Mt Aspiring North West Ridge
News | Jan 29, 2018

Training Advice for Mt Aspiring

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Want to climb Mt Aspiring but not too sure where to start?

The good news is that folks with a good degree of fitness and good general movements skills are generally capable of a guided ascent of Mt Aspiring without attending a training course. We offer 5 day guided ascents of Mt Aspiring 1:1 with the guide from late October through until the end of April.

Find some hills to train on, a good programme of strength and endurance training can prepare you for the 1200m summit day that typically takes 12-15 hours. A goal of being able to ascend 1000m in 3 hours. On the summit day itself, you will not be carrying much weight but people often find the walkout equally if not more challenging than the climb itself. Some recent experience on some local multi-day backcountry tramps will be excellent preparation (i.e. Gillespie Pass). The rougher the better!

The time of year you choose to undertake Mt Aspiring will to some extent dictate the technical skills required. From October to December the climb is mostly on snow so some experience on crampons is good. For later season ascents, when it is mostly an exposed rock scramble, experience rock climbing up to grade 14 will be useful.

If you're looking to gain some skills before attempting the climb a common and cost-effective first step for a climb like this is to undertake one of our Mountaineering Skills Courses. We run 1-2 courses each month during summer from November to April.

Another course which would be good for training is our Intro Winter Alpine Mountaineering Course. We run courses during the winter months June-September in the Remarkables near Queenstown.

Both of the courses mentioned above will introduce the technical skills required and most importantly, your guide will be able to give you direct feedback on what you would need to work on before going for Aspiring. As I mentioned it's not always required to have attended a training course before attempting Mt Aspiring but it will increase your chances of a successful attempt having had some mountaineering training and experience.

If you are looking for some personalised advice then please complete our online skills form. I can take a look over it and make a suggestion whether I think a course would be beneficial for you.

And a few gear tips!

The boots you use really depends on the time of year. Early season I recommend La Sportiva Nepal or similar, from January onwards La Sportiva Karakorum or Trango. It's also good to consider what your future aspirations are in order to get a boot that you will get more use out of. The best place in Wanaka to buy boots from is MT Outdoors.

A lightweight 45-55 Litre backpack is recommended. Something that has capacity for the walkout but compresses small for the summit day.

Alternatively, you can also hire boots (though it is nice to have your own) and backpacks from us. We have the Black Diamond Speed 55 backpack in our hire pool and La Sportiva Nepal.

Let us know if you have any questions at all.

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