Mt Brewster


The East and West Peaks of Mount Brewster

Mt Brewster is demanding

Francois Fouche

"NZ mountains are awesome, walk in lovely. Mt Brewster is demanding and a good end in itself. I am impressed that the guide had the energy to take me up Remarkables. Roy Smith is indefatigable!"

More Information

Here at Aspiring Guides we have a pretty amazing back yard.  Our location offers access to some great peaks. Mount Brewster  is a remote peak accessed from the Haast Pass. Driving up the pass means that the hiking approach is kept to a minimum.

The approach 

A shallow river crossing is followed by a solid three-hour uphill push through a Beech forest track. Once you pass the tree line you are getting close. The new Brewster Hut is located on a beautiful tussock terrace with views toward the Makarora valley and the surrounding peaks of Armstrong and Brewster.

The climb

To get to Brewster Peak, the slopes of Armstrong are sidled on narrow rock benches that take you to the slopes of the Brewster Glacier. There is more than one way to climb Mt Brewster, depending on the mountain and conditions. On the South West face (grade 2+) snow gullies are followed to the summit ridge. For the West Ridge route (grade 2) the glacier is traversed and then mixed travel along the ridge to the summit. The view looking along the spine of the divide towards Mt Cook is a rare outlook on the Southern Alps.5

Available Dates

Available any time Oct to Apr subject to guide availability. 



Technical Difficulty

Brewster is an excellent place to try out cramponing and using an ice axe for the first time and this is a great place to learn about glacier travel. The glacier is easy angled and rises slowly until reaching 40-50 degrees towards the top.  Early season ascents will require some front pointing on the final pitches. Later in the summer there is an exposed rock scramble along the summit skyline.  No previous experience necessary but a head for heights is a must.

Physical Difficulty

The track rises steeply through the bush so be prepared for about 3 hours of step trail before reaching the hut.  The trail follows a sharp ridge with exciting exposure so being comfortable with big drops and good balance are needed.  You need to be able to carry a 12 kg pack up a steep hill for at least an hour between stops to get to the hut.  The summit day usually lasts 10-12 hours so endurance and the ability to keep going when you are tired will definitely be tested.  Descending the track required strong thighs, be sure to get a few days walking down steep hills to get your legs in shape for going down as well as up!

Price Details

Guide Ratio Price
1:1 NZ $4,950
1:2 NZ $2,650
What's Included
  • meals and energy snacks
  • alpine hut / tent accommodation
  • national park, landing & guide fees
  • 15% goods and services tax.
  • technical equipment - see equipment section below for details
  • 1 day weather contingency


Frequently Asked Questions About This Trip

Itinerary / Trip Options (multi)

Day One

Meet at our Wanaka office to meet your guide and do a complete gear check.  There will be time for getting last minute items if you have to.  It is a 1.5 hour drive to Fantail Falls where the track starts -  just over the Haast Pass on the main divide and deep in the West Coast forest.


Day Two

An alpine start gets you out of bed and on the trail just at first light.  The steep traverse to the Brewster Glacier takes about 2 hours before you get onto the glacier proper.  The route will vary depending on the time of year.  In general it is about a 12hr day return to the hut.


Day Three

Depending on your energy level after your ascent we offer a number of different options.  There's a 3 hour hike to the top of Mt Armstrong from the hut, or your could climb Mt Top Heavy (with great photo opportunities of Mt Brewster).  Alternatively explore the clear blue alpine lakes next to the Brewster Glacier, or just relax and enjoy the comfort of the Brewster Hut.


Brewster Hut

Day Four

Head back down to the valley floor through tussock fields into the beech forest and finally to the Haast River.  Crossing back across the river is always interesting as you'll receive a few odd looks from tourists passing by the Fantail Falls.  Home to Wanaka for a well earned bevvie or two. 


Equipment Details

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

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