Winter Ice Climbing

Location

Our private hut gives access to the cold south face ice formations of Black Peak.  The hut is located in the North Harris Mountains, a short heli lift from the valley floor.

Black Peak Ice Climing

Fraser Francis-Pester

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 practice 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!

More Information

The head of the Blue Creek Valley is draped with climbable flows of varying length and difficulty. There are shorter low angled routes for learning as well as vertical climbing for the more adventurous.

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.

  • Movement on Ice - French technique, front pointing and other crampon techniques

  • Technical Ice Tool Skills - positioning and placement of the axe on moderate ice and steep ice  

  • Protection - Choosing and placing ice screws, how to construct v-threads and ice bollards, building safe anchors

  • Efficient Ropework - knots, belaying, rappelling

  • Safety topics - an understanding of ice and the ice environment. An understanding of subjective and objective mountain hazards

  • Route selection

  • Basic avalanche awareness and rescue technique


Available Dates

   Dates 2017 Status
WIC#1 1 - 4 July Completed
WIC#2 6 - 9 July Completed
WIC#2b 10 - 13 July Completed
WIC#3 13 - 16 July  Completed
WIC#4 23 - 26 July Completed
WIC#5 1 - 4 Aug Completed

 

You can also book your group in for a private course on any of these dates or check with us for availabilty at other times to suit.
 

Difficulty

Technical Difficulty

This is the perfect place to learn what waterfall ice is all about. No mountaineering,  rock or ice climbing experience is required but it is highly recommended to have had some practice belaying. With the safety of a top rope you will be able to push your ability and learn the intricacies of climbing on ice. People with previous rock climbing experience will appreciate the technical differences offered when climbing with ice axes and crampons and may progress to contolled lead climbs under the supervision of your guide.

Physical Difficulty

A good level of fitness is required.  Ice climbing puts a premium on balance and good co-ordination.  Steeper climbing requires strong hands and arms but lower angled climbing uses the legs and calf muscles.  The hut is located 300 vertical meters from the ice and if it snows it can be a challenging hike back at the end of the day.  Good hill walking ability is essential.  You will not need to carry a heavy pack.  Expect short bursts of intense effort - your arms and calf muscles will wish you had warned them of what was coming!


Price Details

Guide Ratio Price
1:2 NZ $2,390
1:3-4 NZ $1,990
What's Included
  • helicopter flights in and out (direct to/from the ice maximising your time on the ice routes )
  • NZMGA or IFMGA qualified guide
  • technical equipment 
  • accommodation in our cosy private hut (already set up with sleeping bags etc)
  • meals and energy foods
  • hut, park and landing fees
Not included: - 
  • rental of ice climbing boots
  • snowshoes (if required).

 


Itinerary / Trip Options (multi)

Day before pre-trip meeting

We meet at the Aspiring Guides office in Wanaka at 5pm 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.

Day One

Meet early at the Aspiring Guides office to prepare lunch before driving to the heli pad 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.

Black Peak Ice Climbing

Day Two & Three

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.

learning to swing a tool

Day Four

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 and the sharing of stories over a beer or two.

Ice Climbing Black Peak


Equipment Details

This video provides practical demonstration of the common equipment and clothing required for mountaineering.

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