Greetings adventure lovers!
Somehow another year has just slid by! How did that happen? Hopefully you’ve managed to fit in some great outdoor experiences in the last 12 months to make all the hard graft worthwhile. If you haven’t, scold yourself for being so remiss, then plan accordingly to make up for it in the coming year!
The highlight of my own past year was a trip across the polar plateau in Antarctica to the South Pole. Yep, it was cold and miserable at times, but what made it really special was being out there with good people having a great adventure. Those are the experiences I cherish and that is the attitude that we at AC bring to every trip that we do. That’s why, when you’re on one of our expeditions or journeys, you’ll feel that passion for the open spaces and camaraderie that we all enjoy sharing with our travelling companions.
Do you want to make a new years resolution that will improve your quality of life? Then get a hold of your year planner, block out dates for the trips you want to do this year (preferably with AC of course!) and squeeze the rest of your obligations into whatever time is left. Simple!
I wish you all the best for the festive season and new year, be safe out there and keep on moving.
We’ve had success on all our Nepal post-monsoon expeditions this season with groups achieving Ama Dablam, Island Peak, Lobuche East and Kyajo Ri. We’ve also had some satisfying and memorable trekking trips through the region on Three Passes and Khumbu basecamp treks. Our Antarctic season is in full swing with Vinson ascents and the Last Degree to the South Pole being completed, while in South America we’ve concluded our first Aconcagua expedition for the season. We successfully completed the first of our new format Carstensz Pyramid expeditions in Western Papua during November with all members reaching the summit and we had a small private group climb Kilimanjaro on a luxury style expedition. The New Zealand climbing season has been blessed with fine weather in the early part of the season with many fine ascents achieved already and numerous courses.
New Zealand Guides Course Results
Congratulations to Gary Kuehn, Mike Madden and Stefan Sporli who all passed their recent NZMGA Summer Guiding exam, and especially to Gary for achieving his IFMGA Mountan and Ski guide qualification.
This remote peak is a suitably challenging climb as the third peak in the trifecta. It has steep terrain and a pristine setting enabling members to put their experience gleaned from the previous climbs to good use. As well as covering a lot of terrain around the Khumbu valley region, the expedition provides good preparation for future Himalayan endeavours.
Both our post monsoon expeditions achieved success and although not all members stood on all the peaks, there was sufficient variety and time that if one was having an ‘off day’ there were still other summits to look forward to. High winds on our second trip saw the group turn back just shy of the summit of Island peak but the weather behaved and enabled summits to be achieved on the other peaks.
Our Ama Dablam 2010 expedition, led by Dean Staples along with Paul Rogers and Lydia Bradey, had a successful conclusion in early October. On arrival at the mountain other teams had not yet managed to get very high on the route so our strong guide and Sherpa team fixed the ropes to facilitate our summit ascents over two days. This then opened the way for a few of the lesser prepared teams to summit while many went home without completing the ascent. This technical climb is certainly no push-over even with a good level of support so it will remain as one of the gems of the Himalaya due to its challenges.
Mark Sedon achieved a well timed summit on Vinson Massif during a short weather window in early December. While others spent many days at high camp waiting for an improvement, Mark and his team of strong climbers waited for the break in the fronts. When it showed promise of clearing they climbed to high camp - summitting the next day. They descended again just as another front was approaching and even managed to finish the trip a couple of days early. Congratulations to team member Tony Hampson-Tindale from South Africa for completing the Seven Summits with this climb.
Victor Saunders is running our December 29 Vinson departure so sign up for the dispatches to follow their progress.
This journey initiates 110km from the South Pole and team members travel by ski across the Polar Plateau to the South Pole. While it was early in the season and still rather cold, Guy Cotter’s team made good progress arriving at the Pole on Dec 9. A couple of windy days halted progress part way through the trip but improved sufficiently for the group to complete the journey. Guy said ‘it’s a hard trip in that the cold is omnipotent and the days' skiing challenging but it was one of the best trips I’ve ever done’. One of the team members turned 57 on the trip and another celebrated his 60th birthday!
Our new format Carstensz expedition was a success with Victor Saunders leading members on Nga Pulu to acclimatise followed by the ascent of Carstensz. Our program of working with New Zealand helicopter pilots and B3 Squirrel helicopters to access the mountain has enabled us to ease the issues of access and egress. We have another departure planned for February with a couple of spaces left and a full trip in March. Anybody considering this climb should make immediate use of the opportunity before the inevitable political issues shut the door on access again. Congratulations to team member Sasko Kedev from Macedonia on completing his Seven Summits with this climb.
The post monsoon conditions were excellent in the upper Khumbu valley except for the two summit days of the climb! However, trip leader Mark Sedon managed to find the best window of opportunity and the group summitted and made it back down before 30cm of snow fell that night and the next day. A fine adventure and congratulations to all the team - their story (and a proposal!) is at Island Peak 2010 Dispatches.
The entire Aconcagua Nov team reached high camp with the objective of a summit the next day. Unfortunately a very strong wind blew and the intense cold put paid to the summit climb as the climbers had to turn back to avoid cold injury. Normally we’d await better weather but this time the forecast didn’t promise any respite so the team backed off. The climbing team were all very realistic about the rationale for the descent which isn’t that hard to do when you are up in the bad weather. Our experienced Aconcagua leader Matias Prieto was disappointed with the outcome but is hopeful for better conditions on the January Aconcagua expedition he is also leading.
We were blessed with beautiful weather early in the season with lots of ascents being achieved in October and November. Notable ascents were Paul Rogers on Tutoko with Mark Tootill and Tibor Hromadka climbing Cook and Aspiring back to back with Sylvia Moser.
This magical journey across the Drake passage starts in Ushuaia on the southernmost tip of South America in February. The group will sail for a couple of days across the passage, then cruise around the sheltered islands of Antarctic Peninsula ski touring up and down some of the many peaks there. Mark Sedon and Victor Saunders will lead the trip and Mark will no doubt take the group to some of the best spots he’s visited previously as well as some new locations he’s been eyeing up. We work from a sailing boat and this gives us flexibility to move to where conditions are best for land-based adventures and a platform for watching whales, seals and penguins. This trip is full but we are accepting bookings for the Antarctic Peninsula 2011/2012 season.
As mentioned the Carstensz trip in February has some space left, and we have Europe Ice Climbing, Chamonix Off-Piste Skiing and Haute Route ski touring options for you now also. Don't forget the big Everest 2011 climb where our planning is well underway and the accompanying Everest Basecamp Trek.
From the AC Blog page
Ama Dablam 2017 - Final dispatch
Island Peak 2017 - Last day
Everest 2017 - Wrapping Up
- Mens Health Oct 2015 Peak Performance
It's a razor-thin line between life and death on Everest. After facing his own tragedy on the mountain, Guy Cotter emerged a more capable man. Use his lessons to scale your own heights. By Aaron Scott.
- Guy Cotter talks about the Everest movie to Huffington Post
- Guy Cotter Discusses All Things Everest
July 7, 2015 - Ellis Brigham's blog recounts events on Everest in 1996, the New Everest movie and Everest 2015 with Adventure Consultants CEO Guy Cotter.
- The Schooling
June 17, 2015 - Insights to the world of ski mountaineering from professional freeride skier Lorraine Huber who recently joined Adventure Consultant's Alpine Expedition Course with guide Jono Gillan.
- Explorers Web Interview with Suze Kelly Everest Earthquake Debrief.
June 11, 2015 - Suze Kelly "It was like walking in to the scene from a plane crash"...
- Southland Times - AC Vows to return to Earthquake stricken Nepal
June 8, 2015 - A Wanaka guiding company has vowed to return to Nepal in September and is encouraging adventurers not to turn away from the earthquake-stricken nation and its people.
- The Daily Mail - Sam Worthington scales new heights in chilling movie Everest
June 5, 2015 - He is known for intense roles, having portrayed paralysed renegade Marine veteran Jake Sully in Avatar...The British-born star, 38, plays New Zealand climbing expert Guy Cotter...
- TV3 News Campbell Llive - Video - Guy Cotter speaks out after Nepal Earthquake
April 28, 2015 - An interview with Guy Cotter following the Earthquake at Everest Base Camp.
- The Snows of Aoraki
April 2015 Issue - Dan Slater of Climb Magazine (UK) tells his story about a 10-day alpine climbing course with renowned Wanaka-based company Adventure
- The Climber - How the Other Half Lives
Issue 90 Summer 2014/15 - Nic Learmonth - Self proclaimed rock rat, enters the world of mountaineering on Adventure Consultants Mountaineering Introduction Course to see what all the hype is about...
- Wanaka Mountaineer Mixing with Stars
14 Nov 2014 - The Otago Daily Times shares a little about the upcoming Universal Pictures 3-D film recounting Everest 1996 where Avatar's Sam Worthington plays Guy Cotter.
- Outer Edge - My Own Private Glacier
Oct 2014 - A great blog from Jonathan Moody who recently joined us for our Alpine Expedition Course
- AG Outdoor Magazine - Aspiring to Greatness
Oct 2014 - Brendon Hill from www.agoutdoor.com joined us for a Mount Aspiring Course and Ascent...here's his story.
- Great Walks - Climbing Mont Blanc for Brain Injury Awareness
Sep 2014 - A great story about an AC Charity Climb of Mont Blanc
- Queenstown Life - Adventure Consultants
Aug 2014 - Queenstown life captures the inner workings of Adventure Consultants and shares a bit of our history with their readers.
- An Introduction...The Southern Alps
Zack Wasson describes his backcountry skiing trip with us..."What a trip it was, our first introduction to the Southern Alps. Needless to say, our tickets are booked again for this August. Let it Snow!"
- Mining Life and Living, Issue 4 - Frozen Playground
Christie Prior shares her experience on an AC Mountaineering Instruction Course.
- The Optimum Layering System?
Guy Cotter gives us his thoughts on the matter...
- Radio New Zealand - Break on Everest Climbs May Allow for Better Planning
May 2014 - Interview with AC Director Guy Cotter
- National Geographic Daily News - Climbing Finished for Season on Everest after Deadly Avalanche?
May 2014 - Mark Jenkins interviews AC Director Guy Cotter.
- Great Walks - The Only Way is Up
April/May 2014 - Great Walks goes from the horizontal to the vertical while attending AC's Alpine Climbing Course in NZ's South Island.
- Outdoor Fitness - Mountains Made Easy
Can you go from armchair alpinist to 4,000-metre summiteer in under a week? Or is that too much of a climb? Damian Hall joined us last September for the Mont Blanc Course and Ascent. Check out his article which appeared in the June 2013 Issue of Outdoor Fitness
- 60 Minutes - Everest ER
17 June, 2013 - Join Michael Usher 5500 metres above sea level at Everest Base Camp where mountaineers launch their quest for the summit.
- Huffington Post - Watching the Sun Rise on the Summit of Mt Everest
10 June, 2013 - AC 2013 Everest Expedition member, Cason Crane, blogs about his reasons for climbing Everest and the world's Seven Summits.
- Polygon - Dean Hall on the Roof of the World: How Illness Persuaded the Creator of Dayz to Climb Mt Everest
7 June 2013 - Great article by Dave Tach about AC Everest 2013 team member Dean Hall and what led him to his goal of climbing the world's highest mountain.
- TVONE Breakfast - Summit Ladder a Step Too Far
29 May, 2013 - TVOne's Breakfast featured an interview of AC's Guy Cotter to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Hillary's summit of Everest and to get his views on the proposed ladder on the Hillary Step.
- TV3 - 60 Years on, New Zealander's Still Climbing Everest
27 May, 2013 - TV3 News interviews AC CEO Guy Cotter from Namche, Nepal while on his way back to Kathmandu from Everest/Lhotse.
- New Zealand Herald - Record Breaking Glory on Mt Everest
22 May 2013 - AC Lead Everest Guide, Dean Staples', reached the summit of the world's highest peak for the ninth time this May, a record number of ascents for a kiwi.
- Otago Daily Times - Meeting with Famous Climber
21 May, 2013 - Wanaka climber and Adventure Consultants director Guy Cotter was on a high before he even left Everest Base Camp last week after meeting one of his idols, Reinhold Messner, who is considered by many to be the greatest climber in history...
- Otago Daily Times - Father-Son Everest Trip
28 April, 2013 - Hall is one of eight people from around the globe making the ascent as part of the Adventure Consultants expedition from Wanaka. His father, Otago Regional Council emergency management co-ordinator Graeme Hall, travelled with him as far as Base Camp and returned to Dunedin this week after seeing his son off on his perilous trek...
- Otago Daily Times - Wanaka-Hawea Climbers on Top of Everest
5 January, 2013 - 6 AC guides profiled as the highest number of Everest ascents outside of Nepal concentrated in one town, per capita!
- Wilderness Magazine - View from the Top
Kiwi climber Peter Cammell writes of his experience climbing Everest in 2012 with Adventure Consultants
- Utah Adventure Journal - Guy Cotter, A Life of Climbing