Our objective is to pass on the skills, which have made us successful in our own international climbing careers. The most important attributes being:
- Solid climbing standard and mountain awareness
- Sound judgement of own ability
- Good planning and preparation skills
- Good decision making
Following is an outline of skills taught during the course however factors such as weather and climbing conditions may at times dictate that not all topics are covered in full. Because it is ‘your’ course, you may deem that the course focus is primarily on one or two aspects of climbing so you can increase your skill set in that area.
- Alpine snow climbing
- Basic snow and ice-craft
- Rope skills applicable to expedition climbing
- Glacier travel and self rescue skills
- Mountain first aid, health, high altitude medicine and acclimatisation practices
- Preparation for high altitude expedition climbing
- Snow Camping
- Ladder crossing techniques and practice
Depending on your current level of experience, the course can introduce you to the art of mountaineering and/or fine tune your existing skills to prepare you for the adventure ahead.
The course will operate in Westland, Mt Cook or Aspiring National Parks, depending on where conditions are best. Each has its own huge selection of mountains to explore while learning skills.
We will be based from one of the local mountain huts or a tent camp on the glacier depending on the training programme.
We access the glaciers by helicopter or ski plane which allows us to bring great food and relative comfort to the mountains for your course.
A note about training on the lower altitude peaks of New Zealand - we recommend training in lower altitude mountain ranges such as the Southern Alps of New Zealand where there are many peaks of around only 3000m in height, but similar in ruggedness and valley to summit altitude gains as the higher peaks of the Himalaya. This allows you to concentrate on the technical skills required for successful expedition climbing. We find that without the hassles of altitude slowing you down you are able to get ahead so much more quickly and you can concentrate on your altitude training further down the line.
THE WAY THE COURSE OPERATES
We will spend as much time in the mountains as possible actually climbing, whilst developing skills. Initially we will develop and reinforce skills in a contained environment and move onto more challenging terrain during the course if conditions permit.
The emphasis of the course will be on safety and will involve fairly long days where your guides will progressively introduce a wider range of skills and techniques.
Weather plays a major factor in any mountain experience and the New Zealand’s Southern Alps get their share. We intend to run the course according to schedule however as we at the whim of the weather we often have to adjust our program accordingly.
The course begins at 9.00 am on day one at the Adventure Consultants Office in Wanaka. Equipment pertinent to the course will be discussed and you can get all the advice you need concerning equipment from the guides. Rental equipment will be fitted at this time and final purchases can be made.
We then drive to our chosen destination (between 1-3 hours), load up the helicopter or plane and fly into the mountains. Leaving our gear in the hut, we’re off for a walk on the glacier!
Each day, depending on conditions, you will climb nearby mountains, while doing workshops on different aspects of mountaineering.
At the end of the course we will make our way to a lower elevation and fly back to our vehicle (weather permitting) and make our way back to Wanaka.