ratio and air access
The main differences between the courses are the guide-client ratio, and the corresponding difficulty level and number of climbs attempted. The Intermediate Course has a 1:4 guide-client ratio and takes place at Caroline Hut (our own hut), which does not require air access. Total all-inclusive cost for this course is NZ$1980 per person (or less with a group booking). The Advanced Course has a 1:2 guide-client ratio, costs NZ$2520 per person and requires air access which adds another NZ$300-$400 per person one way.
Instruction and ascents
The terrain for each venue is perfect for the instruction and practice of all aspects of mountaineering. The Intermediate Course will focus on the teaching and practice of the skills you need to climb alpine peaks, usually culminating in the ascent of one technical peak late in the course. The Advanced Course will be a customised mixture of instruction and semi-guided or supervised ascents of the surrounding peaks.
Previous mountaineering experience
If you have little mountaineering experience then opt for the Intermediate Course - it is perfect for the price-conscious participant with a focus on practising and expanding his/her mountain skill set. If you have done a course or courses before, are competent with crampons and ice-axe and know how to belay on snow and ice then opt for the Advanced Course - it suits participants with some experience wanting to climb mountains under close instruction or aspirant climbers who want the increased flexibility of a smaller group.
You may choose to do an Advanced Course immediately following an Intermediate Course, with one night in Mt Cook Village or Lake Tekapo in between (not included in price). Special price for combined courses, 12 days: NZ$4300.
+ What if I don't have a climbing partner for the 1:2 guide-client ratio?
It is ideal if you book with someone you know who matches your fitness and skill level. However, if you book on your own we will endeavour to team you up with someone of similar aspirations and ability.
+ What will I end up with?
The skills learnt and refined on these programmes will transfer easily to peaks throughout the world. Remember it is New Zealand's 3000m peaks that have provided the training for many of the world's finest ascents. You will end up with a fantastic foundation on which to build a safe and successful mountaineering career!
+ What do I do next?
Ring or e-mail us with your request for dates. We'll let you know when we have a guide available. Once we have agreed on dates we'll require a 50% deposit to secure the guide for a confirmed booking.
Why go with Alpine Recreation?
Alpine Recreation provides all mountaineering equipment, including boots. Outdoor clothing and packs can also be provided at no extra cost if necessary. ADC Clothing & Equipment list.
Accommodation pre-/post- tour:
As our equipment check takes place at 8am on the morning of departure, you need to book accommodation in Tekapo the night before. After the tour, it is recommended to overnight in Tekapo again, or in Mount Cook. Accommodation options in Tekapo.
In case of accident New Zealand's Accident Compensation scheme (ACC) will cover the majority of costs (about 80%) involved with evacuation and injury treatment, even for visitors to New Zealand. However you still need ordinary travel insurance to cover such things as your cancellation if an injury prevents you taking part on the trip, or a close relative suddenly becomes ill; and medical insurance in case you become ill. More information re Accident Compensation. The New Zealand Alpine Club provides a good mountaineering specific travel insurance.
How green are we?
Alpine Recreation reduces its carbon footprint and environmental impact through such things as:
- restricting group size
- using fuel efficient vehicles
- minimising use of vehicles and aircraft
- recycling, re-using, composting, avoiding "consumerism"
- minimal impact huts
- bulk buying of food supplies
- promoting conservation of native flora and fauna
- supporting community efforts to encourage appreciation of the natural environment
For details please refer to our Environmental Care Action.