Most alpine climbs in NZ require a day or two for access, requiring a 3-4 days return trip. These walk-in and out expeditions provide a full NZ mountain experience. Approaches 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 Skills required
Graham, New Zealand, Mt Aspiring
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 5:30pm 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 1-1.5 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.