Darrans Mountaineering


McPherson Talbot Traverse

Sue, 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."

More Information

North Ridge of Moir’s Mate

The approach to the North Ridge of Moir's Mate starts from the Homer Tunnel and traverses the fantastically exposed ridge from Homer Saddle. The rock, typical of the Darrans, is perfect and amazingly grippy, so the climbing is never too difficult. The summit commands fantastic views down onto the Hollyford and Cleddau valleys where minute tourist buses wind down to Milford Sound. Stronger parties can commit to a significantly longer day and continue along to the summit of Mt Moir.

Macpherson-Talbot Traverse

The classic skyline traverse of the massif affords panoramic views of the whole region. This technically easy route requires a range of alpine skills as you travel over the full breadth of Darrans terrain. It starts from Homer Saddle and the first section climbs the exposed ‘Talbot’s Ladder’ with typical Darrans rock and enormous exposure before ascending the snow slopes to the summit of Mt Macpherson. The route then traverses the glacier over to Traverse Pass before an optional side trip along the ridge to the summit of Mt Talbot before descending to Gertrude Saddle. From here you follow the valley track back to Homer Hut and you can grab a quick swim in Black Lake ...if you are game.

Mitre Peak

Perhaps the most aspired to summit in Fiordland, Mitre Peak stands iconically overlooking the World Heritage Milford Sound and is the most photographed mountain in New Zealand. The classic ascent of the east ridge from sea level is long and has all the ingredients of a Darrans adventure! An approach by boat or helicopter, bush, tussock culminating in the mega-exposed but fantastic rock of the upper ridge. There is the possibility of spending a night out on the ridge on one of the few areas wide enough to pitch a tent where you can watch the sunset  from a unique vantage point high above the Sound.

Mount Madeline

Mt Madeline is the second highest summit in the Darrans and an extremely satisfying mountaineering objective. The remote area is accessed by a short scenic flight from Milford Sound to a base at the historic Turner’s Bivi rock. There are many options to warm up or wind down after the ascent with a number of buttresses for rock climbing near the bivi. We access the glacier only a short distance from the bivi and climb steadily to the snow slopes of the west face or the mixed climbing offered by the south west ridge. From the summit you look straight across at the massive Mt Tutoko, the remote Fiordland coast and north to Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring.

Available Dates

Available anytime Jan to April subject to guide availability.


Technical Difficulty

Private Guiding can be tailored to meet your specific requirements.  A good level of fitness and comfort with heights is desired.  Whether you are brand new or looking to push your limits your guide will be able to take you as far as you want to go.

Physical Difficulty

If you enjoy heights and are of average fitness there are climbs that you will be able to enjoy. We have climbs for all abilities and your guide will only tackle objectives that are within your grasp.

Price Details

Guide Ratio Price NZD
1:1 $4,950
1:2 $2,650


What's Included
  • meals and energy snacks
  • alpine hut / tent accommodation
  • national park & guide fees
  • 15% goods and services tax.
  • technical equipment - see equipment section below for details
  • 1 day weather contingency

Not included : 

  • access/egress flights for Mitre Peak


Itinerary / Trip Options (multi)

Day 1

We can meet at the start of your trip in either Wanaka or Queenstown. If you are on a tight schedule and flying into Queenstown, then it may be more convenient for your guide to meet you in Queenstown. If you have overnighted in Queenstown then your guide will pick you up at your accommodation around 9am. You will need to be organised with equipment, but we can help you with this beforehand. After introductions and a gear check we are off on the drive to Fiordland. It is an exceptionally scenic drive (4 hours) passing through Te Anau and the Eglinton Valley. On arrival at Homer Hut we have time for a quick reconnaisance of the route for the the next day.

Day 2 - 3

Climb one of the stunning routes on offer in this area, perhaps choosing to bivi or camp out to make this most of the remoteness of this wilderness area.

Day 4

After a leisurely breakfast we pack up and wind our way back to Queenstown or Wanaka.  We have time to stop off and sample the many viewpoints and hikes along the Milford Road or stop in at Te Anau for a well deserved beverage.

Equipment Details

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

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