ESTABLISH SOLID ALPINE SKILLS

Alpine Climbing Course

This is New Zealand’s premier alpine instruction course. It has been developed by pre-eminent guides for people with a desire to learn the latest and most relevant alpine climbing techniques.

We operate in Mt Cook, Westland and Mt Aspiring National Parks and run the course where conditions are best at the time.

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Difficulty Level Medium ?
Fitness Level Medium ?
Duration 10 days
Elevation 2,000M / 6,562FT
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Learn mountaineering techniques from our highly experienced and qualified guides - Andy Cole

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Helicopter in to New Zealand's premier climbing venues - Andy Cole

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Learning continues once you return to the hut - Dean Staples

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Take your climbing to the next level - Mark Sedon

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Learning ice climbing - Dean Staples

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Climb while you learn - Dean Staples

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Learn essential crevasse rescue techniques - Dean Staples

From Mar 12 to Mar 21, 2018
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$3,850 NZD $
From Oct 22 to Oct 31, 2018
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$3,850 NZD $
From Nov 19 to Nov 28, 2018
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$3,850 NZD $
From Dec 10 to Dec 19, 2018
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$3,850 NZD $
From Jan 04 to Jan 13, 2019
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$3,850 NZD $
From Feb 04 to Feb 13, 2019
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$3,850 NZD $
From Mar 11 to Mar 20, 2019
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
$3,850 NZD $
  • Overview

    • New Zealand’s premier alpine climbing course
    • Extending climbers to higher levels and consolidating techniques


    You will gain experience on a variety of alpine routes, and upon the successful completion of the ACC you will have learnt safe climbing practices and be capable of utilising your skills to attempt ascents of many of the superb peaks within the New Zealand mountains, and further afield.

  • Why AC?

    With our headquarters based at Lake Wanaka we have the distinct advantage of short travel times to the venue with the best weather and conditions at the time. We have the option of the Westland, Mt Cook, Aspiring and Remarkables mountain regions in addition to crags around Wanaka and alpine rock at the Remarkables. This enables us to get you into the most appropriate location much faster and gives more choice of venue.

    Our courses have been designed by Guy Cotter who has been climbing for over 35 years. Additional to his extensive record in New Zealand, his career has includes over 40 high altitude expeditions and polar journeys, including four ascents of Mt Everest and four other 8000m peaks.

    As an IFMGA Guide since 1991, Guy Cotter recognises the need for people to learn about ‘climbing’, and not just being taught the technical skills in isolation. This is not an easy task and cannot be achieved without experienced and highly skilled guides with good instructional skills. The guides at Adventure Consultants are recognised as amongst the best in the industry with the ability to help you get the most from your time with us.

    The main points of difference on an Adventure Consultants Course are:

    • More time to gain experience while practicing skills
    • Focus on remote mountainous areas
    • Highly experienced expedition guides instructing
  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Guide fees
    • Hut fees
    • All meals and snack foods whilst on the trip
    • Group equipment such as ropes, tents and stoves
    • Ground transport ex departure location
    • Course manual (A Climber’s Guide to NZ Mountaineering Techniques, by Guy Cotter and Mark Sedon)
    • Department of Conservation concession fees (37125-GUI)
    • 15% New Zealand Goods and Services Tax
    • Aircraft access and egress (see below)


    Aircraft Access

    Aircraft access alleviates long and tiring walks into the alpine region with heavy packs. It allows you to start the course fresh, gain more valuable instructional time and take advantage of fine weather periods. For this reason we utilise helicopters or ski planes depending on availability and the region we operate in. The helicopter or ski-plane flight into the alpine region is included in the course fee.

    A bonus for this course is the inclusion of an egress flight in the course fee. We include an egress flight out from the mountains so your course spends the maximum amount of time above the snowline.

    Registration, Deposit & Balance Payments

    In order to confirm a guide and your trip, we require a completed Registration Form and a deposit of NZ$1,000.00.

    The balance of payment is then due 60 days prior to the start date.

    Please note: In order to reserve a guide we recommend that you book well in advance. This especially applies to the high season period (November through March).

    Payment Options

    All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:

    Bank: Bank of New Zealand
    For the account of: Adventure Consultants Limited
    Account number: 02 0673 0043443 00
    Account Type: NZ Dollars

    We can also accept your deposit and balance payment by credit card – Visa, Mastercard, Amex plus a 3% credit card payment fee.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 60 days prior to your trip commencement date. An expedition member may then cancel his/her participation on the following basis:

    • Up to 60 days prior to the departure date a NZ$500 fee applies.
    • Inside 60 days of the departure date, we reserve the right to retain 50% of the full fee.
    • Inside 30 days of the departure date, we reserve the right to retain 75% of the full fee.
    • Inside 15 days of the departure date forfeits 100% of the full fee.


    Trip Cancellation Insurance

    We highly recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent – trip cancellation insurance is usually packaged together with your travel insurance and covers you for loss of deposits should you not be able to make the trip for personal reasons.

  • Course Notes

    ACCThe Course Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Alpine Climbing Courses.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Alpine Climbing Course Notes

    Our Guides

    NZMGA IFMGA LogoThe instructors on our New Zealand courses are all NZMGA/IFMGA qualified guides with many years experience, not only in pursuing their own climbing careers, but also in learning how to pass these skills on in an environment which is conducive to accelerated learning.

    Our focus is to pass on knowledge that will assist your development towards becoming a competent climber. Many courses focus primarily on techniques that are taught as skills in isolation yet we recognise that you need to learn those skills in context while you are actually climbing the mountain so you know where and when to utilise each technique learned.

    Success with the highest margin of care is always a hallmark of our approach; promoting the realisation that even extreme pursuits such as high altitude mountaineering can be undertaken safely.

    A founding principle at Adventure Consultants is to recognise the necessity of positive communication within the group to foster an open and friendly approach to communicating and reinforcing learning processes.

    Adventure Consultants employs only IFMGA or NZMGA qualified guides, the most advanced training and certification program internationally. In order to gain these qualifications guides must undergo rigorous training and assessment on climbing skills, instructional skills, avalanche training and assessment, wilderness first aid, rescue training and much more. The qualification takes around five years to attain and ensures you are getting a world-class professional service.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Em Weatherall climbing cropEmberly Wetherall, Client Liaison

    Emberly has been with Adventure Consultants since March 2016 in the role of Client Liaison and Retail Buyer. She brings a positive attitude and 'can do' approach to her role.

     

     

     

    AC Team 2016 Landscape

    Your Health

    Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.

    Level of Experience Required

    This course has been developed to meet the need for people who want to learn how to climb mountains and avoid the frustrations of courses that are entirely technically based but lacking in experiential learning.

    A high level of fitness is important to ensure you gain the most from the course. We operate the course by gradually increasing the intensity of the exercises to allow participants to increase their climbing strength and confidence over the duration of the course.

    Alpine climbing often requires long days with early starts in order to gain a summit and descend before nightfall and hence stamina is a vital asset. There are times when the weather may be rough and there can be periods of discomfort. This hardship makes a summit all the more satisfying and one recognises that it takes special attributes to be a successful alpine climber.

    If possible, you should take the opportunity to develop additional skills before the course commences, e.g. rope skills that can be learned through local alpine clubs or rock gyms. Of course having previous rock or alpine climbing experience will allow you to gain even more from the course.

    Preparing for Your Trip

    To make the most of your climbing experience we strongly encourage you to work on your fitness prior to the trip. A good level of fitness takes time and commitment and can only be achieved by training hard or being constantly physically active. In training it is best to actually carry a pack for long periods on hills and uneven terrain on a regular basis.

    Your guide places special focus on fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly. Your own level of enjoyment of the course will be directly related to your level of fitness.

    Following are some tips and a basic Training for Mountaineering programme.

    Insurance

    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, and we can provide you on advice about this according to your nationality.

    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.

    Food

    We place emphasis on providing nutritious meals and a good supply of snack food throughout the trip.

    If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of registration. For special diets such as vegan and gluten/dairy free we will call you to discuss your needs and how this will work in the group cooking situation.

    If your dietary requirements are especially strict you are advised to bring a sufficient supply of your required food types with you to ensure you are provided for.

    Accommodation

    In Wanaka...Wanaka has a range of accommodation from backpackers, youth hostels, motels, and hotels to luxury lodges.

    We are happy to assist with your accommodation and bus transfer arrangements.

    During the course...Adventure Consultants will provide your accommodation while the course is running which is from 9.00am on Day 1 until 5.00pm on Day 10. When in the mountains you will stay in mountain huts with shared bunkrooms and basic facilities. There are no single rooms available. Some mountain nights will be spent in tents or bivvies where you will be more exposed to the elements but the final decision on this will be made by the guides after weighing up all the factors. For more information on New Zealand's mountain accommodation see our Alpine Huts page.

    For overnights in Fox Glacier / Franz Josef or Aoraki Mount Cook villages you will be accommodated in dormitory style Alpine Club huts and in Wanaka in dormitory style backpackers with shared bathroom facilities. You may decide to upgrade to single accommodations in Wanaka at your own expense, should you require.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Climbing in the Southern Alps requires you have the highest quality clothing and equipment due to the extremes of weather conditions.

    Our focus is on having the essential clothing and equipment while keeping your pack as light as possible. Your Guide will go through the equipment checklist with you at the beginning of your trip. Actual equipment taken may vary from the list we provide you subject to seasonal weather and route conditions. All group equipment including ropes and cooking equipment will be organised by your Guide.

    Adventure Consultants can help with all your equipment needs prior to your trip departing. We have a dedicated equipment co-ordinator that can answer any questions you may have, or you can also read the following equipment notes which are designed to help you when making decisions about which equipment best suits your personal needs.

    We carry a good range of modern rental equipment. If you will be renting equipment from us please advise your requirements in advance to ensure correct sizing and availability.

    In addition, our extensive retail catalogue and gear store provide the added service of purchasing your clothing and equipment needs directly from us. We are regularly outfitting climbers from head to toe to help them prepare for their course, ascent or trek! We also have a range of products available at our headquarters for any last minute purchases on the day of departure.

    We can offer secure storage at our office for your luggage and valuables during the trip.

    Communication & Messages

    Our guides are in radio/cell/sat phone communication with our operations base and Department of Conservation headquarters throughout the trip. This assists us with schedule and weather forecast updates, helicopter coordination and safety back up. Urgent messages can be relayed via our office to the field if required. Each course carries a locator beacon for additional security.

    Travel

    We commence the course from our base in Wanaka. Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Qantas provide daily services for flights from Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington to Queenstown. There are also direct international flights from most major Australian cities to Queenstown.

    Alpine Connexions offer a shuttle service several times daily between Queenstown and Wanaka (approximately one hour driving time and with costs from $35 each way).

    Bus services operate daily between Christchurch and Wanaka (approximately 6 hours travel time).

    Return ground transport from Wanaka to the course venue is included in the cost of the course.

    Guide Books & Maps

    Included in your course fee is a complimentary copy of ‘A Climbers Guide to New Zealand Mountaineering Techniques’. Written by Adventure Consultants guides Guy Cotter, Dean Staples and Mark Sedon, the ‘ACG’ was published specifically as reference material which you will find useful before, during, and long after your course has finished.

    The Mount Cook Guidebook by Alex Palman and The Mount Aspiring region - by Allan Uren and Mark Watson offer good insight into to the variety of peaks and routes in these respective areas.

    It is useful to have your own map for navigation exercises, and we can advise you of the relevant 1:50,000 topographic maps required. The training area venue for your Alpine Climbing Course will generally only be decided just prior to the course commencement date to ensure the most favourable area is utilised.

    The above books and maps can be purchased from our gear store in Wanaka.

  • Curriculum

    We operate our courses in the Mt Aspiring, Mt Cook or Westland National Parks. Being based in Wanaka gives us more flexibility than any other location in the Southern Alps to be able to travel directly to the best area for running the course. Operators based in Mt Cook are shut down by weather for extended periods.

    However, due to Wanaka’s central proximity to all the regions, we have the ability to anticipate these weather systems and will travel to the opposite side of the mountain range and get into the mountains often days before it clears on the windward aspects. We consider factors such as: weather and snow conditions, hut occupancy rates, and our knowledge of where to find the best climbing conditions at the time. The course will commence and finish at our Wanaka office.

    Ultimately, we want you to complete this course with the foundation for a successful and safe climbing future. Those attributes that we feel are most important and useful are:

    • Solid climbing standard and mountain awareness
    • Sound judgement of own ability
    • Good planning and preparation skills
    • Informed decision making
    • Technical mountaineering proficiency

    The following are the basis of skills taught during the course, however factors such as weather and climbing conditions may, at times, dictate that some skills are not covered in full.

    • Basic to advanced snow and ice craft
    • Rope skills applicable to alpine climbing
    • Glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills
    • Weather analysis
    • Alpine rock skills
    • Introduction to mountain rescue
    • Route finding
    • Navigation
    • Avalanche awareness

    We will spend as much time in the mountains as possible actually climbing peaks whilst developing skills. Initially we will develop and reinforce skills in non-threatening environments and move on to more ‘interesting’ terrain during the course.

    The emphasis of the course will be on alpine routes involving fairly long days where your guides will progressively introduce a wide range of skills and techniques.

    The following is a typical outline for the Alpine Climbing Course based on a prior course based in Westland National Park.

     Day  

    The group will congregate at the AC office in Wanaka at 9.00am where the course participants meet the guides and are introduced to the other course members. After everyone has had a chat, the guide outlines the course syllabus and in which mountains the course will take place. Next, we get together to discuss and then organise our personal and group equipment (bring all your gear with you, including those items you are not sure whether to include or not). Equipment pertinent to the course will be discussed and you can get all the advice you need concerning equipment from the guides. Anyone requiring rental equipment will be fitted at this time (but please advise in advance of your requirements to ensure you are catered to) and final purchases can be made. Food is pre-sorted for the trip by the guides to save time. It's very important to ration food effectively, too much and your packs become overly heavy, too little and you starve! Basic rope skills and tying in are covered to ensure consistency and revision for those who already have rope skills. This enables us to get right into it when we reach the glacier in a couple of days. Trip planning is covered followed by rescue first aid and decision-making. Once all this is completed, we pack up for the trip. Excess items can be left at our office for storage. We travel by road to Fox Glacier Township (or Aspiring or Aoraki Mount Cook) depending on where weather and conditions are best! Please remember a travel bag for use when overnighting in Fox Glacier/Aoraki Mount Cook Village/Wanaka before and after the trip, see equipment list for details. 

    An early breakfast is 'processed' then the group is bundled into aircraft for the flight to the remote Franz Josef Glacier, and we get to see the awesome peaks of the region we will be soon scaling. An initial familiarisation talk to clarify nomenclature and identify the peaks will help you absorb this wonderful environment before moving into the more practical elements of the trip. We utilise the hut system in the region when they are not too full and we move our gear in before we sort ourselves to get out onto the snow. The group ropes up for crevasse travel training and we go for a walk on the glacier. Our other mountaineering gear is introduced as we go along with the rudimentary techniques needed for mountaineering - use of an ice axe, learning to crampon and to self-arrest.  There'll be a lunch stop, even though in mountaineering, lunch starts straight after breakfast and goes all day...The first day out in the mountains is always exciting and eventually, we will retire to the hut for a team cook-up and maybe a lesson on weather forecasting while watching the sunset. 

    An early start sees the group roped up and away just on dawn towards Aurora Peak. Here we actually have to place snow anchors and belay on snow or ice towards the summit. At the summit, we rest with astounding views all around us and we get to see right up into the upper Tasman Glacier! After a quick lunch, it's time to descend. We find some suitable seracs and experience ice climbing. It's a chance to hang onto those tools and find the balance point on the crampons. Tired and elated we return to the hut for the night. 

    An early start again, but this time up to Meteor Peak, not too far from the hut. We climb up a steep snow face using both snow anchor for protection as well as rock gear on the steep rock buttress that leads to the main divide and ultimately the summit. After a couple of rappels and down climbing of Meteor it is a tired group slugging back across the soft glacier and up the heart-breaking hill to a welcome cup-a-tea at the hut, and some time to dry out sweaty clothes and boots in the afternoon sun. The evening weather forecast is for a front the next day, so we pop outside and take note of how the weather is changing.
    Slightly sore legs are rested with the onset of a storm, which keeps us around the hut for the day. A cooked breakfast is followed by a navigation lesson and numerous cups of tea and real coffee. Navigation is a crucial skill and can mean the difference between comfort and concern in the mountains. By knowing these skills one can actually avoid ever getting (completely) lost! A more involved weather lesson follows lunch, and an introductory avalanche awareness lecture then it's time for a game of cards before dinner. The group listens to the evening weather forecast which promises improvement for the following day. 
    6

    A windy dawn greets us and it is snowing lightly, a good sign the guide tells us. We practice equalising anchors and discuss some crevasse rescue theory, while the weather continues to improve. We decide to make an attempt on the Minarets, two 3,000m peaks in the Franz Josef Glacier area. This will require a bivvy at Graham Saddle, some five hours from our hut. Now it's time for the course participants to consolidate the skills they have already acquired by planning and executing a trip under the watchful eyes of the guides. Food is packed, stoves and pots loaded in, and sleeping gear stowed in packs as well. With heavy packs, we set off in improving weather and it is late afternoon when we arrive at our bivvy site. 

    7

    No-one likes to hear their alarm clock at 3.00am but we get away. The winds are building which makes the climbing more difficult than on a good day. Yet this is part of the game and the team moves on. Finally, the summit is reached at 1pm yet due to the cold and wind, celebrations are brief. As a group, we have to carefully make our way back down to pick up the bivvy gear before descending back to Centennial Hut for the night. 

    8

    Just near the hut is a perfect crevasse to practice rescue skills. We each take turns to jump into the crevasse while our climbing partners hold our falls. They then carefully pull us up out of the crevasse, then we swap around. All the time watched carefully by our guides for safety pointers. In the afternoon we return to our food supplies. High cloud indicates the possibility of approaching weather and all are expectant of the coming day. 

    9

    A storm rages overnight but abates in the early morning we escape to descend to Chancellor Hut on the Fox Glacier. We are all happy to be going downhill! Several times we have to utilise our navigation skills and it's a good chance for the course members to work through this under the watchful eyes of the guide. By the time we reach Chancellor Hut, the weather has improved enough to allow a helicopter to land and we are soon on our way to Fox Glacier Township for showers, steak, & a quiet beer. 

    10

    The group gets up early and drives back to Wanaka as everyone is keen to practice some rock climbing on the local crags around the Wanaka region. By mid-afternoon everyone is rather tired, it’s been an action packed 10 days so it’s back to the AC office to clean up and debrief the course. 

    Day 1 of the course begins at 9.00 am at our office, in the Wanaka town centre at 20 Brownston Street. Please arrive just on 9.00am as the guides will be preparing prior to that time. You will need to arrive in town the night prior to the course commencing. Please let us know if you are delayed in your arrival and an expected arrival time.

    You will find some of New Zealand's best sport climbing in the Matukituki Valley - the gateway to the Mt Aspiring region (just a ten minute drive from our office). Three ski resorts provide plentiful winter activity and all year round fishing, boating and numerous other recreational activities abound.

  • Add Ons

    Wanaka has some of the most relaxing and beautiful accommodation in New Zealand. Let your friendly liaison know if you would like to discover some of the potential options that Wanaka has to offer.

    Our top pick! Wildwire

    Experience a via ferrata (iron rung) climb on soaring waterfall whilst in Wanaka. Wildwire is a truly great guided day out climbing a private via ferrata at Twin Falls in the Matukituki Valley. A safe and fun active activity for all ages.

    Scenic Flights

    In Wanaka we are surrounded by a myriad of lakes and mountain ranges as well as South Westland and Fiordland National Park, with the world famous Milford Sound. Seeing such sights from above by helicopter or plane is a must whilst visiting the South Island.

    Shark Diving

    This is an adventure you don’t want to miss – shark cage diving just off the coast of Stewart Island, New Zealand where you will be up close and personal with these fascinating creatures of the sea. You don’t need to be an experienced or certified diver as the cage is a surface cage with air delivered into your regulator via a hose from the deck. We can arrange a 3 day trip for you from Wanaka which is fully inclusive so you don't have to worry about any of the organisation, just worry about the sharks!

    Bungy Jumping

    Bungy… the quintessential New Zealand activity that speaks for itself. And Canyon Swing! Let us organise this for you after your trip with us and take the hassle out of it. Talk to our staff about it today!

    Canyoning

    Canyoning adventures are a journey unlike any other. Get in touch with a special natural world and see beauty such as you’ve only dreamed of… From the raw power of strong waterfalls to the tranquillity of deep, forested pools, from sculptural rockscapes to glowing green moss droplets, you will be immersed in a world you never knew existed.

    Fiordland Helicopter Flight and Remote Scuba Dive

    Take an incredible scenic helicopter flight through Fiordland National Park, a listed World Heritage Area, where you will land on a private boat in the very remote Dusky Sound. Then don your dive gear and head underwater for a phenomenal dive in the unique underwater world that Fiordland has to offer. Feast on an amazing lunch of fresh seafood, before heading back to civilisation. Truly an experience not to be forgotten.

    Rock Climbing

    After your course you could add-on a multi-pitch single day 1:1 ascent with your guide. Depending on your skill level, there is a range of excellent options for rock climbing in the region. This is a superb way to consolidate the skills that you learnt, and an opportunity to feel the real exposure of multi-pitch climbing.

    Climb Kosciuszko

    While you are in New Zealand, you could pop over to Australia to climb one of the Seven Summits, Kosciuszko the highest mountain in Australasia. Let us take the hassle out of the logistics and organise everything for you. It is a fantastic country and a really fun, non-technical, adventure. Contact our office for a detailed quote.

    Have a camera man join your course or ascent and document the entire thing! Choose from a variety of options for different budgets. You could have a full colour book and short film, or a full documentary for television. Your trip is the trip of a lifetime; why not keep it to show your friends and family.

    Let us take the hassle out of buying new gear. We can sort all of your expedition equipment requirements for you from head to toe with specific personal purchases that will leave you with all of the best gear for use on the mountain.

    Your friends or family may wish to join you on your holiday but don't like the idea of actually climbing a mountain. Let us know if this is the situation and we will be able to put together an itinerary that keeps them busy while you are up high. There are so many wonderful things to do, so have a chat with us and we will put together the perfect programme.

  • FAQ

    • Contact us

      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!

      Phone our New Zealand head office on +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.

      Email us directly at info@adventure.co.nz or submit an online enquiry form here.

    • Choosing a Provider

      How long have Adventure Consultants been in operation?
      Adventure Consultants commenced operations in 1990 and has been guiding internationally ever since. The full story of the company thus spans over 25 years and can be read in depth on the AC history page. The New Zealand guiding operation for Adventure Consultants under CEO Guy Cotter’s leadership was established after 1996 and quickly propelled AC to become New Zealand’s largest guiding operation within a few years.

      A few outfitters ‘claim’ to have the same level of experience and prestige with that of Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you the first choice for your climbers?
      As a New Zealand company leading clients to the summit of Mount Everest we are renowned for our expertise at high altitude and the expansive logistics that are necessary to be able to be extraordinarily successful guiding in such extreme environments. This ‘top down’ approach is applied to all our planning and processes and we are proud to apply this service and level of detail to each and every trip we operate. We maintain such high standards by focussing on quality and by attracting the best guiding and headquarters administration staff in the business.

    • Food, Accommodation & Facilities

      What showers and washing (clothes) will be available on the course/ascent?
      In the high alpine environment and at our Wye Creek Ice Climbing Base Camp and First Tracks Wanaka Alpine Heli Camp, there are no showers or clothes washing facilities. The alpine huts and AC Base Camps have a small supply of fresh water for a basic wash cloth refresher and/or wet-wipes can be handy for a tidy up during your hut or stay at Wye Creek.

      Would you let us know what food will be available?
      During your trip or course, we will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks and ample hot and cold drinks to keep you well-nourished and hydrated. We cater for a variety of diets and with the convenience of flying in and out of the mountains; we are able to provide a good variety of fresh goods, protein sources and produce.

      What is the food like?
      All of our NZ guides are proficient cooks who aim to prepare high-quality popular dishes that are filling and nutritious. Please indicate any special dietary requirements on your application form, so that we can take this into consideration when planning.

      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. Read more on our New Zealand Alpine Huts page.

      What is the Wye Creek Expedition Camp and First Tracks Alpine Heli Camp like?
      These are innovative camps that incorporate two large expedition style tents - one for cooking and relaxing and the other for sleeping. The camps provide a cosy atmosphere to enjoy your morning and evening meals and to relax after a big day of climbing, heli-hiking or ski touring. A separate sleeping tent contains bunks and mattresses for a comfortable night’s sleep.

    • Travel

      Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
      With an early start on day one (9:00am in summer and 8:30am in winter), we do ask that you arrive at least one day prior to your trip start. This will allow you to get settled in and organized for your week, and also provides some leeway in case 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 several days early or stay for extra nights at the end, and we are happy to assist with accommodation bookings and/or 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?
      Our NZ trips start at the Adventure Consultants head office which is located on 20 Brownston Street in Wanaka, which is on the corner of Russell and Brownston Streets. Our summer trips/courses start at 9:00am and winter trips and courses start at 8:30am. We can easily arrange for your guide to come pick you up from your accommodation and your Client Liaison will be 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, once your booking form and deposit have been received, we will send you out a specific gear and equipment checklist along with additional equipment notes, which will provide a description, example and recommendations for each item required. 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.

    • Guide & Team Members

      How many guides will be assigned to our group?
      You will find the trip ratio on the AC website on the specific page 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 alpine hut base we will be able to leave most of our gear at the hut and only carry what is required for each day. This is all course/ascent dependent, but you will need to be able to 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 for trips and/or courses that finish with a walk out of the mountains, and for advanced trips and/or courses such as our Alpine Expedition Course, where hut to hut traverses may be possible as well as overnights outside of the alpine huts.

      Who goes on your trips?
      Our climbers and ski tourers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels.We provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts, from those seeking skill development to those looking for assistance in reaching the world's highest mountains. We love what we do and we look forward to assisting you with whatever mountain adventure you’re dreaming up.

    • Health & Fitness

      What kind of physical condition should I be in for my trip or course?
      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.

      Arriving fit and prepared for your trip is an essential key to a successful and enjoyable time. Here at Adventure Consultants, we have partnered with the experts at Uphill Athlete to create scientifically sound training plans designed by two professional coaches and leading mountaineers. Together we provide a range of training programs designed specifically for mountaineering, as well as one on one online coaching options. Check out our programs at Training Peaks or see our Fitness Training page page for more information.

    • 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 ascents/courses and you are welcome to use these at a cost of US$4 per minute. In some huts and camps, 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?
      We highly recommend fully charging your phones and cameras before heading into the New Zealand Mountains. Once at the huts and camps, there are no charging facilities. We recommend that you bring a camera that uses standard batteries and it’s a good idea to bring some spare batteries as a backup.

    • Weather Forecasts

      Which weather reporting 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 to receive weather updates and any changes to the perceived weather pattern for the week.

    • Insurance

      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, 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.

      While our number one focus is on safety and our track record supports this, the mountains do have hazards and there is always the potential for mishap.

      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 and courses. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip, then we will refund your fees paid. However, if you have to cancel your trip at the last minute trip cancellation insurance will cover your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred in the lead up to your trip.

    • Fees & Payments

      Can I pay by credit card?
      Yes we have a secure online credit card payment service using Payment Express. A 3% credit card payment service fee is added to all transactions. We also accept payment by bank wire transfer.

      What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
      Each specific trip page on the website has a section and a downloadable pdf Trip Notes document with exactly what is and what is not included in the trip. International airfares are not included in the trip price however, we recommend excellent travel agents should you require help with arranging your international airfare.

      Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
      We are proud to be leaders in the industry offering a variety of courses, trips, treks, and expeditions worldwide. We base our prices on the high level of operation and services we provide throughout the entire trip experience with us. Some of the things that set us apart are our internationally qualified guides, many of whom are world renowned. Our partnerships with proven dependable local operators, our small group sizes which provide for safe client to guide ratios, high-quality equipment, and extensive pre-trip support, plus all those extra services along the way that help to make your experience with us extraordinary.

      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 in 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.

    • Photography

      I love the photographs in your brochure and on your website, are they for sale?
      Yes, our images are available for licensing or purchase.

    • Employment

      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.

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Adam Rosen II

I had previously utilised AC and other guiding companies but came back to AC as it is a most professional organisation. The experiences with JB over the last 10 days have further cemented this.
ACC, 2016

Adam Rosen
Australia
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Excellent course, really good value and huge amounts of info given to us by the guide. Course was tailored well depending on our experience.
Alpine Climbing Course, 2017

Emma McCahill
UK
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Very well run and professional as well. Instructors were excellent and connect well with the group.
Alpine Climbing Course 2017

Steve Massone
Australia