Adventure Meets Luxury

Luxury Backcountry Ski Tour

Nestled alongside the peaks and glaciers of Mount Aspiring National Park, with endless views and countless ski touring opportunities you’ll find the Whare Kea Mountain Chalet—the ultimate mountain retreat after a long day of adventure.

With exclusive use of the chalet our Luxury Backcountry Ski Tour brings big mountain adventure together with luxury and comfort not normally found at such heights.

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Difficulty Level Low ?
Fitness Level Low ?
Duration 2 or 3 days
Elevation 1,750M / 5,741FT
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Stay in comfort at the Whare Kea Mountain Chalet - Whare Kea

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Sublime backcountry skiing - Suze Kelly

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Stunning views towards Mount Aspiring - Guy Cotter

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A perfect escape with your friends - Guy Cotter

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Stunning mountain location - Whare Kea

From July to September
Departs from Wanaka, New Zealand
RATIOS 2 DAYS 3 DAYS
1 Person $4,750 NZD $ $5,900 NZD $
2 People $2,950 NZD $ $3,650 NZD $
3-4 People $2,550 NZD $ $3,100 NZD $
5 People $2,350 NZD $ $2,900 NZD $
  • Overview

    • Big mountain Southern Alps terrain
    • Experienced and qualified NZMGA/IFMGA guides
    • Exclusive use of the Whare Kea Mountain Chalet
    • Return helicopter flights included


    An exhilarating 15-minute scenic helicopter flight will take you from Wanaka’s Matukituki Valley, high into the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, dropping you at the doorstep of the Whare Kea Mountain Chalet. This relaxed style mountain retreat offers pure luxury against the rugged mountain backdrop of the Albert Burn Saddle and nearby towering peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park.

    The area surrounding the chalet offers a variety of mountainous terrain suitable for intermediate level skiers through to more technically difficult steeper lines for expert skiers keen to push their backcountry skiing limits. Non-skiers are not left out—with the option of snowshoeing excursions from the Chalet for those wishing to venture further into the surrounding mountains.

    Options abound, with as many runs as time allows before returning to the comfort of the warm chalet each night. Enjoy a gourmet meal and the company of friends as you relax in the heated mountain retreat.

    Trips include return helicopter flights, exclusive use of the Whare Kea Mountain Chalet, meals and guided ski touring or snowshoeing with our experienced and qualified mountain guides. With 2 or 3-day options available, the Luxury Backcountry Ski Tour ticks all the boxes!

     

  • Why AC?

    Adventure Consultants guides are NZMGA and/or IFMGA qualified mountain guides. They are professional mountaineers and operate to the highest industry standards.

    Being a great climber alone is not enough to work with us; our standards demand that trip leaders are great guides as well.

    You will find your guide friendly, approachable and focused on providing a safe and enjoyable trip in line with your objectives and comfort level.

    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.

    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 many years (5–7) to attain and ensures you are getting a world-class professional service.

  • Payment Conditions

    Inclusions

    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Guide and permit fees
    • Helicopter flights in and out
    • Return transport from Wanaka office to staging area
    • Exclusive use of Whare Kea Luxury Chalet
    • Meals while in the mountains
    • Avalanche rescue equipment (transceiver, shovel and probe)
    • 15% NZ Goods and Services Tax


    Exclusions

    The price of your trip does not include:

    • Personal equipment (clothing, day pack, sunblock etc.)
    • Ski touring equipment (skis with touring binding, skins and poles)
    • Alcoholic drinks (BYO)

    Registration, Deposit & Balance Payments

    In order to confirm a guide and your trip, we require a completed Registration Form and a deposit NZ$1,000.

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

    Please note that in order to reserve a guide we recommend that you book well in advance. 

    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 payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Amex) plus a 3% credit card payment fee.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your trip is confirmed. A course member may then cancel their participation on the following basis:

    • Cancellations outside of 60 days incur a NZ$250 cancellation fee.
    • For cancellations made within 60 days of the trip commencement date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the full fee.
    • For cancellations made within 30 days of the trip commencement date we reserve the right to retain 75% of the full fee.
    • For cancellations within 15 days of the departure date a cancellation fee of 100% of the full fee applies.


    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.

  • Trip Notes

    Luxury Backcountry Ski Tour 2021 CoverThe Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for the Adventure Consultants Luxury Backcountry Ski Tour.

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

    Luxury Backcountry Ski Tour Notes 2021

    Team Membership

    The trip will run with a minimum number of 1 person and a maximum of 5. 

    Our Guides

    NZMGA IFMGA LogoAdventure Consultants is a member of the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association Professional and experienced mountain guides run the course. Adventure Consultants have a commitment to ensure the highest standard of instruction and guiding practices and we only employ guides who share in our philosophy. Our guides will offer you the best possible learning experience, and a safe and enjoyable time. An open Adventure Consultants' mountain guides are qualified IFMGA / UIAGM Mountain and Ski Guides and helpful approach is encouraged within the group to help communicate and reinforce the learning process.

    Our guides are all NZMGA and/or IFMGA internationally qualified. They have been trained and assessed through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association, and operate to the high standards and guidelines set out by the association.

    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.

    Suze KellySuze Kelly, General Manager

    Suze has been coordinating the office at AC headquarters since 1996 and was our Everest Base Camp Manager in 2000, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Much of the quality of our expeditions and the way we go about things here at AC is owed to the attention to detail which Suze applies in her role. Suze has skied and climbed in New Zealand all her life, including ascents of Mt Aspiring and Mt Cook and internationally she has climbed Island Peak, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Lhotse, Everest and Vinson.

     

    Staff Photo

    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

    The course is directed toward fit and motivated people who have a background in resort based skiing or snowboarding and wish to extend their skills into the backcountry.

    Preparing for Your Trip

    To make the most of your skiing experience we encourage you to work on your fitness and skiing/snowboarding prior to the trip. You need to be a strong intermediate skier or snowboarder to get the most out of the course. Your guide places special focus on fitness levels and will regulate the pace accordingly. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your course.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Skiing in winter in the New Zealand mountains requires good personal gear due to the potential cold 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.

    Upon receipt of your payment and registration form, we will send out a comprehensive equipment list. Your guide will go through this with you prior to the trip. All group equipment will be organised by your guide.

    We carry a good range of modern rental equipment; we have snowshoes available for rent for snowboarders or we can help you rent a splitboard and climbing skins. For skiers, we can help you find specialised touring skis, boots and climbing skins. If you will be renting equipment from us please advise your requirements in advance to ensure correct sizing and availability. If you intend on buying any equipment items, we are happy to advise on recommended brands and models, and of key importance, their suitability to the type of activity. We offer our clients discounted prices on a selection of climbing equipment and clothing, and can arrange for the equipment to be available upon your arrival.

    Transport

    We commence this trip at 9am from our base in Wanaka. The nearest airport is located in Queenstown, approximately one hour's drive away from Wanaka. Air New Zealand and Jetstar airlines provide daily services to Queenstown from Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington. There are also direct international flights from most major Australian cities.

    A shuttle service operates several times daily between Queenstown and Wanaka (from $35 each way), see https://www.ritchies.co.nz/wanaka. We are happy to assist with your transfer arrangements.

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

    Weather

    Weather is an integral facet of any mountain range and getting to understand and work with this major environmental factor is what will distinguish you from the others. The New Zealand weather can be fierce but also benign.

    Our backcountry skiing and snowboarding season runs from July through to October. Our experience with New Zealand weather shows that August has more stable weather conditions, with longer days and warmer weather. Daylight hours are approximately 9 in winter. Temperatures will drop to as low as –10°C and could rise too as high as 15°C.

    On your trip, it is probable that some adverse weather may affect our touring plans. However, we will attempt to anticipate what best moves to make for the positive outcome of the trip. Adventure Consultants reserves the right to cancel, or alter the trip at any time if mountain conditions are perceived by Adventure Consultants as being too hazardous. However, we will endeavour to find alternative suitable touring venues in order for the trip to take place.

  • Itinerary

    Our Luxury Backcountry Ski Tour meets at the AC Office in Wanaka on Day 1 of the trip. You'll meet your guide, undertake a quick gear check and you'll get fitted with any rental equipment you need before heading west to Wanaka's Matukituki Valley to the helicopter staging area. Once gear is loaded you'll enjoy an exhilarating 15-minute scenic flight deep into New Zealand's Southern Alps. Views across the peaks and glaciers towards Mount Aspiring are grandstand, and soon you land among them, right outside the Whare Kea Mountain Chalet.

    This relaxed style mountain retreat offers pure luxury against the rugged mountain backdrop of the Albert Burn Saddle and nearby towering peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park. Far superior to the usual alpine hut found in the New Zealand mountains, the lodge contains 2 double bedrooms, a spacious loft bedroom, solar power, central heating, a hot shower and a comfortable lounge area with large windows framing the spectacular views. 

    The area surrounding the chalet provides countless opportunites for ski touring and snowshoeing. Once settled into the lodge your guide will take you out for the first of many tours. Varied terrain allows for the guide to select runs that match the skill level of your group, options abound, with as many runs as time allows before returning to the comfort of the warm chalet each night. Enjoy a gourmet meal and the company of friends as you relax in the heated mountain retreat.

    When your time at the chalet draws to an end, the helicopter will return and whisk you back towards Wanaka.

    Whare Kea Mountain Chalet is located in the Albert Burn Saddle, close to Mount Aspiring National Park at an elevation of 1,750m/5,741ft. Accessed by a scenic 15-minute helicopter flight, the Chalet is surrounded in a range of terrain suitable for intermediate to expert skiers. Non-skiers will be equally occuiped with the option of snowshoeing adventures from the Chalet. Views from the surrounding terrain take in the glaciers and peaks of the nearby Mount Aspiring across the Southern Alps to Aoraki Mount Cook.

    Day 1 of the trip begins at 9.00 am at our office, at 20 Brownston Street, Wanaka. Please arrive just on 9.00am as the guides will be preparing prior to that 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 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.

    IMG 00170Take a private transfer between Queenstown Airport and Wanaka in a Jaguar F-Pace S.

    Available any time of the day or week, the service is personalised and includes an airport meet and greet at the gate.

    A Frankton shopping stop can be included in this service, as can a brief Wanaka orientation tour upon arrival.

    Each transfer can be tailor-made to meet your needs and transport can be included for up to 4 passengers.

    Please see Wanaka Chauffeured for more information.

    (Photo: Wanaka Chauffeured)

    Wild Wire - Top Pick!

    Experience a via ferrata (iron rung) climb on soaring waterfall whilst in Wanaka! Wild Wire 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. Talk to our office about booking a flight.

    Bike and Boat Tour

    Enjoy a fun and adventurous half day boat and bike tour which combines a scenic lake cruise on the pristine Lake Wanaka with a mountain bike tour skirting the lakeshore with our friends at Wanaka Bike Guides.

    Wanaka Wine Tours

    Discover the scenery, history, food and wine of Wanaka and Central Otago with Wanaka Wine Tours. Catering to all, from complete wine novices to dedicated wine connoisseurs, their explorations of the local vineyards are a delight to the senses!

    Bungy Jumping / Canyon Swing

    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!

    Fiordland Helicopter Flight, Cruise or 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. Enjoy a cruise of the Sounds and if you're feeling adventurous 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.

    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. or a short helicopter flight near Queenstown. Contact us to learn more.

    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. Contact us or see our specialty Film and Photo Services page for more information.

    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. Contact us or see our specialty Gear Store page for more information.

    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.

  • Travel Insurance

    Finding the right travel and rescue insurance for your trekking and mountaineering adventures can be tricky! Rest assured when you book with the expedition specialists here at Adventure Consultants we'll help by sending through advice on what you'll need, including:

    • Travel insurance including trip interruption and cancellation cover
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance


    For further information check out our Travel and Rescue Insurance page or contact us.

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Latest News

Nov 27, 2020
A blog post by AC General Manager Suze Kelly - Climbing at high altitude is not on everyone’s bucket list but it is a very rewarding activity and physical endurance achievement. 
Sep 30, 2020
The snow keeps falling in NZ as we plan ahead for summer, winter and 2021, including a chance to experience the solar eclipse in Antarctica.
Sep 03, 2020
Both the NZ and European Alps get a fresh dump of snow, we round up the past month's adventures and start planning for NZ summer and EU winter.
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