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Roped up for glacier travel

Client Comments

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Read what others have said about their adventures with us.

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Thank you for everything, just loved the experience (warts and all) - hard not too in such a beautiful place!

Melissa, Australia

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I thought Aritza and his team were amazing. They all worked hard for us and each other to make the trip a success. I have been on a lot of trips to mountains where camp food is prepared for me. I found on this trip the food was exceptional. Really good food was served up in sometimes quite difficult circumstances and conditions. It was a credit to the cook Achilles. I thought the logistics of the trip were really good. Transport was there when we arrived at various locations from the mountains. Aritza had a very good support team of porters who worked well together and were happy in their work. This came across to me strongly. They were very helpful to both Simon and me and were keen for the trip to be a success. If I get the opportunity to go to Peru again in the future and climb with Aritza in the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca I will definitely go.

Roger Phillips

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We were after a memorable adventure, and we sure got it. It was the two of us with an experienced guide, Tony. We trekked along the valley, crossed freezing rivers barefoot, battled gravity 1,000m with our packs up very steep NZ mountains, stayed in a mountaineering hut amongst the mountains. And that was Day 1. Day 2 involved crampons, ice axes and ropes. We came very close to crevices, but stayed away. Another 900m straight up, before descending down to the hut. For anyone in need of a serious challenge, a memorable experience and a heap of fun - try this one. The company is very experienced, the guides good and the pricing reasonable given the low ratio of clients per guide.

Alastair, Sydney, Australia

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"Magnificent scenery of the Southern Alps. Spectacular views. Special thanks to Phil for a memorable 3 days - an excellent, experienced, competent guide. A trip you couldn't really succeed on your own unless very experienced. All staff very friendly and willing to answer any queries. Well organised."

Kevin, Mt Maunganui, New Zealand

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My overall impression was that the trip and company itself ran quite efficiently – organisation was easy and things went to plan. I gained everything I could have imagined and more from [the trip], I didn’t leave thinking ‘Geez, I wish we’d done more of this’. Everything was just in the right amount.

Kristy O'Neill, Australia

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"Off the beaten track trips appeal to me. Loved the impressive views all the way along. Bivying out. Accessing an area that few people get to see. Being away from crowded tracks. Oh...and the tomato relish :0)))) I'm delighted to have had an enjoyable trip in and out of this hidden gem."

Michelle, New Zealand

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Bivvying up in the Remarkables and waking up to the views was my favourite part of the course. I learnt enough to keep me going for a couple of years and the scenery was amazing.

Peter, Australia

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The impression given of the level of difficulty was very accurate. It was just right for me - sometimes demanding but not exhausting. The precautions on the potentially dangerous areas were absolutely great - I never felt at risk. George was very hands-off at other times but we were experienced walkers, so I think he judged it pretty well. I'd highly recommended this Wild Walk to anyone who's after a spectacular walk and fit enough to do it. The best tramp in NZ? Would do it again in a heartbeat. Superbly organised with the food and gear stashes.

Philip, Australia

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“The moment you head onto the pass and the whole East Matukituki opens up in front of you. It's a staggering view from what was previously a somewhat enclosed environment. The thrill of climbing the waterfall face would be a close second.”

Matthew Pike, NZ

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"We were very confident that Aspiring Guides would give us the small group experience we were looking for. I loved the Valley walking and the experience of the other people on the trip I also loved how beautiful the scenery was, just so unlike what we get in Australia. It was stunning. I was so impressed by Michael as our guide. He actually made the trip for me. While relatively young in years, his experience really shone and the way he dealt with people of differing ages and experiences was just so impressive. I learned a lot from him over the few days.My overall impression of Aspiring Guides from this particular trip was that it's a very professionally run organisation and you guys know what you're doing. It must get exhausting trying to make everyone's experience special and unique when you've done a trip so many times - but you guys do an excellent job of this and I felt very grateful. I survived and am looking forward to my next hike :)"

Jess, Australia

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"Jo challenged us with river walks but we never felt unsafe. She was very instructive and made sure we all understood what we were to do. She took very good care of us. I like a bit of a challenge and like pushing myself just a little more than I am comfortable. This was definitely achieved especially with the river walks. We saw beautiful scenery, got some very good exercise and spent some quality time with friends, both old and new.The walk up to the foot of Rabbit Pass was my favourite - there was a variety of terrain, a beautiful day, a nice long walk and a great lunch spot!"

Pat & Greg, Canada

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Tai was fantastic. He was thorough, patient and extremely knowledgeable. He was always safety conscious and provided excellent feedback both during and after the climbs. He also got us to practise some skills such as ice anchors and ice screw placement. This really demonstrated how much more there was to learn and how to better our ice climbing skills.

Would recommend you guys to all my friends and family as the premier guide company of New Zealand. The ice climbing was definitely a highlight, especially seeing how quickly you progressed. But the heli ride in and out was also fantastic. Even walking up and down that hill every day was a highlight. The whole trip was fantastic. Vastly exceeded my expectations. Thanks guys for a wonderful experience I will never forget!

Fraser Francis-Pester

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A day of professional training was well worth it ...

Llewellyn was awesome! I feel like I could now head out climbing as part of a group and have a solid skill base to build from. I enjoyed the variety of climbs that Llewellyn showed me and (finally) making it to the top of the last 2 routes we did. It was great to learn the correct skills the correct way, rather than an interpretation of how to do things. I feel confident in what I have learnt and would say to others that the small investment for a day (at least) of professional training was well worth it. A very professional and friendly crew.

Sam Ruddenklau, New Zealand

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A great transition from rock climbing to mountaineering.It was an amazing week regardless of the weather conditions. Gianni was a great guide and took time to understand our goals and current experience levels. He then tailored the course objectives to suit. He would watch everything closely and correct any mistakes if we didn't fix them ourselves. Gianni was passionate about climbing and the mountains, and he had a wealth of knowledge. It was great transition from rock climbing to mountaineering.

James Graham, Australia, January 2017

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Fede is a mountain goat in disguise.

Both Tony and Fede are very professional. At no time was I pushed beyond my limits, and I was not micro-managed either. Fede has the ability to recognise clients strengths and weaknesses and encourages the client to use and develop their strengths and overcome or manage their weaknesses. Tony and Fede are great to talk to and have a laugh with. I am sure that Fede is a mountain goat in disguise.

Elsje Dines, Australia

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Genuine commitment to our enjoying the experience.

I have never considered using a guide previously, preferring to manage under my own steam. Realised for this objective this was not appropriate. It was a privilege to be guided by Ervin who was gentle with us, rather than domineering, and extremely “steady”.Ervin ensured he took into account our levels of fitness and capabilities effectively and professionally. It was good having my son along and him enjoying the trip, All office staff were extremely helpful, friendly and approachable. I would recommend Aspiring Guides for their competence, genuine commitment to our enjoying the experience, flexibility, generosity, and employing excellent guides.

Martyn, Australia, 2017

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A well structured, well-paced course.

We had the freedom to be on our own rope teams but with the right level of supervision and guidance particularly when doing our practice scenarios eg crevasse rescue - go at our own pace and steps, but Andrea was there and watching and stepped in when we needed it. I feel like I have a sound understanding, and appreciation to practice everything before heading back out, on what I need to do for basic mountaineering adventures to build my skill set. Were still able to get great learning on bad weather days. Andrea was really personable and worked with us. A very professional, entertaining and fun course to give us the basics and confidence to mountaineer.

Travis, Brisbane, Australia

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Aspiring Discovery 3-day: "We’ve always enjoyed Wanaka and the surrounding area, so it was the opportunity to do a walk in the area with an experienced guide, and also being able to hire backpacks etc rather than having to carry camping gear with us to NZ. Tim was always very professional, friendly and easy going. He was very patient and when he realised we were going to take longer than expected he adjusted breaks/lunch to fit in with our pace and the time it took us to get to the camp. It was great to have the flexibility of having your own guide and being able to go at your own pace without worrying about slowing down the rest of a group."

Jo-Anne & Jerome, Sydney, Australia

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It was very challenging but we chose to have a guide due to the difficulty of this route. Our day across the saddle was long and pretty arduous with thigh deep creek crossing at the end..!! But the view was spectacular and well worth it! Jess was thoroughly professional and focused on safety. She did a great job in getting us to the top. Thank you so much for your patience and guidance... I doubt we would have made it otherwise (and still be on speaking terms anyway). I would recommend this trip for friends who wanted a real challenge and had done the 'easy' walks already. Amazingly fulfilling experience for all of us! The girls are planning their next trip of course...

Hewitt Family, Australia

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We all had fun together and spent some valuable bonding time in the midst of the most beautiful landscape. We would recommend this trip absolutely. It was great for our family because it is a good, safe and a less stressful way of having this wonderful experience (having a guide, cook, motivator, organiser with you).

Mechtersheimer family, Australia

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The course met my expectations and pushed me quite a bit beyond my existing experience & knowledge levels. I felt completely confident & at ease at all times with our guide Andrea. I really enjoyed the safety tutorials/classes (avalanche safety, snow anchor theory, skinning technique, steep ski descents), the practical tips & hints on a range of techniques & activities (eg ski crampon usage, belaying without a belay device), the awesome terrain & landscape, and Andrea's cooking. I was impressed by the calmly positive & friendly attitude of all the Aspiring Guides team I interacted with - no big egos or haughty manners! Thanks for a great time, Andrea & everyone. You have a very slick, smooth service that really provides great value for $.

Kirk, Australia

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I was looking for a challenging back country snowboarding opportunity for myself and my 12 year old son. It was a father and son trip so I wanted it to be memorable, fun, but also a big learning opportunity. Splitboarding was something neither of us had done. The opportunity to stay at Robrosa Hut was ideal also. Day 2 was an absolutely beautiful day with great snow, total isolation, and the whole mountain to ourselves. The trip wouldn’t have been the same without our guide Jimmy's good nature, knowledge and professionalism. Ben and I now have a well embedded mantra of “what would Jimmy do” whenever decisions need to be made. The backcountry is a perfect metaphor for lifelong learning given the varying conditions on a daily basis. Jimmy was able to make that very clear to Ben in a very teachable way.

Michael, Australia

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How can I say enough about this experience? The location: OMG simply stunning backdrop. The private Rob Rosa huts are well organised and, well, very private. The 15 minute heli ride in was pure joy and anticipation. The course: they delivered big time on avalanche knowledge including theory & practical; a relevant and succinct manual was provided (to keep), as well as a laminated map for each course participant; I learned much more than expected. The skiing: we were fortunate with 3 great weather days plus one snow/rain day in the middle that was firmly seized to deliver theory & practical; meaning that the fair-weather days were used for ski touring & on-mountain snowpack analysis from sun-up to sun-down, most of it on virgin powder. We summitted Mt Pisa on day 1 and the walk out on day 4 was extended to 12.5 km to achieve additional powder runs. The guide: saving the best for last, it would be hard to imagine a more positive or motivated guide than Mark Evans. Mark, thank you for your thoroughness, your thoughtfulness, your focus on keeping us safe and imparting knowledge, but most importantly for your unbridled love of ski touring. "Power skiing is my favourite kiiiiiiiiiiiiiind of skiing!" This course is not for the unfit, or for the beginning skier. However if you love nature, skiing, earning your thrills and taking responsibility for your own safety then I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

Steve, Australia

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Mark was full of great stories and advice. I really liked his practical approach to assessing snow conditions, reading maps and slopes etc. He was always keen to chat about snow, mountains, judgements etc. Climbing up to the ridge of Remarkables with a strong NW wind and looking down at the slope thinking.. oh #$@!... but then working though our learning with Tubbs to make an assessment and then actually committing to it was really rewarding... also learning more about skinning uphill and reading conditions. I feel more knowledgeable, yet realistic that there's so much more to learn and get time in the mountains. There's so much to know and it's super interesting. Four days is just the tip of the iceberg, but it really supports everything else I know about the outdoors. It's great doing the back country skiing (of course) but learning all the time about the NZ mountain weather and snow just adds to the bigger picture.

Nik, New Zealand

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A day of professional training was well worth it ...

Llewellyn was awesome! I feel like I could now head out climbing as part of a group and have a solid skill base to build from. I enjoyed the variety of climbs that Llewellyn showed me and (finally) making it to the top of the last 2 routes we did. It was great to learn the correct skills the correct way, rather than an interpretation of how to do things. I feel confident in what I have learnt and would say to others that the small investment for a day (at least) of professional training was well worth it. A very professional and friendly crew.

Sam Ruddenklau, New Zealand

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I took part in the one and half day avalanche awareness course with Aspiring Guides and learnt so much!! All the staff and guides are super lovely people, very knowledgeable and experienced, and I came away from the course with some awesome photos, very achy legs and most importantly a new respect for the mountains! The course taught me a lot about avalanches, and in the field we practised things like safe travel techniques, recognising avalanche terrain, and the proper use of shovel, probe and transceiver in a rescue effort. I would highly recommend this course and the whole company for anyone wanting to experience the wild outdoors!

Bethany, New Zealand

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“The trip was everything I'd dreamt of ski touring the Southern Alps, and much more! I enjoyed this trip soooo much! I can't wait to return in a couple years.”

Bill Lingle, USA

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Grey's Peak was identified as a suitable goal. Tai kept a tight rein on us initially, and as he saw our level of skill, he released his grip. I never felt too restricted or completely out of my depth. I really appreciated his experience in this regard. His level of knowledge was amazing, he quickly assessed where we were at, and was flexible in setting goals for each day. I felt in very safe hands, and appreciated his efficiency in getting us out of the hut each morning. We traversed glaciated terrain, climbed a peak, did some skills work and the weather was mostly kind to us. Loved the helicopter in and out, and enjoyed the drive to the west coast. The whole package came together very nicely. Just being up in the mountains on the glacier was incredible. The landscape blew me away.

Daniel, Australia, April 2017

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A relaxing getaway with an old mate combined with a cool lodge and back country skiing. Awesome slopes. Staying at Whare Kea Chalet was an amazing place with awesome facilities and luxury beds with a view of the milky way! Back country ski touring with a guide in remote locations takes all the stress out of making decisions.

Murray, Hamilton, New Zealand

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Positive ski mountaineering experience and beautiful glacier environment! Great experienced guide in Dan, super professional, extremely hard working. Food was great and plentiful.

David, California, USA

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It was a wonderful learning experience. It was great to learning safe travel practices for glaciers, ski the glaciers and experience the mountains of NZ. Trip of a lifetime! It opened up a whole new world to me.

Aaron, USA

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Thanks so much for such an awesome few days in the Pisa Range - remote location, amazing conditions, Dan, our guide, was super informative re snow conditions, safety and general mountain tips. Loved skiing a line and looking back up at it and then the relief of making it back to the top again - that satisfaction of getting some great lines after you have done all the hard work to get there! And thanks for the big, hearty, warm meals. Smooth and professional operation, amazing experience.

Poppy & Joel, Australia

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"You Guys are JUST THE BEST! Skiing untracked powder snow where you earn the turns. A truly wilderness experience yet so close to Wanaka. High class authentic NZ experience. "

Graeme Kennerley, NZ

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I had an awesome day. Adrian was fantastic and did an amazing job of meeting the group's needs. He found us great snow along with some great touring info.

Anthony Dawkins, Australia

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My mates and I went on a single day backcountry tour in the Wye Saddle/Wye creek out the back of the Remarkables on 16 August 2017. It was 3 days after a storm that delivered 30cm of fresh snow. While the resort was tracked out days before, our guide took us to some stashes where we found some fantastic fresh turns. Some of my mates had not been in the backcountry before and the guide was very helpful in showing them how to use the Alpine Touring gear and skins. He also conducted a quick training session on avalanche safety gear. We had a truly fantasitc day with Andrea.

David T, Queensland, Australia

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Really enjoyed our trip to the backcountry of Treble Cone. The guide made us feel safe and confident, and showed us some incredible places to ski. Would highly recommend

Riley, Australia

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I was in Wanaka and had a free day, weather was perfect so a day of rock climbing sounded like a good idea. Individual lesson, so it was tailored to my needs and wishes. I wish I had more time and spent a few more days climbing ... I enjoyed all of it.

Piotr

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It was an absolute privilege to be able to go to the Darran Range - it's an incredibly remote and beautiful area. It was my first trip in 17 years for climbing and I did more than I ever thought possible. I'm still looking at the photos of McPherson and thinking - holy cow, I was up there!!! Andrea has a relaxed and easy-going manner, so on the second day when I stopped short of the end of the Gertrude Saddle, I felt very comfortable. He is a lovely person, a great guide and a Michelin star alpine chef. Andrea belayed at any of the tricky sections and spotted me as necessary. He also gave me some great tips for descending the scree slopes (not something I'd encountered previously). Having Andrea take care of all of the details meant that I could truly relax, which was a real treat. I could not have had a better time and I'm looking forward to the next trip.

Sue, Australia

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NZ mountains are awesome, walk in lovely. Mt Brewster is demanding and a good end in itself. I am impressed that the guide had the energy to take me up Remarkables. Roy Smith is indefatigable!

Francois Fouche

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Aritza did an outstanding job in difficult conditions. I have enjoyed contact with all the office staff: Jess, Carla, Henrik, Robyn and Tim who did their best to make the 2 trips work despite the vagaries of NZ weather. I would have no hesitation in using Aspiring Guides again or recommending them to friends in the UK. I would also put people in contact with Aritza if they had a summer trip to Peru ...Join Aritza in Peru for our Tres Montanas Expedition

Mike Dixon, UK

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Top choice on Mt Dixon Tim! It was an awesome day. Tim lead up a gully maybe only 10-15m in length at the start of the climb on Dixon. That climb up the gully was awesome, something I haven't experienced before! Tim pushed me out of my comfort zone a few times which afterwards was very satisfying. As a punter, It's possible to climb in an amazing part of the world. You can push yourself (or be pushed) and be really satisfied with the outcome. I know the safety of climbers is paramount with Aspiring Guides and Tim displayed all the safety aspects I could have hoped for which is always reassuring. I also know that the backup support from the guys in the office will ensure a trip will run smoothly. Last minute travel and accommodation changes help to make these trips special.

James Spaile, Australia

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Igor and Ervin were amazing, they are both very talented, their rope skills and general ingenuity, was most impressive! I think they were the difference between us being successful (or not).

Chris Stead

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This was a life-changing experience! Having been with Aspiring Guides for 3 other adventures, I was very confident you would be the best company to lead us on our most challenging project to date. Apart from climbing Aspiring, I knew we would be well looked after in terms of food and every possible comfort, based on most recent experience on the Gillespie. Carla and the rest of the Team at Aspiring Guides were great in terms of providing the information / reassurance of our ability / and clear understanding of the challenge ahead. Also very helpful advising us on training before arriving in Wanaka, which proved to be invaluable on the climb, and meant we got up to speed with our guides on the 2 training days we had. The climb was a stretch even though I was very fit, I gave it my all and had an amazing climb. I leant a new meaning of ‘exposure’. I thought it related to wind and rain, but now see it is more about ‘drop’…. The pre-training ensured we were safe, but equally importantly so were the guides. The tranquillity of the mountains, so peaceful and surreal when you’re up there. Still hard to believe I achieved my goal! Now I believe I can do anything if I put my mind to it!Check out this video of Gary and Graham reaching the top : click here

Graham, New Zealand, Mt Aspiring, March 2017

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