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Mt Dixon with Aspiring Guides

Four day climbing expeditions

Climb Ascents
Duration
4 days
Fitness
2
Climb Rating
2
Backcountry
2
Overview

Alpine climbing in New Zealand means that most climbs require a day or two for access.

For this reason, most summits require 3-4 days return. There is a wide variety of four and five day trip options. Obviously using a helicopter will get you onto snow quicker and required for many of our 3000m peaks.

There are however great walk-in and out options that provide a full NZ mountain experience. Approaches that take you on a variety of terrain from lowland meadows, through beech forest and up to the alpine tops, glaciers and snowfields of Mount Aspiring National Park. On these self-sufficient expeditions camping and mountaineering equipment and supplies need to be carried.

If you are unsure which objective would be best for you and time of year, get in contact and we can suggest some options. It is possible to combine any of these summits with time spent on skills development a warm up peak or a combination of peaks on a longer trip. Check out our Private Guiding.

book now from $2850 Skills required
Location
quotes

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 ...read more

James, Australia, Mt Dixon

Day One

Pioneer Hut

New Zealand's 3000m peaks offer a variety of ascents based out of high alpine huts or camps. We usually meet at our office in Wanaka at 8:30 on the first day of the trip. Here you will meet you guide and do any last minute equipment and food organizing. Though our correspondence we will have a good idea of you objectives and your guide will discuss with you the trip plan as well as weather and conditions.

Aspiring Guides location in Wanaka is your secret weapon. We have easy access to our local Mt Aspiring National Park as well as both the Westland and Aoraki/Mt Cook National Parks. With a wide variety of venues to choose from we aim for an objective that will take advantage of where the weather and conditions are best.

New Zealand's 3000m Peaks

See also Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mt Aspiring, the only 3000m peak outside of the Westland and Aoraki/Mount Cook National Parks.

  • Lendenfeld Peak (III 2, 3195m) Season: November-January, base: Pioneer Hut. Lendenfeld is a prominent peak on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps north of Mount Tasman. The climb starts from Pioneer Hut (2300m) on the Fox Glacier and ascends across the upper neve through an icefall to Marcel Col at 3000m. From here the route is moderate snow/ice climbing along the main divide to the summit. The vista towards east encompasses Aoraki/Mount Cook and down to the Grand Plateau. To the west, the expanse of the Fox Neve and down over rainforests to the west coast.
  • The Minarets (III 2+, 3040m) Season: November - January, base: Centennial Hut. The Minarets straddles the Main Divide of the Southern Alps overlooking the Franz Josef and Tasman glaciers. The climb starts from Centennial Hut and crosses the Franz Josef neve and up towards Graham Saddle, a popular crossing point to the eastern glaciers. Above the bergschrund, the route ascents sustained 40 degree snow slopes to the saddle between De La Beche and the twin summits of the Minarets.
  • Elie De Beaumont (II 2+, 3109m) Season: October - December, base Tasman Saddle Hut. Elie overlooks the expanse of the upper Tasman Glacier and an excellent viewpoint of the remote peaks and valleys to the west and north.
  • Mt Hamilton (III 2+, 3025m) Season: October - January, base Darwin/Bonney Campsite. Flying into Darwin Corner, a tent camp is set up at the confluence of the Darwin and Bonney glaciers. Away from the upper Tasman hut, this provides a base to explore this lesser visited area of the National Park. The ascent of Mt Hamilton is a perfect first 3000m peak and provides amazing views of both the Tasman and Murchison glaciers.
  • Mt Haidinger (II 3, 3070m) Season: November - January, base: Pioneer Hut. Haidinger is a prominent peak on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps overlooking the Fox and Tasman glaciers. The climb is an excellent progression to more technical ascents. It has a short approach from Pioneer Hut (2300m) and ascends and elegant snow arete to gain the main divide. The crux is the last 100m of mixed terrain to the summit.
  • Mt Dixon (III 2, 3004m) Season: November - January, Base: Plateau Hut. Dixon sits on the northern edge of the Grand Plateau, surrounded by the large and famous peaks of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman (plus at least 6 other 3000+ peaks) and is an excellent view point up the Tasman glacier. The climb is accessed by a short approach from Plateau Hut (2100m) and involves steep snow gullies to access an exposed snow arete and the upper East Ridge. For more experienced climbers, the South Ridge (III 3) offers a more technical ascent and a satisfying traverse descending the normal route.
  • Mt Tasman (IV 3, 3497m) Season: November - December, base Pioneer Hut. Mt Tasman, New Zealand's second highest peak, is also one of the longer and more technical climbs. It is a long outing from Pioneer Hut traversing up and over Lendenfeld Peak and some parties choose to bivi on Marcel Col.
  • Douglas Peak (IV 5, 3077m) Season September - November, base: Pioneer Hut. The Central Gully of Douglas Peaks is one of the most classic ice climbs of New Zealand providing 800m of sustained technical interest. It is a much aspired to route for those with previous experience ice climbing and other significant NZ ascents.
  • Malte Brun (V 4+ 3199m) Season: December - February, base: Bonney Glacier Campsite. The magnificent rock pyramid of Malte Brun, the highest point of the Malte Brun range is a classic New Zealand ascent. Flying into Darwin Corner, the Bonney glacier is ascended to a tent camp on the edge of the glacier to be in position for this long and sustained ascent on rock. The Bonney headwall is ascended to gain the West Ridge just before the photogenic exposed 'Cheval' and continued interest all the way to the summit.

Local walk-in and walk-out mountain expeditions (save on flight costs)

  • Mt Earnslaw (II 1, 2816m) Season: November - April, base: Esquilant Bivi. Earnslaw is situated at the head of Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown. This is the perfect first peak for someone wanting to test themselves on a classic New Zealand ascent. East of the main divide, it offers a splendid view of the peaks of Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. Access is via the Rees Valley where a scenic beech forest hike takes you to a bivi at Kea Basin. The next day ascends up to Wright Col and Esquilant Bivi (2300 metres) which provides the base for the final climb to the summit the following morning. From mid season onwards, the final ascent is mostly involves rock scrambling.
  • Mt Barth (II 1, 2456m) Season: November - February, base Canyon Creek Camp. Mt Barth lies in the remote Ahuriri Valley which borders onto the Mount Aspiring National Park. It offers a true wilderness experience. This valley saddles with the Dingle, Hunter, South Huxley, South Temple and Maitland Valleys. The walk in offers varied terrain through beech forest and rocky bluffs. A camp or bivi at a large bivi rock at the head of Canyon Creek valley is our base for the climb crossing the Thurneyson glacier and following the West Ridge to the summit.
  • Mt Brewster (II 2, 2515m) Season: November - April, base: Brewster Hut. A shallow river crossing is followed by a solid three-hour uphill push through beech forest. Brewster Hut is located one hour above the bushline on a beautiful tussock terrace with views toward the Makarora valley and the surrounding peaks of Armstrong and Brewster. To get to the Brewster glacier, the slopes of Armstrong are sidled on narrow rock benches. It is also possible to camp or bivi next to the snout of the Brewster glacier (one of our favourite and most scenic campsites in the park). Early in the season ascend the snow slopes of the South-West face. Later in the season the glacier is crossed to gain the rocky West Ridge to the West peak. The view looking along the spine of the divide south towards Aspiring and north towards Aoraki / Mt Cook is a rare outlook on the Southern Alps.
  • Mt Avalanche (II 2, 2606m) Season: November - March, base French Ridge Hut. Perched at the head of the Bonar Glacier, Mt Avalanche is a scenic highlight of Mt Aspiring National Park. The route to French Ridge Hut is a steep exciting track which slowly reveals the huge cliffs of the surrounding area. From the hut climbers must negotiate the crevassed glacier called the Quarter Deck, depending on the time of year this can either be steep snow or tumbled ice. Traversing the Upper Bonar Glacier takes you to the start of the alpine rock. Easy but exposed crack climbing leads to a summit that dominates the area.
  • Mt Earnslaw (II 1, 2816m) Season: November - April, base: Esquilant Bivi. Earnslaw is situated at the head of Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown. This is the perfect first peak for someone wanting to test themselves on a classic New Zealand ascent. It offers a splendid view of the BIG mountains of New Zealand from the top. Access is via the Rees Valley where a scenic beech forest hike takes you to Wright Col and Esquilant Bivi (2300 metres). There are challenging routes as well as easy ones, a great place to find out what New Zealand climbing is all about.
  • Mt Barth (II 1, 2456m) Season: November - February, base Canyon Creek Camp. Mt Barth lies in the remote Ahuriri Valley which borders onto the Mount Aspiring National Park. It offers a true wilderness experience. This valley saddles with the Dingle, Hunter, South Huxley, South Temple and Maitland Valleys. (excellent fishing reported here!) The walk in offers varied terrain through bush, Beech forest, stream bank, shingle and boulder hopping. A large bivi rock is our camp, in the middle of the valley, beyond a major bluff. We climb Mount Barth from Canyon Creek bivi rock. We cross the Thurneyson glacier and follow the West Ridge to the summit.
  • Mt Barff (III 2, 2245m) Season: November - January, base: Liverpool Hut. Mt Barff lies in the Mount Aspiring National Park. You won’t get sick of the views of Mt Aspiring from this peak. Mt Barff is located near the head of the West Matukituki Valley opposite Mt Aspiring. The track to Liverpool departs the west Matukituki track at Pearl flat. From here the track ascends through steep beech forest in a way that this and the French ridge track are well renowned for. Exposed tree roots present themselves as welcome aid. Out of the trees, the travel becomes exposed over tussock and shingle to the hut (1065m). The South-East ridge is a big day with lots of height gain.

Physical Difficulty

The helicopter will deliver you close to the hut so there is no need to carry a heavy pack. Walking through deep snow requires strong thighs and good cardiovascular ability. The summit day usually lasts 8-10 hours so endurance and the ability to keep going when you are tired will definitely be tested. Descending the track required strong thighs, be sure to get a few days walking down steep hills to get your legs in shape for going down as well as up!

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Technical Difficulty

Mount Lendenfeld is a typical 4-day ascent.

Lendenfeld is an excellent place to try out cramponing and using an ice axe for the first time and this is a great place to learn about glacier travel. The glacier is easy angled and rises slowly until reaching 40-50 degrees towards the top. Ascents will require some front pointing on the final pitches. The guide will deal with placing protection required.

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Availability

Trip Date Available
Available at any time subject to guide availability and conditions. Nov - April

Pricing

Client Ratio Price
1:1 NZ$5,250
1:2 NZ$2,850

What's included

  • meals and energy snacks
  • alpine hut / tent accommodation
  • national park, landing & guide fees
  • 15% goods and services tax.
  • technical equipment - see equipment section below for details
  • weather contingency

What's not included

  • any flights into or out of the mountains - often the price can be shared with other climbers depending on aircraft loadings at the time

Frequently asked questions

Our offices are at 58 McDougall St, Wanaka, a 10-15 minute walk from the centre of town. Here's a google map of our office location.

Unless otherwise instructed, for summer trips your guide will meet you at 8.30am on the morning of Day 1 of your trip. For winter trips we usually meet at 5pm the evening before the trip starts. We will confirm this meeting at the time of booking.

If you require pick up from your accommodation, please let us know.

At this meeting your clothing and equipment is checked and the final details of your trip are discussed. There will be time for last-minute purchases if required.

Aspiring Guides is based in the small & scenically beautiful town of Wanaka. Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka, on the South Island of New Zealand, Wanaka is the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park - a World Heritage Area.

Wanaka is a 1 hour drive from Queenstown (which has an international airport for flights from Australia), 5 hours from Christchurch (with an international airport) and 3 hours from Dunedin. Wanaka has ample accommodation to suit all budget types and a wide range of outdoor sports stores necessary to equip you for a mountaineering, skiing or hiking trip with us.

We are located at 58 McDougall St, Wanaka, a short 10-15 minute walk from the centre of town.i

Equipment Detail

We include all technical climbing equipment, crampons, ice-axe, helmet, harness etc. You only need to provide your personal equipment like your boots and clothing, pack and sleeping bag. However many of these items are available for rent from us.

Equipment Detail Checklist & order form
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