"The ice climbing trip to Black Peak, my second, was fantastic and fully met my expectations. AG has helped me get exactly where I want to be with my lead-climbing on ice - confident leading WI2 and WI3, and dabbling at WI4. Also, the trip was perfect for getting my partner and I 'on the same page' with respect to leading/seconding WI. Tim is a terrific guide/instructor - professional, expert, friendly and genuine. And the team at AG are terrific. Thanks again AG!"Marcus Pickett 2012
"I was able to learn and practice snow anchors, self-arrest techniques, techniques for walking safely and efficiently on steep snow & hard ice. I was also able to finally experience the joys of piolet traction! My husband (electronic engineer) was delighted that I experienced induction lines in action (using avalanche transceivers.) I also learned a great deal from Mike around translating various weather forecasts and other information into risk analysis for the trip. Ultimately, the mountains teach patience. Mike asked me what next…my reply was ‘more of this’. That holds true."Ruth McCance 2012
"[I chose this course because of] the availability of a luxurious hut! Highlight of the trip was seeing the dog in the helicopter when it arrived to pick us up from Black Peak! Just joking, this came a close second to doing a mulit-pitch ice climb. Oh WOW. This was an absolute thrill. I live for multi-pitch climbing. If you could guarantee this every year, I would come back every year! It was a real adventure. The trek [from the hut each day] in and out tested your body and physical endurance and the ice climbing was superb. The hut was comfortable and well equipped and Tim ensured we had hot drinks and food as soon as we returned each evening. It was magical. A really rare experience I am so glad I took the leap of faith to book in with my friend. It is something I never would have thought of doing off my own bat. Thank you for providing a well organised and safe experience. The communication via email beforehand was excellent. The friendly and supportive manner of the staff at Aspiring Guides made me feel really comfortable. I would love to participate in other adventures in the future." Liz Caspar, Australia, Winter Ice Climbing, July 2011
"Prior to completing the course everyone seemed to think that Ice Climbing was dangerous and the sort of thing which was only done by suicidal idiots. Following the course it became clear that it's well within the reach of normal people and does not require any sort of super-human strength or bravery."Jamie Smith 2010
"I chose your trip because it was reasonably priced, while including chopper in AND out, had accomodation pretty much right beside the main venue (great for a geriatric like myself), and it had a contingency weather day in the mix. The weather day was a winner for me. The provision of pretty much all climbing "hardware" makes the packing and travel from Oz easy too. " John Aldred 2010
"I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to consolidate their climbing and hit some really decent ice as it would be tailored to your ability; the environs are also so beautiful!!!" Chris Smolka, Victoria click here for this story
It doesn't seem quite right to climb a frozen waterfall.
From a medium you can drink to something that resembles rock and then climb, it's a miracle. Ice climbing is bizarre, as weird as it gets, fantastic. Go and try it!
The ice climbing on Black Peak is waterfall ice. To so easily access water ice in New Zealand is a rarity and have such a great base as a hut, luxury.
The head of the Blue Creek Valley is draped with climbable flows of varying length and difficulty. Depending on your ice climbing aspirations and skills, we can descend to the Blue Creek ice routes (40 minutes below the hut). On the first day we usually fly (via hut to drop off gear) straight to the base of the climbs. On the last day we fly out from the same location - maximising your time on the ice. No long walk out!
Alternatively we can head up towards the summit of Black Peak for mixed climbing. Access would be on foot/snowshoes.
Our cosy private hut, at 1800m on the mid-reaches of Black Peak (2283m), is an ideal base for ice climbing on Black Peak. No tenting! Snuggle up into a warm bed at the end of the day.
This ice climbing course is structured to your level of ability and experience, aimed at skills progression - from toprope through to multi-pitch ice climbing. Those who want to extend themselves can do so by learning to lead climb.
Whichever direction we head in, the course will introduce you to skills required to safely climb ice with an experienced partner or group. The emphasis of our instruction courses is on expanding and re-developing the essential skills:
Movement on Ice - for example French technique, front pointing
Technical Ice Tool Skills - positioning and placement of the axe on moderate ice
belaying and rope skills
The use of technical tools on steep ice including how to swing tools, secure placements and remove tools
Protection - Choosing and placing ice screws and pound-ins, how to construct v-threads and ice bollards, building safe 'earnest' anchors
Efficient Ropework - knots, belaying, rappelling
Safety topics - an understanding of ice and the ice environment. An understanding of subjective and objective mountain hazards
Fly-in, fly-out (both flights included - no long walk out!)
Black Peak is a 5-7 hour skin/snowshoe from the summit of Treble Cone Ski Area but only a 5 minute helicopter flight from the valley floor. The reasonable cost of flying in saves time and energy for the ensuing days of instruction. We move around on snowshoes if conditions dictate
Hut based - no tenting
maximum 1 guide : 4 clients
minimum 1 guide : 2 clients
Good fitness, no previous experience
A great bonus. This one day could apply to the START of your course (day one could be delayed by a day)
Both flights are included, flying in to the base of the climbs on first day, and out from same location on last day, maximising your time on the ice !
Technical climbing equipment included
One day weather contingency in case the weather is unfavourable at the start of the course
*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
One day ice climbing is also available. Fly direct to the ice cliffs at Black Peak. Climb Climb Climb. Price includes qualified guide/instructor, all technical equipment (plastic climbing boots, crampons, ice axe, ice screws, ropes, harness, helmet, belay device and quickdraws, carabiners, avalanche transceiver), two way helicopter ride, lunch and snacks. This runs every flyable day. Bookings essential and registration 5pm the evening prior. Have a spare couple of days in case of unflyable weather.
The course price includes; qualified guide/instructor, permit fees, both flights, all trip related meals and energy foods, hut fees, technical equipment. Additional costs are for plastic mountaineering boots, snowshoes etc.