"Igor and Ervin were amazing, they are both very talented, their rope skills and general ingenuity, was most impressive! I think they were the difference between us being successful (or not)."
Aspiring Cook Combo -
"Aritza did an outstanding job in difficult conditions. I have enjoyed contact with all the office staff: Jess, Carla, Henrik, Robyn and Tim who did their best to make the 2 trips work despite the vagaries of NZ weather. I would have no hesitation in using Aspiring Guides again or recommending them to friends in the UK. I would also put people in contact with Aritza if they had a summer trip to Peru...."
Join Aritza in Peru for our Tres Montanas Expedition
Mike Dixon, UK
Meeting cool people, climbing, awesome food, beautiful setting, awesome walk to/from the hut, helicopter ride…all of it was rad! I had an amazing time, you guys all do an awesome job and I’m looking forward to booking more adventures with you in future.
"I felt seven days was a good time to be in the "classroom" for. Took me a bit out of my comfort zone everyday, which is the only way I think you can improve yourself. A great week away, full of rewarding things to learn and experience. And I enjoyed the group's companionship, too. Ultimately it all made for an overall great experience. "
Dave Coorey, Australia
Whit handled our safety amazingling, making sure we had the basics under wraps and keeping a discrete eye on us so we didn't feel like we were being babied. Yet when you knew things needed to get moving they never stressed anyone out. They just told us what needed to be done and we got on with it. A really well run course. I thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed every minute and learnt so much.
Jake Anderson, Australia
Thanks so much. I had a wonderful trip. Plateau Hut was a magical experience. I really enjoyed being in the environment and the community. From my perspective, Tim did an amazing job of juggling multiple agendas to deliver an unforgettable adventure.
"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 a few times which afterwards was very satisfying. As a punter, It's possible to climb in an amazing part of the world. You can push yourself (or be pushed) and be really satisfied with the outcome.
I know the safety of climbers is paramount with Aspiring Guides and Tim displayed all the safety aspects I could have hoped for which is always reassuring.
I also know that the back up support from the guys in the office will ensure a trip will run smoothly. Last minute travel and accommodation changes help to make these trips special. "
James Spaile, Australia
"It was perfect. We didn't repeat anything that we already knew, and we learnt a lot of new techniques and basic skills to be independent in the mountain. I wanted to learn as much as I could and above all, I wanted to feel independent. And I got that. The trip to Bonar Glacier was amazing. Very well organized, even when we had to change all the plans [because of the weather], Tim made everything work perfectly. Excellent."
Maria, 5 day Private Instruction Course, Jan 2016
"Llewellyn was awesome! I feel like I could now head out climbing as part of a group and have a solid skill base to build from. I enjoyed the variety of climbs that Llewellyn showed me and (finally) making it to the top of the last 2 routes we did. It was great to learn the correct skills the correct way, rather than an interpretation of how to do things. I feel confident in what I have learnt and would say to others that the small investment for a day (at least) of professional training was well worth it. A very professional and friendly crew."
Sam Ruddenklau, New Zealand
"It was an amazing week regardless of the weather conditions. Gianni was a great guide and took time to understand our goals and current experience levels. He then tailored the course objectives to suit. He would watch everything closely and correct any mistakes if we didn't fix them ourselves. Gianni was passionate about climbing and the mountains, and he had a wealth of knowledge. It was great transition from rock climbing to mountaineering."
James Graham, Australia, January 2017
"I have never considered using a guide previously, preferring to manage under my own steam. Realised for this objective this was not appropriate. It was a privilege to be guided by Ervin who was gentle with us, rather than domineering, and extremely “steady”.Ervin ensured he took into account our levels of fitness and capabilities effectively and professionally. It was good having my son along and him enjoying the trip, All office staff were extremely helpful, friendly and approachable. I would recommend Aspiring Guides for their competence, genuine commitment to our enjoying the experience, flexibility, generosity, and employing excellent guides."
Martyn, Australia, 2017
Thank you for all your help making the trip such a success, I had a great time with Aritza. Before the trip I received a comprehensive overview of what to expect and preparation advice. I felt comfortable after your careful review of my experience. On the ascent I never felt like I was being 'baby-sat' and had a part to play in the ascent. I felt comfortable and could speak out if not. The walk out was long but a great experience still. It was a great next step up in terms of technical progression and a long day. Being able to delay a day due to weather and get some rock climbing was also great. Thanks again and I look forward to more climbs in the future.
Charlie, Jan 2017
"Andrea is an AMAZING AND REAL MOUNTAINEERING GUIDE from his soul. Certainly he's an inspiration for me and he was really patient when I was not fast enough learning and applying what he was teaching. Every second was perfect since the begining! The course really helps to achieve the mountaineering skills a person needs to climb with the proper knowledge in every aspect involved area. A spectacular experience!"
Alejandra, February 2017
"We had the freedom to be on our own rope teams but with the right level of supervision and guidance particularly when doing our practice scenarios eg crevasse rescue - go at our own pace and steps, but Andrea was there and watching and stepped in when we needed it. I feel like I have a sound understanding, and appreciation to practice everything before heading back out, on what I need to do for basic mountaineering adventures to build my skill set. Were still able to get great learning on bad weather days. Andrea was really personable and worked with us. A very professional, entertaining, and fun course to give us the basics and confidence to mountaineer."
Travis, Brisbane, Australia
"It was an absolute privilege to be able to go to the Darran Range - it's an incredibly remote and beautiful area. It was my first trip in 17 years for climbing and I did more than I ever thought possible. I'm still looking at the photos of McPherson and thinking - holy cow, I was up there!!! Andrea has a relaxed and easy going manner, so on the second day when I stopped short of the end of the Gertrude Saddle, I felt very comfortable. He is a lovely person, a great guide and a Michelin star alpine chef. Andrea belayed at any of the tricky sections and spotted me as necessary. He also gave me some great tips for descending the scree slopes (not something I'd encountered previously). Having Andrea take care of all of the details meant that I could truly relax, which was a real treat. I could not have had a better time and I'm looking forward to the next trip."
"Its awesome!!!! Some things were hard mentally and physically. Looking back now, there's a lot more I need to learn. The course was invaluable and has given me some of the key tools I'll need to achieve some of my big objectives. Xavier was an excellent guide and did an awesome job of changing up our days and showing us new stuff every day. Thanks so much for the adventure."
Luke Ellis, Australia
Having been with Aspiring Guides for 3 other adventures, I was very confident you would be the best company to lead us on our most challenging project to date. Apart from climbing Aspiring, I knew we would be well looked after in terms of food and every possible comfort, based on most recent experience on the Gillespie. Carla and the rest of the Team at Aspiring Guides were great in terms of providing the information / reassurance of our ability / and clear understanding of the challenge ahead. Also very helpful advising us on training before arriving in Wanaka, which proved to be invaluable on the climb, and meant we got up to speed with our guides on the 2 training days we had. The climb was a stretch even though I was very fit, I gave it my all and had an amazing climb. I leant a new meaning of ‘exposure’. I thought it related to wind and rain, but now see it is more about ‘drop’…. The pre training ensured we were safe, but equally importantly so were the guides. The tranquility of the mountains, so peaceful and surreal when you’re up there. Still hard to believe I achieved my goal! Now I believe I can do anything if I put my mind to it!
Check out this video of Gary and Graham reaching the top : click here
Graham, New Zealand, Mt Aspiring, March 2017
Grey's Peak was identified as a suitable goal. Tai kept a tight rein on us initially, and as he saw our level of skill, he released his grip. I never felt too restricted or completely out of my depth. I really appreciated his experience in this regard. His level of knowledge was amazing, he quickly assessed where we were at, and was flexible in setting goals for each day. I felt in very safe hands, and appreciated his efficiency in getting us out of the hut each morning. We traversed glaciated terrain, climbed a peak, did some skills work and the weather was mostly kind to us. Loved the helicopter in and out, and enjoyed the drive to the west coast. The whole package came together very nicely. Just being up in the mountains on the glacier was incredible. The landscape blew me away.
Daniel, Australia, April 2017
Bivvying up in the Remarkables and waking up to the views was my favourite part of the course. I learnt enough to keep me going for a couple of years and the scenery was amazing.
I was in Wanaka and had a free day, weather was perfect so a day of rock climbing sounded like a good idea. Individual lesson, so it was tailored to my needs and wishes. I wish I had more time and spent a few more days climbing...I enjoyed all of it.
(Brent was) very professional, gave time to each of us, as and when needed. Very patient, always joined in for a laugh, knew when to be serious and looked after us really well. Always positive and friendly. All staff were fantastic. I enjoyed all of it. Brent really catered to us in every situation. When the weather sucked, we did theory and practiced what we could. When the weather cleared, we went for it. Helpful, friendly staff. Well run courses and well run trips.
Hamish, Australia 2018
The guide I can not speak highly enough! I was pushed within my comfort zone, every bit of knowledge and skill was explained from the book you provided to how it is used when in the mountain.
Courtney, Australia 2018
Dan did a great job through his extensive knowledge and experience and with his approach to guiding and interacting with course participants. Dan and Aspiring Guides would be my first call for any future guided activities in the area. The course exceeded my expectations. It was a great experience.
High standard of guiding as above, but also very good administration and office support. Carla and Ross were great to deal with and very welcoming. Service was personalized. Clients were clearly valued and appreciated.
Martin, New Zealand 2018
I would absolutely recommend this course to any aspiring mountaineer and ice climber needing to improve their technical proficiency and experience on steep ice. This course teaches you to climb smarter not harder. A lot of focus is put in to being able to identify safe climbing routes on the ice fall, good axe and foot placement and body positioning. This course has helped me develop more efficient techniques and safer climbing habits necessary to pursue the larger mountaineering objectives.
Alistair, Australia 2018