Learn the skills and techniques for a polar expedition

Polar Training Course

Whether you are doing the Greenland icecap, South Pole or North Pole, this course will provide the content on which to develop your polar career.

The Polar Training Course has been designed to introduce you to the skills and techniques you’ll need to prepare for a polar expedition and will give you greater confidence in the judgment and decision making aspects of polar travel.

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Difficulty Level Low ?
Fitness Level High ?
Duration 4 to 10 days
Elevation 2,000M / 6,562FT
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Learn cold weather camping skills essential for polar travel - Dean Staples

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Sled hauling practice - Dean Staples

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Prepare for the realities of polar travel - Icelandic Mountain Guides

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Sled hauling in the Southern Alps - Mike Madden

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Learn important polar travel skills before you go - Mike Madden

From July to November
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
From July to November
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
Pisa Range Option $2,980 NZD $
Tasman Glacier Option $5,500 NZD $
  • Overview

    • Learn the skills and techniques needed for a polar expedition
    • We spend as much time as possible out in the field
    • Scheduled Course or Private options available

    The Polar Training Course is run in the mountains but also introduces some planning and preparation components. You will learn about the equipment and how to plan and pack for an expedition.

    Your guides will spend as much time as possible with you out into glacial terrain, where you will operate as though you are in the polar regions, dragging sleds, putting up tents and sleeping in cold environments. Crevasse safety and navigation will be covered as well as rescue techniques. The course also includes some classroom training on the technical aspects of polar travel and you will be actively involved in the planning and preparation for your food and equipment.

    You will learn skills such as food preparation, navigation, camp management and even how to go to the toilet in a storm!

    While no course can prepare you fully for the real thing, this course offers a variety of terrain that enables you to develop the skills you will use in polar environments.

  • 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


    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Guide fees
    • Hut fees
    • All meals and snack foods whilst on the trip (except dinner on Day 1)
    • 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 (*Tasman Glacier Private Polar Training Option Only)


    Aircraft Access

    When we travel to the high glacier regions on the Tasman Glacier Private Polar Training Option, we utilise aircraft access onto the glaciers to start the trip. This 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.

    A bonus for the Tasman Glacier Private Polar Training 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.

  • Scheduled Course

    Our Scheduled Course operates each winter in the Pisa Range area near Wanaka. Minimum numbers apply, please contact us for further information and booking details.

    Dates: Jul 23 - 27, 2018
    Departure: ex Wanaka, New Zealand
    Ratio: 1:4
    Price: NZ$2250

  • Course Notes

    Polar TrainingThe Course Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants Polar Training Courses.

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

    New Zealand Polar Training 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

    Participants need not have any prior training although confidence on cross country skis will be a big advantage.

    The skiing component of polar travel is not very technical. The skis are used to slide along the snow and to stop you ‘breaking through’ the snow surface. It is a much faster mode of travel than going on foot. Having stated that, it is important that you have good balance on your skis and are very familiar with the motion of skiing. Injury could occur to those not familiar with skiing and any self-respecting polar traveller will make a point of learning the skill (Robert Falcon Scott decided against using skis on his journey to the South Pole with disastrous consequences!).

    If you are not already a skier we suggest you come to Wanaka early to spend some time developing the skills and we can help arrange tuition.

    Preparing for Your Trip

    To make the most of your training experience we encourage you to work on your fitness prior to the trip. If you can, prepare yourself by cross country skiing or ski touring prior to the course. If this is not possible you could consider coming to Wanaka early to spend some time developing the skills.

    You will find that training with a 20 kg + pack on is good preparation for the mountains, with the aim of getting ‘pack fit’ and building your endurance. Your guide places special focus on fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly.


    We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation and travel insurance to protect yourself in case of injury or mishap prior to/or while on our trips. 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 Commission (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 may not be eligible for bulk compensation payments from ACC, and you are responsible for any medical or evacuation costs beyond the cover provided by ACC.


    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.

    Adventure Consultants will provide food while the course is running with the exception of dinner on Day 1. Otherwise, you are catered from 9.00am on Day 1 until lunch on the last day of your course. All food outside this time will be at your expense.


    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 accommodation while the course is running. All accommodation outside this time will be at your expense. When in the mountains you will stay in tents with limited facilities where you will be exposed to the elements. For more information on New Zealand's mountain accommodation see our Alpine Huts page.

    For overnights in Wanaka, you will be accommodated 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 good personal gear due to the potential weather conditions. Our focus is on having the essential clothing and equipment, whilst keeping pack weights as light as possible for your comfort and ease of travel.

    The course equipment list is a guideline to your equipment requirements. Your Guide will go through an equipment checklist with you prior to the trip. These will vary subject to seasonal weather and route conditions. All group equipment including ropes and stoves 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 coordinator 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.


    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.

    Whilst the Climbers Guide does not focus on polar travel techniques there are plenty of useful sections for alpine environments that are applicable to polar travel.

    It is useful to have your own map for navigation exercises. Your guide will advise you of the relevant 1:50,000 topographic maps required when the course begins. The training area for your Polar Training Course will generally only be decided just prior to course commencement date to ensure the most favourable area is utilised.

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

  • Curriculum

    We operate the scheduled Polar Training Course in the Pisa Mountain Range or the Old Man Mountain Range close to our base here in Wanaka, New Zealand, during the months of July and August.

    Please be aware that factors such as weather and snow conditions can affect the venue and time we spend in the mountains. The course will commence and finish at our Wanaka office.

    On our Private Polar Training, we can programme a course similar to our scheduled one that would still operate either in the Pisa or Old Man ranges. Alternatively, in the higher glaciated mountain regions, we can specifically focus on glacier travel and crevasse rescue techniques along with operating in the later months of spring – Sept/Oct/Nov. On this Tasman Glacier option, we can undertake journeys through the high alpine glaciers in the Aoraki Mount Cook region for the most dramatic environmental conditions using helicopters or ski planes to give us quick access to the snow line. These journeys will require the additional use of ice axe and crampons on the steeper slopes that you will encounter along the way. Full training will be given in these techniques as well as rope work specific to this type of terrain.

    Our objective is to pass on the skills to enable you to partake in a polar expedition.

    • Good planning and preparation skills
    • Basic mountain/polar awareness
    • Sound judgement of your own ability
    • Good decision making

    We endeavour to cover the following skills during the course, however, factors such as weather and conditions may dictate that some skills are not covered in full.

    • Planning and preparation
    • Equipment requirements
    • Route finding and navigation
    • Navigating crevassed terrain
    • First aid and health management
    • Erecting tents and snow walls
    • Camp management
    • Glacier travel and self-rescue skills
    • Weather analysis

    Participants on Private Polar Training may decide to focus primarily on one or two aspects of training so you can increase your skill set in that area.

    We start the course by introducing the basics of polar clothing and equipment, what each item is, how it functions and what to do when it wears out or breaks! Being a good fix-it person really helps when you are thousands of kilometres from the closest store! You will learn what foods to take and how to pack your sled. We spend the remainder of the day learning skills such as navigation, use of stoves, tents, sleeping systems and you’ll get many other vital pieces of advice that you will need in your quiver of knowledge such as how to avoid frostbite and how to deal with it if you come across it. You’ll have the night free staying at accommodation in Wanaka to take it all in and prepare yourself for the upcoming days ahead.

    The next morning we’re off to the snow to get the skis on and begin a journey into the wilderness. You’ll travel to a good location to set up camp for the night. It takes some time to get to know how best to establish camp and get ready for the night ahead. Factors such as wind direction and strength need to be considered and it’s really important to manage your equipment well. Leaving something on the ground will likely lead to it being lost when it gets covered in snow overnight!

    Each day your journey will take you to a new location where you will need to become proficient at setting camp and being totally dialled with your gear. Along the way, as you travel you will be consolidating skills such as the all-crucial navigation while you crank out the miles dragging your sled behind you.

    On the final day of the course you will return to base and after sorting out the gear, have a good debrief and discussion about where to go from here and develop a training program to help get you ready for your upcoming Polar Journey!

    The curriculum for Private Polar Training may include the above and move on to focus in greater detail on the skills required for independent polar travel.

    Our scheduled Polar Training Course is designed to introduce you to polar specific techniques and knowledge to get you started as polar travel adventurer. There is a huge amount of information and learning required to operate safely in these environments as conditions can be so harsh that a minor period of inattention can lead to disastrous consequences. Generally, someone coming through our Polar Training Course would use this as preparation for expeditions such as our Greenland Crossing, or North or South Pole Last Degree Expeditions.

    Should you aspire to partake in self-sufficient polar journeys your level of training would need to be a lot more intensive. In that case, we recommend you partake in a longer duration course that we can custom make to suit your requirements and timeframe. Private Polar Training can be tailored to run anywhere from 4 to 14 days or we can arrange a longer duration course on request. Another option is to complete our scheduled Polar Training Course then do some Private Polar Training as an add-on afterwards.

    If you come to us as a group we can schedule a programme to suit your needs. In some cases, this can be done just prior to departure on the expedition so you become completely immersed in the environment with a seamless transition from training to the event itself.

    No matter what training you receive from us, we strongly advise a progression towards the longer duration and more serious expeditions through a progression of ever more difficult trips. Following your training with us we’d suggest you move on to a trip like our Greenland Crossing or Last Degree Expeditions, so you can put your skills into practice under the supervision of an expert who can help you further develop your skills by having you partake in some of the leadership of the expedition.

    The course begins at 9.00 am on Day 1 at our office at 20 Brownston Street, Wanaka.

    You will find some of New Zealand’s best ski resorts in the Wanaka region from as close as a 30-minute drive from our office. Two ski resorts and a cross country area provide plentiful winter activity and all year-round fishing, boating and numerous other recreational activities abound.

  • Add Ons

    Wanaka and Queenstown have 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 they have to offer.

    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.

    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.

    Skydive Wanaka

    If you’ve ever wondered about hurtling towards the earth at 200kmph then now is the time to ‘dive in’. Wanaka boasts the most amazing scenery (on the planet, we reckon) to jump over and it’s even more spectacular when viewed from above in winter covered in snow.

    Multi-Pitch Ice Climbing

    After your trip/course you could add-on a multi-pitch single day 1:1 ice climbing ascent with your guide. Depending on your skill level, there is a range of excellent options within a couple of hours walk near Queenstown.

    Have a camera man join your trip 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 equipment requirements for you from head to toe with specific personal purchases that will leave you with all of the best gear on the mountain.

    Your friends or family may wish to join you on your holiday but don't like the idea of heading into the backcountry for skiing or ice climbing. 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 program.

  • 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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