Whether you are already a strong rock climber and want to transition to this new medium, a mountaineer who wants to get more experience on steeper ice, or you are a fit adventurous novice who is enthusiastic about learning a new skill, then our ice climbing course is for you!
Maximise your time ice climbing
From late June through early August our private hut at Black Peak, Wanaka offers some of the most quickly & easily accessible frozen waterfall ice climbing in New Zealand. Our ice-climbing site at Black Peak is not easily accessible by the general public which means you can enjoy your ice climbing without competing for space on a route. Each evening, return to our private hut, at 1800m on the mid-reaches of Black Peak (2283m). No tenting!
Check out our photos from 2016 courses - NICE ICE!!book now Skills required
Fraser, Australia, Winter Ice Climbing Course
We meet at the Aspiring Guides office in Wanaka at 5:30pm for an hour-long pre-trip meeting. Introductions are made and course outline reviewed. Equipment is checked and allocated by your guide. Any last-minute questions are answered regarding gear.
Meet early at the Aspiring Guides office to prepare lunch before driving to the helipad located about 20 min up the Matukituki Valley. Here we load into the helicopter and after dropping our overnight gear at the hut we fly to the foot of the ice in Blue Creek. Your guide will introduce you to the basics of climbing as you get your first taste of steep ice. You will begin with easy top-roping routes while you get your bearings in this beautiful frozen world. After a full day climbing, it is back to the hut for a well-earned rest. The hut is located 300m above the ice, and if there is a previous track the hike back to the hut takes about 30 minutes, but it can take much longer if ploughing through fresh snow.
After a big breakfast, it is back to the ice for more climbing. There are many routes, and after mastering some of the low angle routes climbers begin to explore steeper options. Many people give leading a try and learn the exhilaration of being on the sharp end! You will learn about placing ice screws and roped protection techniques as well as other safety topics. Depending on snow conditions many groups take an afternoon to climb to the summit of nearby Black Peak.
After packing up and organizing gear to be picked up by the helicopter (no heavy packs this trip!) it is back to the ice for one last whack and dangle. Many people develop a pet project to climb clean without falling and this is the final test! The helicopter arrives once everyone is tired and then it is back to the valley floor. Return to Wanaka for a hot shower and the sharing of stories over a beer or two.
There are shorter, low-angled routes for learning as well as vertical climbing for the more adventurous.
Course syllabus includes:
This ice climbing course is structured to your level of ability and experience, aimed at skills progression - from top-rope through to multi-pitch ice climbing. Those who want to extend themselves can do so by learning to lead climb.
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.