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Based in Lake Hawea, New Zealand (which is right next to Lake Wanaka), our NZ Chief Guide, Dean Staples, leads both international expeditions and New Zealand trips. A multi-talented IFMGA guide with over two decades of guiding experience, Dean is a super friendly guy, with great patience and leadership skills.

Dean currently shares the record for Everest summits by a kiwi, with a total of 9 summits and as lead guide on our 2013 Everest Expedition, he achieved a double summit of Everest and then Lhotse in just over 24 hours.

In his spare time Dean can be found riding his motorbike, trying to master his kite surfing, or simply relaxing at home by the lake.


 Jan 2010 summit of Aoraki / Mt Cook, AC Chief Guide Dean Stapes.


Everest/Lhotse Double

  • Summitted both in just over 24 hours, 2013

Everest (8850m)

  • Has summited 9 times...sharing the record for the most successful climbs of Everest by a New Zealander with two others.
  • First New Zealander to summit from both the North and South sides.
  • Summited twice in one season, 2007

Seven Summits

  • Has climbed six of the seven, with only Denali left to go

Big Wall Climbing

  • Yosemite and Zion, USA


Seven Summits

Everest (8850m)

  • Summits, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 (2x), 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Lead Guide, 2013, 2014
  • Guide, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012

Carstensz (4884m)

  • Lead Guide, 2008

Mt Elbrus (5633m)

  • Lead Guide, 2013

Vinson Massif (4892m)

  • Lead Guide, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015

Aconcagua (6962m)

  • Lead Guide, 2012

Kilimanjaro (5895m)

  • Lead Guide, 2011

8000m Peaks

Everest (8,848m)


  • Summits, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 (2x), 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Lead Guide, 2013, 2014
  • Guide, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012

Lhotse (8516m)


  • Lead Guide, 2013

Cho Oyu (8201m)


  • 3 Summits

Shishapangma (8013m)


  • 1 Summit

Dhaulagiri (8167m)

  • Guide, 2017

Himalayan Climbs

Ama Dablam (6828m)

  • Lead Guide, 2001, 2010, 2014, 2015

Mt Khuiten, Mongolia (4375m)

  • Guide, 2010

Mera Peak (6476m)

  • Lead Guide, 2016


Alpamayo (5917m)

  • Lead Guide, 2008

Antarctic Peninsula, Yacht Trip

  • Lead Guide, 2010

South Pole Last Degree

  •  Lead Guide, 2015



  • IFMGA/NZMGA Mountain & Ski Guide



  • Shot Everest Summit Footage, 2007, 2009

BEYOND THE LIMIT, Discovery Channel, TV Mini-Series

  • Shot Everest Summit Footage, 2007, 2009

EVEREST THE PROMISE, Australian Everest Documentary

  • Filmed all the mountain footage, 2010


New Zealand Mountain Guides Association (NZMGA)

  • Assessor

Harris Mountain Heli-Ski, NZ

  • Former Chief Guide (11 yrs)

Himachal Heli Skiing, India

  • Lead Heliski Guide (3 yrs)

TLH Heli Skiing, Canada

  • Lead Heliski Guide (3 yrs)


"Dean worked really hard to ensure my safety was top priority and was on hand to answer any questions I had, at any time. He was quick on his feet both technically, and in his thinking, when conditions changed. I felt 100% safe at all times and have a lot of respect for him as a mountaineer. I will take this first Alpine experience with me forever!! Thanks to Dean and AC for making this possible! Well worth EVERY PENNY!"


"Dean was excellent. Found the balance between detailed explanation with relevant information and respecting where the group was at. Skilled climber, and skilled leader. A perfect combination." Dale West (Aus), Mera Peak, 2016


"I wanted to let you know the fantastic experience I had whilst on the Ice Climbing Course 20th- 24th July 2015 Wye Creek, Queenstown N.Z. A very challenging course for me being new to ice climbing, but I would have been disappointed had the course been any easier. Professionally run operation by A.C. down to finer details of meals and pre course arrangements by administration staff. A special thanks to Dean Staples course guide, incredible talent and skills. " Warren Symons (NZ)

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In the News...

Historic Everest Climb for Kiwi - 12, May 2013
Kiwi climber Dean Staples has reached the top of the world's highest mountain for a ninth time.  It is believed to be the most successful climbs of 8848-metre Mt Everest by a New Zealander, although he may not have the record by himself for long. Another mountaineer from this country...
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