The Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Gillespie Pass Trek.
You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:
Gillespie Pass Trek Trip Notes 2021/22
Adventure Consultants trekking guides are NZMGA or NZOIA qualified guides. They are truly professional and operate to the highest industry standards.
You will find your guide friendly, approachable and focused on providing a safe and enjoyable trip in line with your objectives and comfort level.
Our guides are in communication with our operations base and Department of Conservation headquarters via satellite phone and radio at most times throughout the trip. This assists us with schedule and weather forecast updates, helicopter coordination and safety back up. Urgent messages can be relayed from our office in Wanaka to the mountains if required.
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 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.
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.
Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.
Preparing for Your Trek
To make the most of your trekking experience we encourage you to work on your fitness prior to the trip. You will find that training with a 15kg + pack on is the best 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. Read our AC Blog article 'Fit to Trek', or see our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your trek.
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 your accommodation while the trip is running, which is from 9.00am on Day 1 until 5.00pm on Day 3. When in the mountains you will stay in a mountain hut with shared bunkrooms and basic facilities. There are no single rooms available and unlike European huts, you need to provide your own sleeping bag.
If our schedule requires us to overnight in Wanaka, we accommodate you in dormitory style backpacker’s rooms with shared bathroom facilities. You may decide to upgrade to single accommodations in Wanaka at your own expense, should you require.
Clothing & Equipment
Trekking 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 subject to seasonal weather and route conditions. All group equipment including ropes and cooking equipment will be organised by your guide.
We can offer secure storage at our office for your luggage and valuables during the trip.
Communication & Messages
Our guides are in radio/cell/satellite phone communication with our operations base and Department of Conservation headquarters throughout the trip. This assists us with schedule and weather forecast updates, helicopter co-ordination and safety back up. Urgent messages can be relayed via our office to the field if required. Each party carries a locator beacon for additional security.
We trek to Gillespie Pass from November through to April as conditions allow. From December onwards, we can expect less snow and as temperatures warm up into the summer months of January and February, we traditionally experience more settled weather. From March through April, late summer conditions exist, however, cooling temperatures can bring snow falls to the Alps. At this time of year, the days begin to get noticeably shorter.
We commence this trip from our base in Wanaka. The nearest airport is located in Queenstown, approximately one hour's drive away. 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).
New Zealand has a maritime climate and the weather is always a consideration in the high mountains. In the event that weather or snow conditions were not suitable to enter the Gillespie Pass region at the start of the trip, we can talk with you regarding trekking in a different region or an alternative activity. When booking your trip, please specify the dates you are available.