IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide
Andy Cole has been climbing since the early nineties and has amassed a wealth of climbing experience, not only in his native New Zealand but also as far afield as Antarctica. Andy loves unlocking the puzzle of a climb or working out how to make the best of the conditions in the mountains.
Originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, and is now based in Lake Hawea, Andy started climbing in 1992 at age 28 and started guiding in 2004. He is an IFMGA Climbing & Ski Guide. He is currently the President of the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association.
Andy has guided and instructed extensively throughout the Southern Alps. He spent several years as an army mountaineering and survival instructor and after leaving the Army, took a position in Antarctica as a field trainer. In 2017 he guided an expedition to ski the Last Degree to the South Pole for AC.
A memorable climb for Andy is the Grand Traverse on Mt Cook with two mates, during which they didn’t get the rope out until the descent down the Linda Glacier.
While in the mountains Andy enjoys the logistics of the climbs... "figuring it out, so my guests get a summit and a great experience. The challenge is making it work with the cards the weather gods have dealt."
When not in the mountains, Andy enjoys sailing... "again, it's working out how to get where you want with the cards the weather gods have dealt."
Escalade Range, East Antarctica
- Three solo first ascents 2011
Mount Sefton (3,151m/10,338ft)
- 2008 - Guided 6 soldiers on this isolated 3,000m peak that towers high above Aoraki Mount Cook Village and is one of New Zealand's premier wilderness climb
Mount Vinson (4,892m/16,050ft)
- Expedition Leader December 2018 (summit)
South Pole Last Degree
- Expedition Leader January 2019 (back to back with Mount Vinson)
"Andy was really a professional. He was always calm and reassuring and pulled me through much of the climb. Be happy to recommend him and the whole AC crew to anyone who's interested."
"Andy was fantastic. He is a great instructor and guide. I felt very safe under his guidance."
Ky Quan Phong, 7 Summits Training Course 2018
Read about Dan Slater's Mountaineering Course with Andy - A New World of Verticality, published in the New Zealand Wilderness Magazine, June 2014