New Zealand Guided Ascents & Courses
The following Frequently Asked Questions answers serve as a helpful guideline for the Adventure Consultants New Zealand Guided Ascents and Courses. Please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!
CHOOSING A PROVIDER
How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since.
A few outfitters ‘claim’ to have the same level of experience and prestige with that of Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you a first choice for your climbers?
Most operators will claim they are of the same ilk as us and in our promotion we are not able (or really wanting to) outline our competitor's shortcomings.
FOOD, ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES
What showers and washing (clothes) will be available on the course/ascent?
You should not come on our trips and expect a shower each day. Shower facilities are available at your accommodation on the days prior to/after your trip, but once we are in the mountain huts or at the Adventure Consultants Wye Creek Base Camp, there are no shower facilities. We advise people to bring wet-wipes for the impromptu wash in between available showers.
Would you let us know what food will be available?
You’ll get breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks, and ample hot and cold drinks. We can cater for vegetarians as well as many other special diets as long as we are informed of this prior to the trip. All of our NZ guides are great cooks and will provide excellent food!
What is the food like?
Our guides will prepare high quality popular dishes that are filling and nutritious. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form. We are happy to accommodate for those with specific diets.
What are the NZ Mountain huts like? Can I have my own room?
NZ offers some fantastic huts in amazing locations and most often these provide dormitory style bunk rooms and communal kitchens. Toilets are 'long drops' and many are famous for their views! Expect to share the huts with other like-minded climbers.
What is the Wye Creek Base Camp like?
This is an innovative camp that incorporates two large expedition style tents - one for cooking and relaxing and the other for sleeping. The camp provides a cosy atmosphere to enjoy your evening meals, relax after a big day of climbing as well as a separate sleeping space. Bunks and mattresses are provided.
Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
As our trips generally start at 9am* on Day 1 (*Exceptions are the Backcountry Ski and Ice Climbing Courses which start at 8.30am), we do ask that you arrive the day prior, which allows some contingency incase of delays or lost baggage. This also means that you start your trip well rested and ready to get into the mountains. You are welcome to arrive early or stay for extra nights at the end, and we are happy to assist with hotel bookings and travel advice.
When should I book my ticket?
If you are joining a group course we generally ask you to wait until 60 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights then ensure you can make changes to your tickets or you run the risk of losing your ticket if we do have to cancel the trip.
If you are joining us for a 1:1 course or ascent, or with a group of friends then you are welcome to book your tickets as soon as you wish.
Can I get a cheap ticket online?
The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket; therefore, we highly recommend using a travel agent.
Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
Generally our NZ trips start at our office located on 20 Brownston Street at 9am* on Day 1(*Exceptions are the Ice Climbing Courses which start at 8.30am). We can easily arrange for your guide to come and pick you up from your accommodation, and your Client Liaison is happy to assist with booking airport transfers.
What if I am arriving early or departing late?
Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for local attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
Yes, you will get be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit. You can also find this information on our website, under the Trip Notes section of the relevant trip.
Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
Yes, all of the items on the list, except those marked optional, are necessary for mountaineering in New Zealand. Due to the variable weather and conditions in the New Zealand Mountains some of the above items may or may not be utilised on your trip and your guide will discuss this with you during your gear check on arrival.
How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be?
A sleeping bag rated up to 3 season or better (approx -5 degrees Celsius and containing anything from 550gms – 750gms down fill) is ideal for New Zealand summer mountaineering conditions. For winter courses and ascents bring a bag rated as 4 season or 700g+ down fill (approx. -5 to -10 degrees Celsius).
We suggest buying a sleeping bag big enough to allow you to wear some clothes in if it is especially cold. Sleeping in a warm hat can greatly improve a bag's warmth.
What first aid supplies will be available on the trip?
All our guides carry a full first aid kit to deal with any medical emergency on the trip. You need to bring any medications you regularly use (don’t forget to tell us about them) plus some extra. Also bring a small first aid kit including a blister kit and mild pain relief medication.
GUIDES & TEAM MEMBERS
How many guides will be assigned to our group?
You will find the trip ratio on the webpage of your course or ascent and detailed in the Trip Notes. Generally our group scheduled courses are guided at a maximum ratio of 1:4, whereas guided ascents are at a 1:1 ratio. Depending on your experience and objectives Private Instruction Courses operate at a ratio of between 1:1 and 1:4, and Ascents Weeks at 1:1 or 1:2.
How much weight will we carry?
Once we arrive at our mountain hut base we will be able to leave most of our gear at the hut and only carry what is required for the day. This is all course/ascent dependent, but you will need to be able carry a day pack with warm clothes, water, snacks, sun block, camera and whatever else you need for the day plus a share of group climbing equipment. Generally it will be a medium weight of approximately 5 to 10kgs (10 to 20 pounds). You need to be prepared to carry a full pack of about 20kg if we walk out of the mountains at the end of the trip.
Who goes on your trips?
Our climbers and ski tourers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels. From those seeking skill development, to those seeking assistance with the world's highest mountains or purely adventure, we provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.
HEALTH & FITNESS
What kind of physical condition should I be in for a trek?
We encourage you to work on your fitness prior to your course/ascent. When training, it is recommended you carry a pack for long periods on hills and uneven terrain. Over time, increase the pack weight until you are comfortable with 15-20kgs. Gym training, swimming, running and cycling also add to your base fitness and are a great addition to a pack training program.
COMMUNICATION & ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
Yes, our guides take satellite phones on our NZ trips and you are welcome to use these at a cost of US$3 per minute. In some huts, you will be able to get cell phone coverage, but please do not depend on this.
I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
The best place to reach a loved one is through our office, as we can pass on messages when the guide calls in with updates.
Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc. available throughout the course/ascent? What voltage requirements?
It is very easy to charge your phones and cameras prior to your departure into the New Zealand mountains. Once at the huts, there are no charging facilities so we recommend that you bring a camera that uses batteries (and don't forget to bring spares).
What weather report service do you use?
On the days leading up to your trip, your guide will be looking closely at the weather and we utilise a variety of websites as well as being lucky enough to receive updates from landowners, the Department of Conservation and others already in the mountains. Once in the mountains, your guide will contact our office on a regular basis via satphone and receive updates via the nightly hut radio schedule.
What insurance do I need to get?
We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation insurance and travel insurance to protect yourself in case of injury or mishap or cancellation prior to/or whilst on our trips. The New Zealand Alpine Club offers insurance options for Australian and New Zealand residents, and your client liaison will send you more details on this option.
Whilst our focus is on safety and our track record supports this, the mountains do have hazards and there is always the potential for mishap. If you were injured whilst on the trip the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) will pay rescue costs upon review of the circumstances and authorisation by the Police. This service may not apply to evacuation costs for medical conditions. You are not eligible for bulk compensation payments from ACC, and you are responsible for any medical or evacuation costs beyond the cover provided by ACC.
Who do you recommend for insurance?
Coverage varies based on your nationality and the trip that you are taking with us. When you have booked on for a trip with us we will send you information on various insurance options which will serve as a good starting point for obtaining the best coverage available for yourself.
What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips, including our courses. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip, then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.
FEES & PAYMENTS
Can I pay by credit card?
We can accept the trip deposit and balance payments by credit card for your trip. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.
What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents whom we have worked with in your country should you require help with arranging your international airfare.
Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are; internationally qualified western guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client:guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.
How do I sign up for a trip?
The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our offices or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a bank wire transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card payment page. Phone our New Zealand head office on +643 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.
I love the photographs in your brochure and on your website, are they for sale?
Yes, our images are available for licensing or purchase.
I want to become a mountain guide, where do I start?
Those with limited experience generally start by taking an alpine climbing course and then go out and climb for a few years. You generally should have at least 5 years of climbing and/or teaching/guiding experience. You need avalanche and medical training and then you can apply to do a NZ Mountain Guides Course or the equivalent in your country, aligned with the IFMGA. Check the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association web pages for a complete description.
From the AC Blog page
Everest 2017 - Starting Soon
Pvt Everest BC 2017 - Base Camp
Kilimanjaro 2017 - Cool Morning Walk
Aconcagua 2017 - Celebrating Success
South Pole 2017 - At the South Pole
Vinson 2016 - End of the Line