"I just wanted to jot you a note and thank you once again for the fantastic guiding experience that both Martin and you provided our team. The guys are still raving about it – with some describing the trip as being one of those "bucket list" experiences!!
I know that we were all a bit sore on Thursday night, but after a great soak in the hot pools and a hot meal we were as happy as I've ever seen the team.
I couldn't praise you and Martin more for the absolute professionalism and commitment you showed to our team. As I said in my speech at the end, we talk a lot about leadership at Sanitarium – and both you and Martin demonstrated what it means to be a true leader – in spades!
I would have no hesitation to recommend this trip to other (fit) executive teams – and my personal view is that it is first rate team building exercise.
Thanks again for a wonderful and safe trip, and for wonderful memories of the Mt Cook National Park, Ball Pass, and the Caroline Hut experience!"
Todd Saunders, General Manager, Sanitarium, Australia. Ball Pass Suymmit Trek, February 2013.
"I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful 3 days in the company of Aoraki.
What a fulfilling experience with accommodating weather and superlative views.
Caroline Hut is in a sublime location and I enjoyed the awe inspiring views of the Caroline Face and Mt Tasman. I will be back for another adventure!"
C. Lambert, Hastings, NZ. February 2013.
"I enjoyed the trip with you a lot!!!! It was fantastic – one of my NZ highlights! Ewan was a very competent guide, a superb cook, good company and an excellent photographer ;-), the hut was cosy, clean and spectacularly located, the weather couldn't have been better and the trek was just amazing!! An unforgettable experience! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you very much! Thanks as well for the beautiful greeting cards I got at the end of the trip! C. Riisch, Switzerland. January 2013.
"Reflecting on your website description for Ball Pass Crossing, I certainly felt your description of the climb to be neither over or understated. It was challenging physically, and at times mentally, which was what I came for. And what a privilege to be able to do it in the environment of Mt. Cook and the Caroline Face. I found the hut very comfortable, well maintained and clean, a very welcome refuge after a days climbing. Ewan looked after us very well, keeping us informed at all times, and very aware about what was required to have us be tested, while doing good predictions from a safety perspective. I felt very confident around accepting direction from him, which from me is no small praise. Living in a world where mediocrity it too readily accepted as the norm, I came away with the feeling that my experience in your care was a very good one. A nice, no fuss professionalism. I am very grateful that you make this experience possible. Minimise the risk, but let us not stifle it." D. MacDonald, New Zealand. November 2012.
"Tena Koe ANNE, I have to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, the trip was amazing and because I am an adult student there would have been no way I could have afforded to go on that trip. (Alpine Recreation sponsors four students from Ngai Tahu's Aoraki Bound Leadership Training Programme each year.) I felt lost prior to the climb, but I feel quite focused now. Thats because I thought learning my reo was hard and started avoiding it. But climbing those mountains now that is hard. So it seems everything now is achievable. All it takes is small steps one foot after the other. Just like when climbing those mountains. So for me I am glad you kept up this gift to Ngai Tahu that was started with your husband. It was wonderful and you are wonderful for continuing. You will see me again as the only thing I can offer in return is whitebait so will be dropping you all a feed when the season begins again thank you again." N.Hullen. April 2012.
"I consider the adventure to Ball Pass, whist I did not reach my goal I thoroughly enjoyed the three days around Aoraki.
Every aspect of the journey was ten of ten, equipment, food, accommodation, transport and the Hut location is supreme, I would not hesitate to recommend your company to others if they are thinking of a similar adventure in New Zealand.Whist not being a tree hugger I was impressed that the only thing we left behind was our footprints.
There was nothing Alpine Reaction left to chance, and it was no fault of yours that I did not go the full journey. I have over past three day analysed and critiqued why I was not able to go the full journey, the score board shows Mt Cook one and David nil. Please be assured when you see me next I will be better prepared for the next adventure." David G. Australia. April 2012.
"Thank you for one of the best adventures I have ever had. It was beautiful and tough at the same time,and I had an absolute ball." A. Moras, Australia. April 2012.
"I'd like to thank you for an awesome experience. Also, Ewan was fantastic. As I mentioned I'm not too good with heights, and there aren't many guides who could have got me across the pass. Ewan oozed experience and knowledge and gave us confidence which made the whole experience so much more enjoyable and less stressful. I can't commend Ewan highly enough and will recommend your organisation to other people on the back of my experience." M Willers, Australia. February 2012.
"I can't recommend it highly enough as myself and Scott loved every minute. Every aspect of the trek including gear provisions, accommodation in the well maintained private Caroline hut, meals and trek routes were of the highest quality. Our guides Elke and Gary are highly experienced and their pleasant and relaxed nature made the trek very enjoyable. The Caroline hut is situated on a protected ridge at approx 1800m looking straight onto the Caroline face of Mt Cook which is a spectacular backdrop. Consistent avalanches and the associated thunder made it a unique experience. The other side features the Tasman Glacier which we were situated well above giving fantastic views. The Ball Pass requires a climb to 2100m and features snow and glacier crossings. In the 3 days we didn't see any other trekking partys so it was a great remote experience and highly recommend to anyone considering." P Horton, Australia.January 2012.
" I had an absolutely fantastic time on the trip and have nothing but positive things to say about you guys to the people I meet. I was extremely impressed by how our guide both explained and took steps to limit danger while on the trip. Given the nature of my work over here in Australia as a geologist, I was very happy to see the level of professionalism you guys had with regards to safety." N. Fenney, Australia. April 2011.
"Thank you so much for a fantastic trip - I loved every minute of it. I will definitely recommend you to my friends! The Ball Pass was definitely the highlight of my 3 week trip to NZ.
In terms of what you did well: Excellent pre-trek information and ability to discuss requirements with knowledgeable staff. Organised and efficient. Andrew, the guide, was excellent - easy going, knowledgeable and inspired confidence. There wouldn't be too many people I would trust to lower me into a crevasse on a glacier! (optional). He was a great guide as well as a great cook.
The trek itself was fantastic and I really enjoyed staying in the Caroline Hut - really cosy and comfortable with the most spectacular views.
The day on the glacier was definitely one of the highlights and gave us a taste of some mountaineering skills." A. Oglesby, UK. March 2011.
"Seriously, the trip was excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it even considering we had bad weather for part of the trip. I would absolutely recommend the company to others and Jason, our guide, was terrific!The website gave a good overview and the interaction with Alpine Recreation office was very responsive and friendly! I would definitely book with Alpine Recreation again and definitely want to come back!" A. Quarforth, USA. March 2011.
"Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the Ball Pass crossing with your company. As I said in my Rankers comment – probably the best three day walk for me for all time. It was helped of course by the stunning weather we had and everything went exceptionally well. Thomas and Elke were excellent as guides and we felt they were more companions than guides which is a great way to be. It is my first guided trip ever and will probably not be my last."
B. Jordan, New Zealand. February 2011.
"I could not fault your pre trip advice. Friendly at every point of contact. Best guiding/customer service I have ever experienced.
improvement: Its a problem as I cannot think of a thing."
P. McGaghey, Australia. January 2011.
"As a first climbing experience I could not dream of better! And if (or rather when) I come back to NZ you will certainly see me again."
A. Mandron, France. November 2010
"Der Trip mit Alpine Recreation, war sehr sehr gut. Wenn es auch manchmal anstrengend war, habe ich die Zeit sehr genossen. Es war das beste was ich in meinem Urlaub gemacht habe, der 80 Tage lang war. Diesen Trip sollten sie so lassen wie er ist, es gibt da nichts zu verbessern meiner Ansicht nach. Die Hütte " Caroline Hut" ist auch ganz toll, alleine die Lage ist einzigartig. In dieser fantastischen Bergkulisse. Die Innenaustattung ist auch so wie man es erwartet, karg und einfach. Auf einer solchen Tour erwartet man doch auch kein Luxushotel. Würde auch garnicht dazu passen. Die Verpflegung war auch ganz gut, der Bergführer ist auch ein ganz guter Koch. Machen sie weiter so, der Trip ist perfekt, das Preis Leistungsverhältnis passt. Die Guides sind gut, die Hütte gut. Alles gut."
A. Brandmeier, Germany. Februar 2010
"I went with Alpine Recreation on their Ball Pass guided hike, and amid an amazing 2 week trip to the South Island, it was undisputedly the highlight. We spent New Year at Caroline Hut as a gregarious group, and under a full moon, surrounded by some of the best views in New Zealand. The guides looked after us right down to brewed coffee upon arrival at the very well set up Caroline Hut, taking us through fundamental mountain skills in the day and providing quality meals and company at all times."
D. Butcher, Australia. January 2010
"This is the most exciting, adventurous, and most difficult thing that I have done and am so glad that I had the opportunity to do this. I nearly cancelled because last August I was retrenched from my job and have only been working part time since. However my family encouraged me to continue. So on many levels this was a trek of a life time. "
E. Knopper, Australia. January 2010
"It was a great trip, great guides, great hut, very well organised, personal, small group, really: excellent!!! Hopefully you will be able to continue to work in this small scale personal approach with such great guides. You are really lucky to have this private hut. As you can see on my weblog, I described it as probably the best located hut of New Zealand with its stunning views and proximity of the highest mountain of NZ, Mount Cook."
M. Zondag, Amsterdam. January 2010
"...the whole package of experiences is superb.....of driving up to the start in the old Troop Carrier, the ridge climb with a glacier over your shoulder, a great hut at the end of the day, excellent food, exciting locations and amazing views....it's really, really good......and I know this because everyone on the trip had such a wonderful time and kept talking about it afterwards."
J. Verhagen, Sydney. January 2010
“We really enjoyed the Ball Pass Trip 13-15 December. It was the highlight of our trip to New Zealand. For the three in our party, this was certainly the most challenging short trip we have undertaken (and we've walked the entire length of the Pyrenees Haute Route in summer). It was a fantastic and memorable three days with incredible variation in weather conditions - from torrential rain - to glorious Alpine sunshine - to heavy snowfall. An epic adventure I will never forget!”
D. Dugan, London. December 2009
“The crossing turned out to be all that it was made out to be. I’ll always cherish the views of the surrounding mountains, the crisp cool air and tramping in the snow in the summer. This was the first time I had used crampons. Andy and Mike were both superb guides – thoughtfully accommodating to the needs of the moment at all times.”
M. Chee, Singapore. December 2009
"I thought the trip was fantastic. Ball Pass was gorgeous, and the hut is a very special place! I thought every aspect of the trek was extremely well-organized and well-executed. Andrew, Wolfgang, and Mike were wonderful guides; they were skilled, knowledgeable, friendly, and fun. I also thought the trip was excellent value. I particularly appreciated being able to borrow high-quality gear at no extra charge.
M. Seifter, Germany. November 2009
"The calibre of the guides was exceptional. Not only did they have the required expertise, they had very good people skills and they were intelligent with very good knowledge of peripheral topics."
T. Nicklin, Auckland. March 2009
"As you can imagine I am still not quite 'back on the ground' - having arrived back last week to a relatively flat landscape in Perth and still feeling as though I am amongst the magnificent mountains of Aoraki. It has been really difficult explaining your extraordinary landscapes to my family. But I have formed an opinion of my experience based largely on the professionalism of Alpine Recreation and have summarised as follows:
- eye-catching website
- realistic expectations of each days events (in fact more than I expected)
- realistic setting of grade (extreme)
- firm, polite, fair and strong leadership shown by Andrew
- excellent, no fuss catering
- very ecologically/sustainability aware and in practice
- Andrew maintained an adequate pace for the group or four (ages 70, 60, 58 and 50) although a few more photo stops would have been appreciated.
I believe this program provides an excellent introduction to the spirit of the mountains and is well marketed."
C. Morris, Perth. February 2009
"I've done a lot of trips around NZ in my travels over years and I would rate this as the best trip. It was superb, not just due to the tramp and scenery themselves. I think the organization was excellent. I was also very impressed with the easy access to any equipment/outdoor supplies to borrow for the trip."
S. de Boer, Auckland. February 2009
" Just a quick email to say how much we enjoyed our trip, it was far harder than we anticipated (and we knew it would be hard) but we loved every minute. David and Andrew were wonderful guides we thank them for all their patience! We were so lucky with the weather 3 days of glorious sunshine, we were truly blessed. The last day was rather long to put it mildly, but we all felt a real sense of achievement. Both of our children say it is the best holiday we have ever been on, and we have had some very good holidays. We were just looking at a DVD of photos at the weekend that Neil who was on our trip sent through to us, he took some great photos that really show the enormity and beauty of the landscape, and the challenge we faced. Many thanks."
L. Glen, Auckland. December 2008
"All round an excellent experience - clearly an organization run for the love of the activity and one where considerable thought and care has gone into making all aspects of the trip enjoyable, successful, and safe. I can honestly say this was by far the best guided experience I have ever had."
J. Martin, New York. December 2008
"Both Andrew and Martin were excellent guides - positive, helpful and full of details of the area. They gave the trip a great 'vibe". Safety was always a priority. Couldn't have asked for more. I was really happy and impressed with all aspects of the trip. A wonderful few days that will stay with me for a very long time. Hope to see you again soon."
G.Reade, NSW, Australia. November 2008
"When I returned to Auckland, I felt so good and all my friends told me that I was 'glowing' and looked 'rested'....Hiking above the tree line in mountains away from phones, computers and work, I feel like I am being treated by the 'nature therapist' - I find it absolutely exhilarating and the effect lasts for a couple of weeks after I return to my desk....After Ball Pass, I am now ruined for 'Great Walks' with 40 other people where you spend one day in trees (usually beech), one day alpine and then 1 or 2 days in trees again." M. Blackwood, Auckland. March 2008
It was a wonderful time going over Ball Pass with your company, and I will be happy to recommend you to any friends who are interested. You can't be faulted! A very well run trip, and friendly company. It was lovely to have the extra day to spend in the environment and learn about equipment and techniques from the guide. All the planning and organization has been thought out well, with lovely touches like hut slippers and books and games. The food was excellent in menu, presentation, and quantity. Andrew was a great guide who was very competent, personable and positive. The trip was well organized and very manageable." N. Whyte, Alexandra, NZ. Jan. 2008
"The Ball Pass Crossing was well run and everything that your information said it would be. Three things in particular stand out: the guides were very skilled, good, safe and great company to be with - they are a real asset to your company. The traverse of the icy slope on Ball Pass was safely organised. The running out of lines- ropes between anchors down which we could walk was particularly appreciated. The practice with ice axes etc. the day before was also well run. Finally, the Caroline Hut was a spectacular place to stay. "
P. Copeland, UK. March 2007.
"One of the best outdoor excursions I've ever been on. Better than sex! (well, almost)." F.Blakiston, journalist. March 2000.
I think you run trips very well, it feels like a very personal company right down to it is great Anne to talk to you personally 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 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.
I would like to say that you have exceeded my expectations (yet again). I came and did the IDC in 2007 and was blown away by the professionalism of the guide and the experience of the IDC. I have since climbed in Europe and must say that NZ is the place to be! I decided to get my brother involved in mountaineering and so I booked the IDC again for this year. We had a brilliant time. Wolfgang again pushed us safely to experience new things. The weather and hut were awesome and I would strongly urge anyone with an interest in getting into mountaineering to sign up for the IDC course. You run a brilliant business and I look forward to organizing my next trip in 2013.
Introductory Climbing Course. D. Robinson, Australia. November 2012.
Fantastic. Even on really short notice Gavin and Anne were able to put together a great climbing package, give me a good description of the itinerary for the climb and give great weather predictions for my time at Kelman. The gear rental policy is terrific - next time I will hardly need to bring anything when I come over from the States. Also, ensuring that I returned on time for my flight back given the unpredictable weather was difficult but well done.
Advanced Climbing Course. T. Myer, USA. July 2012.
The guides are exceptional - well trained, knowledgeable, friendly and willing to work with clients of varying ability. Having access to a well stocked private hut was fantastic and the facilities, while basic, were more than adequate. Communication was fast and efficient when booking and making arrangements.
Intermediate Climbing Course. B. Balhatchet, Australia. January 2012.
One of my friends has seen the pics and was blasted! The Course was great and the landscape absolutely amazing. I loved everything and I was so impressed by the level of experience of both guides. Top of the marks! Whoever loves the Mountains should experience this fab trip
Frederica Merella, Italy. December 2011.
Why I opted for the Alpine Recreation Advanced Course:
1 Offering the right product for my needs ie skills, time and value for money
2 Easily the best website.
3 Excellent friendly service on the phone
4 Easy to deal with
5 Not a large corporate.
Tailoring trip to clients skill sets and needs. Well catered for, did not require any heavy hauling of gear. Excellent food on offer.
M. Buckley, Australia. March 2011.
"(I chose Alpine Recreation's course at Caroline Hut) because unlike other companies, your groups hike in and out as you would if you were there to climb mountains rather than doing a course." C. Wilcox, Australia. January 2011.
Alpine Recreation’s Introductory climbing course for me was more than learning about climbing. It allowed me to spend time in the mountains where I could experience new things, look in awe at the face of Mt Cook and take stock of the beauty and majesty of my surroundings as well as partake in the enjoyable physical challenges of climbing when otherwise I would have been in the office and involved in the daily stressors of life. So for me it was a welcome and memorable respite."
J. Rapley, Christchurch, March 2010.
"I found the whole experience very satisfying and thrilling. I know that the weather wasn’t too kind to us, however, weather happens and that is beyond the control of everyone. I greatly respected the expertise of your guides and fully accepted their decisions. I will certainly be back for more adventures. Your guides also encouraged a wonderful team spirit within the group." D. Stuckey, Australia, January 2010.
"The course in general was brilliant fun and Dave was an awesome guide. Thanks a million." D. Long, Australia, January 2010.
"My needs were atypical - this an introductory course whereas I with considerable experience at moderate alpine climbing, but that all 33-38 years ago, and seeking a refresher course. It turned out I was well matched with the young Australian couple on the course who had high fitness and aptitude but without the basic alpine moving experience. Mike handled my quirks of partial independence, excessive photography, tendency to leave items behind, and not-always rigorous safety approaches with tact. He balanced intensity and long days with variation in sessions and breaks to keep focus and allow absorption of the experience and knowledge.
Caroline Hut and vicinity provides a wonderful environment for the course. The early season conditions were varied and weather ideal for 3.5 days and poor for a half day, but this was anticipated by accurate forecast and the coursework very neatly scheduled to fit.
Overall the course was exactly what I needed - an intensive update on modern gear and climbing practice in simple alpine climbing, and total immersion in that environment over just long enough to take it in, with opportunities to discuss with an understanding expert." C. Ward, New Zealand, December 2009.
" Things you do exceptionally well: Tailoring trips to weather conditions - having flexibility. Making people feel welcome. Guide's expertise and professionalism. Good camaraderie. Good atmosphere at the hut." D. Carlton, Australia, January 2009,
"I formed a decidedly positive impression of Alpine Recreation. You have good people, you are well-organised, trustworthy and professional. It is clear to me that you have fine-tuned your operation over the years so that you know exactly what you are doing. I would have to think really hard and focus on some very minor details in order to find fault with Alpine Recreation. The IMC and especially the climb of Mt Elie de Beaumont, went way beyond anything I had done hitherto. All I had done in the past was walk up glaciated mountains, with the occasional rock scramble, eg on Pollux. So the course extended me and opened my eyes to what is involved in technical ascents. I am grateful for this and I think I have learnt a lot. Overall, the course exceeded my expectations. I felt at all times that the guide knew what he was doing and this gave me the confidence to extend my limits. The food was better than I expected and the blue vein pasta was definitely the highlight of my culinary experiences in NZ." T. Boniecki, Australia, November 2008.
" We had just amazingly good time and I felt that I was getting way more than my moneys' worth! All the guides around the hut showed real dedication and very genuine intererest in clients' well-being and and comfort. They were also genuine, fun people to be around. The surroundings, the hut and the food (the quality and the quantity) were really a positive surprise. I would definitely recommend you to anybody who is interested in mountaineering and spending some quality time up in the mountains. I also liked the fact that you can offer various sorts of mountaineering equipment for free to your clients, that is something that also sets you apart from other businesses. Sometimes the lack of proper gear can be really a big obstacle for tourist who travels for a longer period of time and can't haul specific type of gear around the world. Last, I would like you to forward my thanks to Wolfgang "The Wolfman", who really put all his experience and enthusiasm to my use. An awesome guide and teacher, that guy. Thank you very much!" M. Koukka, Finland, March 2008
"I would like to thank your team for a truely wonderful experience up at Caroline Hut/Ball Pass over the last few days. I was really not fully aware of the challenges and experiences I would go through and so the resulting feeling of satisfaction and achievement was very high for me. The guide, Wolfgang, was so professional in taking us on this trip. He was very safety conscious all the time and his eye never let an incorrect knot etc past. His pace of training and of climbing was just right. He also cooked fantastic meals without bother! Even though the weather was very bad on Saturday he used this time to teach us knots and techniques for Sunday which was fantastic - abseiling, be-laying, glacier work, glissade...Wolfgang also seemed to understand about Maori issues relating to the hut and the mountain. I was impressed just listening to him. Also the design and strength of the Caroline Hut is a credit to you. It was so comfortable and well stocked. On Friday night the wind was so strong it shook the hut quite a bit (understatement). I would not have been able to do such a course without the hut and truely value this large investment by you. Thank-you again. I am keen to do another course (maybe the ski touring one). " G. Chisholm, Christchurch, Feb. 2008
"You created a learning environment, which challenged the clients. Precautions were taken to maximise safety. The attitude of the guide was excellent. He was laid back enough to be comfortable, however, when it came to professionalism and safety, he was very serious. I chose your company because of value for money and the fact that the Caroline Hut was privately owned and operated. " D. Robinson, Australia, Nov. 2007
"Whatever the standard you have for everyone involved in Alpine Recreation is above and beyond. Your guide was fantastic and the way you provide the equipment is wonderful because it means that people can explore the experience without having to be thoroughly committed - although the trip inspires commitment quite surely! " N. Soucek, Australia, IMC Nov. 2007
"The professional and competent approach taken by you both mirrored the apporoach taken within this organisation to training and other activities. The tremendous weather we had for most of the time provided us with spectacular views in an environment that is stunning but at the same time full of potential hazards and traps for inexperienced mountineeers. The graduated approach taken to guiding us through the various skills, and catering for the varied capabilities of the group were particularly appreciated. " G. Day, Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Officer, 4th Otago South Battalion Group, New Zealand Army, May 2007
"The guide really tried to feel the level of the group and in my case I couldn't have got a better start to my mountaineering career. The view was stunning and the climbing sorties were great. I could not have had a better five days in Mount Cook." R. Eriksson, Sweden. Jan. 2007
"Main benefit was the ability to base the course from the private hut right on the doorstep of the alpine environment. Good practical introduction to mountaineering/alpine trekking with the guides happy to share information and answer questions." L. Amies, Australia. Jan 2007
"Could not improve on trip. Excellent guide. Fantastic food. Great climb as you learn focus for those with already some experience. Excellent use of fixed line ensuring safety. Will definitely seek to do advanced course in the future. Top free poster as well!" B. Goss, Australia.
"I found one of the great pluses with your course was being able to arrive in NZ with basic warm clothes and have the specific technical gear provided, that's a huge bonus when travelling from overseas; particularly when the outlay for mountaineering gear is high and people like myself did the course to 'try before we buy'. Personally I was very impressed with the way that Ewan tailored the course around our needs and I thought it was professionally run." S. Parker, Australia.
"It was a really awesome trip, 5 of my best days of the last 13 months travelling...great memories!" S. Grout, UK.
"I feel confident on glacial snow, using crampons and ice-axe. I understand ice/snow anchors, crevasse spotting and avalanche dangers better. I am inspired to continue snow/ice training. Gary was always extremely enthusiastic and motivating, with a sincerely caring and professional approach to his work with us. He was unfailingly patient, kind and good humoured - an excellent instructor/guide/sportsman." K. Baye, China.
"Gary was an outstanding teacher, respectful, competent, calm, professional, consistent, attentive, and his ability to fit in quality teaching with the weather etc. was excellent, as well as his ability to encourage, to stand back and not be condescending; to be aware of the needs and abilities of the team. Really well done. It was great being able to use Alpine Recreation gear, and not have to buy expensive equipment for the trip." H. Cameron, Australia.
"We had a thoroughly great time in New Zealand and Ski touring in the Two Thumbs Range was definitely a highlight for both of us. Thanks Elke for taking us on some lovely tours around your high country backyard. The scenery is truly spectacular and skiing was equally great. We were both impressed by the professionalism of your guiding and interactions with Alpine Recreation and would not hesitate to recommend Alpine Recreation to friends wishing to experience New Zealand's mountains in a safe and enjoyable way."
Nordic Ski Touring. G. & K. Roberts, Australia. August 2012.
"I would like to say: Thank you so much for the hospitality, friendliness and inspiring and professional experience. It was amazing and definitely the highlight of my trip to NZ. Elke is an amazing guide and well prepared. First of all I would like to say that it was great the flexibility you offered and I felt very welcome when I arrived and I was offered to have breakfast and a tea at your office, thanks again for looking after me. The experience at the Hut was unique for me and breath- taking. The food was perfect, all the gear provided was great and very useful to not have to purchase or hire every item separately. Thanks again for lending me the gear I needed. I would highly recommend you to my friends and I would like to do it again when I go back to NZ."
Backcountry Ski Course. C. Poblete, Australia. August 2012.
"Thanks for making the trip enjoyable and informative. Considering the different standards in our group you did a great job in keeping us all satisfied and interested. Key for me was a little more knowledge on avalanche risk assessment - in particular the compression tap testing using a wider slab to check for propagation. I've already got my rope with 30cm markers sorted. Also revision on transceiver use and navigation was really good. Not to mention digging the Taj Mahal of snow caves. The hut and services at the hut were a pleasant surprise, very comfortable - a really great set up."
Backcountry Ski Course. R. Hosking, Australia. August 2012.
"I just want to say a Big thank you for an amazing time I've had in NZ. I really enjoyed and can say with certainty that was my biggest and greatest adventure so far. Can not wait for the next one..Thank you for creating great atmosphere:-)
Backcountry Ski Course. M. Sydlak, Australia. August 2012.
"Fantastic couple of "Blue Bird" days in the Two Thumbs Range. Incredible scenery, great company, accomplished guides, cosy hut. Definitely coming back."
Snowshoe Trek Lake Tekapo High Country. Kimberley and Rhiannen, Australia. August 2011.
"I appreciated the honesty over the weather conditions and the fact that the trip we booked originally might not have been the trip that we got to go on. As it turns out we got a cracking day of weather on the ascent to Mueller Hut afterall. But I can't bear expedition companies who can't be honest about things like this. It is a credit to Alpine Recreation that you are not just shoving people up and down mountains. By the way I should also omment on the fact that when I took a bit of a tumble on the descent that Dave was really great. He had me back on my feet in no time. I felt very safe in his capable hands and under no pressure to hurry downhill etc. And therein lies the reason why I believe that paying a reputable company for a good guide is money well spent."
Snowshoe Trek to Mueller Hut. P. Boast, Bahrain. September 2011.
"Snowshoeing Expedition Caroline Hut:
- From the first check up at 8a.m in the morning in Lake Takapo to the return, I felt completely safe and cared for.
- I have been doing a lot of similar trips in France, Bolivia, Tanzania and Nepal, and I have to say the level of professionalism of Elke / Marty has far exceeded the previous trips I have been doing.
- On the material side, Alpine Recreation level of service has been extremely high, with high quality recent material ready for the five of us (with a lots of different sizes available).
- We spent a whole day stuck in a hut due to bad weather. The hut was always warm, with food being not only plentiful but actually really good. Retrospectively, it was actually a good day, as surprising as it might seem, thanks to the guides.
- Even if you know nothing about mountaineering, you can feel Elke / Martin were very qualified professionals always eager to warn us in advance of potential dangers and teaching us about the mountain.
I rarely take the pain of writing feedback but I thought I had to do it on this one given the level of professionalism and friendliness of the Alpine team. Should you be a beginner or an experience mountaineer, I can confirm you you will have a great / safe experience with Alpine recreations, whatever the conditions. Feel free to call Pierre on +44 7584 403 376 for questions."
P. Fossat, London. October 2011.
Booking: The reservation, payment and experience prior to arrival was top. Info on your website was plenty and clear. Nothing left out.
You were quick to respond to emails, always accomodating and friendly.
Getting there: The location is a little off the tourist path but this was exactly what we wanted. The town and surroundings were amazingly beautiful.
Gear and pre-checking: The gear provided was perfect, good condition, clean and appropriate for the excursion and needs. Nothing to add or improve.
Food and hut: There are obviously menu preferences but what we received was perfect to our tastes. Even considering I had two youngsters which are picky in their choices. The hut was clean, and comfortable. The location was perfect for what we wanted to do, some nordic skiing.
Guide: He was very professional, attentive to every detail. Most importantly we felt at all times safe and contained in an open environment".
Nordic Ski Touring in the Lake Tekapo High Country - F. Badessich, Argentina. September 2011.
"Dave Crow was an exemplary guide. Our daily excursions gave me, a newcomer to the area, a very satisfying overview of the layout of the land, and seemed well-judged to make the best use of the hours available, the variable weather and the presence of a rank amateur in the party. Back at the hut, the stove was lit, tea and biscuits appeared, followed by a more-than-adequate meal, all with a quiet efficiency that was almost embarrassing to a client who found he could sit back and watch it all being done - but was sufficiently weary to be mighty appreciative of the service. The morning routine was a similar exercise in culinary expertise. Toast and marmalade in a mountain hut!"
"Rex Simpson hut: such a lot of positives to mention. The setting is a winner, with uninterrupted views to the mountains across the lower Godley , then down-valley to the lake, the whole scene constantly changing in response to the vagaries of light and weather. The hut itself strikes a nice balance between well-appointed comfort and back-country simplicity - solar power and a pot-belly wood burner! I also thought several smaller features and procedures were very successful and added qualitatively a lot to hut life, especially the supply of hut shoes, and toilet gumboots, the provision of hand-washing fluid, and the sensible disposal of waste water."
Nordic Ski Touring in the Lake Tekapo High Country - P. Aimer, Auckland, August 2010.
"The most beautiful, breathtaking landscape I've ever seen! René took us up along Snake Ridge today...amazing clear blue sky and the view of Mount Cook spectacular. Would love to come back."
Snowshoeing in the Lake Tekapo High Country - K, Haase, Australia, August 2010.
"Stunning scenery, wonderful food,amazing night vista and Stella our guide is a star!"
Tekapo Trek. Family of five, Auckland, April 2012.
"It's the silence and space...two elusive acquisitons!"
Tekapo Trek. L. O'Keef, Australia, January 2012.
"Paysages magnifiques depuis les différents pics. En espérant que nos photos sauront restituer un peu la magie des lieux."
Tekapo Trek. Once Upon a Trip Group, France, January 2012.
"Beautiful, two days trek...good weather, amazing colours,, very quiet place, a "must" for hikers."
Tekapo Trek. R. Marion, Terres d'Aventure, France, March 2011.