Courses

We offer a range of Backcountry Ski Touring and Snowboarding Courses - from beginner to advanced, from 1 to 4 days.  The courses are designed for people who want to experience adventure beyond the ski area boundary.  Avalanche awareness, wilderness skills and uphill travel are all essential and there is no better location to learn them than in the backcountry around Wanaka. We gain access via the local ski fields, or you can helicopter into our private huts at Robrosa and Black Peak, where the terrain is just a step from the door !   Our professional guides will start at the beginning and teach you all the techniques you will need to travel on your own.  If you are keen on ski mountaineering we also offer more advanced courses for experienced ski tourers or split boarders.

Introduction to Backcountry Touring Course 1 day

Introduction to Backcountry Touring Course 1 day

 This day course is designed for people who are new to ski or snowboard touring and looking to become familiar with the equipment and techniques before embarking on on...

1DAYS
1:6PEOPLE
JULY - OCTPERIOD
From $300PER PERSON
Avalanche Awareness Course 1.5 days

Avalanche Awareness Course 1.5 days

A NZ Mountain Saftey Council (MSC) accredited course Avalanche Awareness for Skiers, Snowboarders, Hikers & ClimbersThe Aspiring Guides Avalanche Awareness course is a...

1DAYS
1:6PEOPLE
JULY - SEPTPERIOD
From $325PER PERSON
Backcountry Avalanche Course 4 days

Backcountry Avalanche Course 4 days

A NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) accredited courseRecognized by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, this Backcountry Avalanche Course is designed to deliver quality avala...

4DAYS
1:5PEOPLE
JULY - SEPTPERIOD
From $1200PER PERSON
Backcountry Snowboard & Ski Touring Course 4 days

Backcountry Snowboard & Ski Touring Course 4 days

A NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) accredited course Welcome to a classroom you will never forget, our private Robrosa Hut. This backcountry ski touring course combines a pure...

4DAYS
1:4PEOPLE
JULY - OCTPERIOD
From $1,900PER PERSON
Helicopter ACCESS IN
Walk ACCESS OUT
Backcountry Splitboard Course 4 days

Backcountry Splitboard Course 4 days

Welcome to an environment that will challenge and inspire, educate and develop.  The recent developments in splitboard technology have revolutionised backcountry snowboard ...

4DAYS
1:4PEOPLE
JULY - SEPTPERIOD
From $1,900PER PERSON
Hut ACCOMMODATION
Advanced Ski Mountaineering Course 4 days

Advanced Ski Mountaineering Course 4 days

Take your Ski or Snowboard Touring to the next levelIf you are a strong skier or snowboarder wanting to extend yourself, this is your chance.    Ice axe and crampon us...

4DAYS
1:4PEOPLE
JULY - OCTPERIOD
From $1650PER PERSON
Helicopter ACCESS IN
Walk ACCESS OUT

"A real team approach from the Aspiring Guides outfit ( and I mean everyone from the office to the guides). Wanaka a lovely base. We really felt we had experienced climbing in New Zealand rather than just another Alpine climb."

Simon Laker, UK

“The moment you head onto the pass and the whole East Matukituki opens up in front of you. It's a staggering view from what was previously a somewhat enclosed environment. The thrill of climbing the waterfall face would be a close second.”

Matthew Pike, NZ

“Both Tony and Fede are very professional.   At no time was I pushed beyond my limits,  and I was not micro-managed either.  Fede has the ability to recognise clients strengths an weaknesses and encourages the client to use and develop their strengths and overcome or manage their weaknesses. Tony and Fede are great to talk to and have a laugh with.  I am sure that Fede is a mountain goat in disguise.”

Elsje Dines, Australia

“Great fun, big tough endurance mountains, a real team approach from the Aspiring Guides outfit (and I mean everyone from the office to the guides). Wanaka a lovely base. We really felt we had experienced climbing in New Zealand rather than just another Alpine climb.”

Simon Laker

“The trip was everything I'd dreamt of ski touring the Southern Alps, and much more!  I enjoyed this trip soooo much!  I can't wait to return in a couple years.”

Bill Lingle, USA

“I had an awesome day.  Adrian was fantastic and did an amazing job of meeting the group's needs.  He found us great snow along with some great touring info.”

Anthony Dawkins, Australia

Having someone get back to you quickly with a personalised response is crucial in giving someone confidence in making the plunge to sign up. I was also sent some links to photos etc of the recent trip, which once again helped in getting me excited and to follow through with the trip.

Chris Pogson, Australia


"I arrived home yesterday.  I come back to reality and will soon start working again for going back to New Zealand.  As I write in the following feedback, it was absolutely right choice for me to choose Aspiring guides.  When I sent some queries for availability of my trip, answers and responses were quick.  Thanks to Alitza's comprehensive knowledge for Mt. Aspiring and skills, I arrived at the summit.  It could be difficult, if I were solo or with colleagues with similar level. Thank your very much for your all the effort for planning, instructing, guiding, and managing of my trip. Awesome!"

Kenji Tsubota, Japan

"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)."

Chris Stead

4 day Upper Wilkin Wild Walk "The flight and jet-boat were the “wow” factors. The fully catered aspect was also appealing as it reduced the load to be carried in and out. And the fact that the walks were based from the same hut, and the day-trips could be tailored to meet the fitness levels gave us the confidence that it would be a good trip. Favourite part of the trip ?  That’s tough… there were great aspects to each day: the flight, scenery, seeing the kids enjoying themselves, the lakes, the forest, and the jet boat ride was a fitting end to an excellent adventure."

Kennedy Family

Mt Aspiring Expedition Course 8-day:  "I was challenged physically, mentally and technically which enabled me to feel satisfied (albeit exhausted!) at the end of the trip due to realising that I was capable of more than I thought.  Aritza’s general professionalism, organisation, efficiency and technical knowledge were faultless and the overall experience of the trip ran well because of this. Not to mention he was a good cook and photographer!"

Kirsty O'Neill, Australia

Steep Ice Course 8-day:  "A very enjoyable and worthwhile mountaineering course set in a fantastic location,and conducted in a very professional, non-intimidating manner by a highly dedicated team... Stefan and Tim are terrific guides, and really nice blokes as well...I gleaned numerous technical tips from them; furthermore, somewhat through conversations with both guides, I have developed a clearer sense of future mountaineering directions/objectives and realistic expectations in relation to these - I had a great week! - I am very keen to do further mountaineering with AG"

Marcus Pickett, South Australia

"I achieved more than what I wanted from the trip. Instead of just a guided trip, Andy took the iniative to teach how to abseil, lead climb and belay as well, and set up anchors. He commented this was to improve our rock climbing management skills so we could become more independent. I thought this was a fantastic idea I had not forseen and thoroughly thank Andy for."

Jozef, Wellington NZ (aged 16)

Aspiring Discovery 3-day:  "We’ve always enjoyed Wanaka and the surrounding area, so it was the opportunity to do a walk in the area with an experienced guide, and also being able to hire backpacks etc rather than having to carry camping gear with us to NZ.  Tim was always very professional, friendly and easy going.  He was very patient and when he realised we were going to take longer than expected he adjusted breaks/lunch to fit in with our pace and the time it took us to get to the camp. It was great to have the flexibility of having your own guide and being able to go at your own pace without worrying about slowing down the rest of a group." 

Jo-Anne & Jerome, Sydney, Australia

Upper Wilkin 4-day:  "Our guide was very caring, always there when needed but unobtrusive, so we could also have some private/family time, in control and knowing what he was doing. His caring for our hungry and tired bodies with cups of tea and lovely food was excellent. We all had fun together and spent some valuable bonding time in the midst of the most beautiful landscape. We would recommend this trip absolutely. It was great for our family because it is a good, safe and a less stressful way of having this wonderful experience (having a guide, cook, motivator, organizier with you)."

Susanne Mechtersheimer and family, Australia

"I cannot thank you enough for this amazing wilderness experience you organized for me! You thought of every detail and threw in extra care and personal touches…With Brenda as a guide I felt so completely taken care of (in my first real river crossings) and she was a delight to be with. No more worries about wet boots! I'm a Kiwi now—and certainly—knees willing, I'll come back for more of the wild (and will spread the word!)."

Rosmarie Bognor, Nelson, NZ

Rabbit Pass 4-day:  Did you achieve what you wanted from your trip?  -  Yes and more!  As it was more challenging than I had expected it made for a different, and more rewarding, experience.  All features surpassed expectations – Jo, the scenery, the weather, the challenge, food and accommodation”  

Liam Prescott, Australia

"We were after a memorable adventure, and we sure got it. It was the two of us with an experienced guide, Tony.  We trekked along the valley, crossed freezing rivers barefoot, battled gravity 1,000m with our packs up very steep NZ  mountains, stayed in a mountaineering hut amongst the mountains. And that was Day 1. Day 2 involved crampons, ice axes and ropes. We came very close to crevices, but stayed away. Another 900m straight up, before descending down to the hut. For anyone in need of a serious challenge, a memorable experience and a heap of fun - try this one.  The company is very experienced, the guides good and the pricing reasonable given the low ratio of clients per guide.”  

Alastair, Sydney, Australia

Gillespie Pass 4-day:  “Although it was difficult steep route- the end result and amazing view made it all worth it.  We were able to relax while enjoying the beautiful views of the natural scenery . A very relaxing, stress free trip. George ensured river crossings were safe before we attempted them and the regular weather updates also ensured that we didn't end up in a dangerous situation on Gillepsie Pass. Everything from food to accommodation was very well organised making it an enjoyable trip. ”  

George and teenage children, Sydney Australia

Treble Cone Backcountry Day Tour:  "... hearing the snow crystals billowing up into your lap as we skied untracked powder.  Excellent way to experience a true alpine environment at such a reasonable cost.   Very very impresed, as usual.  Keep living the dream!"

Graeme, Wanaka, New Zealand

Backcountry Day Tour:  "Whit knew I was a bit nervous about this new adventure and was great in giving me confidence about the whole activity. He was friendly, approachable, great teacher with the skins. I loved being in an area where there were no other skiers around, but still felt safe." 

Barbara, NZ

Pisa Range Tour 3-day:  "Geoff did a great job! He guided us to some great terrain, the best snow, made regular assessments of the snow pack and also showed us what avalanche dangers to look out for (that is, irregularities in the snow pack, concave and convex slopes, slope gradients, etc.). Also Geoff was a really nice guy, and we got along well with him, which we think also contributed to the success of the trip. Moonlight Skiing on the second day was the highlight!"

Rees Family, UK

"This trip all went so well. Not only finally bagged my peak, but really pleased that we did it in such a good time, and that I still felt so good at the end of it all."

Marcus Bai, NZ

"Greatest experience we could have wished for, hats off to the guides and the team. You guys are awesome! See you in the future."

Sean McLeod, Australia

What did I love about the ski tour? All of it! I had the biggest grin on my face, I think my face muscles were going to cramp!

Jesse Sago, Australia

Got heaps more then just the ice-climbing done. Everyone was so nice! Thanks for making my first snow experience kick ass!

 

James Combes, Australia

Finding a tramp that wasn't one of the Great Walks and that was achievable for us who haven't tramped in a while.Many thanks for a memorable trip for John and myself, that was what we wanted and we got it.

Carole Handin, NZ

Would I recommend this trip ? Absolutely!  A great adventure, with fantastic guides & something that I'm sure we'll be doing again.

Colin Gray, Australia

Custom Wild Walk:  "I loved NZ, the people, the wildlife, the picturesque scenery, and the humor, efficiency, and professionalism of the AG staff.  I would definitely like to come back. "

Mary Miller, USA

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

We all had fun together and spent some valuable bonding time in the midst of the most beautiful landscape. We would recommend this trip absolutely. It was great for our family because it is a good, safe and a less stressful way of having this wonderful experience (having a guide, cook, motivator, organizier with you).

Mechtersheimer family, Australia

Cassade Saddle Assisted Trek 2 day:  "Having Whit along as we ascended the saddle gave us some extra security, allowing us to relax and enjoy the tramp more than if we had been alone.  We wouldn't hesitate in recommending Whit and Aspiring Guides".

Kate, Auckland, NZ

My overall impression was that the trip and company itself ran quite efficiently – organisation was easy and things went to plan. I gained everything I could have imagined and more from [the trip], I didn’t leave thinking  ‘Geez, I wish we’d done more of this’. Everything was just in the right amount. 

Kristy O'Neill, Australia

"Andy did a great job of easing us into the trip on day 1. He was thorough in his assessment of weather and conditions. Absolutely supervised our safety at all times.  Andy was  easy to get along with and highly professional in his approach. He cooks a mean bowl of porridge as well."

Jim, USA

I thought Aritza and his team were amazing. They all worked hard for us and each other to make the trip a success.  I have been on a lot of trips to mountains where camp food is prepared for me. I found on this trip the food was exceptional. Really good food was served up in sometimes quite difficult circumstances and conditions. It was a credit to the cook  Achilles. I thought the logistics of the trip were really good. Transport was there when we arrived at various locations from the mountains. Aritza had a very good support team of porters who worked well together and were happy in their work. This came across to me strongly. They were very helpful to both Simon and me and were keen for the trip to be a success.  If I get the opportunity to go to Peru again in the future and climb with Aritza in the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca I will definitely go.

Roger Phillips

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!

Fraser Francis-Pester

Both Morgan and Andrea did an outstanding job conducting the trip in a way which challenged the advanced skiers in our group whilst also providing a safe and enjoyable experience for the less advanced skiers in the group.  Good introductory terrain for a big group, great scenery, good way to learn the basics of ski touring, great guides. It was an outstanding experience.  
Looking forward to another trip with Aspiring Guides in the future. 

Will Middleton

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.

Theresa Moore

"You Guys are JUST THE BEST! Skiing untracked powder snow where you earn the turns. A truly wilderness experience yet so close to Wanaka. High class authentic NZ experience. " 

Graeme Kennerley

"Exquisite snow that goes all the way to the beach! A thoroughly unique and memorable backcountry skiing experience! There are not many places left where outstanding wilderness back country skiing, combined with excellent logistics and accommodation can be had without paying a small fortune.  Somehow Whitney managed to pull it off."

I liked the ability to stay on mountain at Rob Rosa hut during course and the fact that the course was more tailored for beginners. Good to get hands on experience and exposure to avalanche skills suitable to NZ & Australian conditions.  It has increased my confidence level (to a safe level) in moving around safely in avalanche terrain (or best still avoiding it all together) 

 

David Michell

Some really great runs but overall just being out in the backcountry and being able to appreciate the incredible mountain landscape free from the crowded/commercial resort world, as well as improving my understanding of the dangers/risks.  Geoff was a fantastic guide and although he pushed us outside our comfort zone we always felt safe in his hands and he was always checking with us as to whether we were feeling okay and getting the information and experience we wanted. Amazing trip all up and I’d do it all again in a flash. 

Jeremy Morse

We continue to be completely happy with the service you provide - great guide (Geoff), great communication, great options for dates and locations to tour, and we know that you are completely organised and will be able to deal with problems. The weather day is also a "plus" factor.  

Geoff is expert at guiding the level and activity to work for the whole group and at being flexible for changes. We have always felt the inherent risks of the outdoors are superbly managed by Geoff and the Aspiring Guides take every practical precaution for our safety too. 

A fantastic time away with friends in the mountains, with a whole lot of beauty, exercise, and some good turns. 

Sara-Jane

"Not only did I learn/update some skills but I was pushed hard with my fitness on rock and all round physical ability.  Federico was very good at looking out for my safety. I think I would trust my grandma with him (if she were still around). He also has a calm, easy-going manner and I thought him very professional. As far as his performance and ability as a guide, I thought him outstanding. Achieved everything I wanted to do on this trip and more.  Climbing the North buttress of Sabre was definitely the highlight of the trip."

Richard Kimberley

"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.  

Nancie

"Magnificent scenery of the Southern Alps. Spectacular views.  Special thanks to Phil for a memorable 3 days - an excellent, experienced, competent guide.  A trip you couldn't really succeed on your own unless very experienced. All staff very friendly and willing to answer any queries. Well organised."  

Kevin, Mt Maunganui, New Zealand

"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 very challenging but we chose to have a guide due to the difficulty of this route. Our day across the saddle was long and pretty arduous with thigh deep creek crossing at the end..!! But the view was spectacular and well worth it!  Jess was thoroughly professional and focused on safety. She did a great job in getting us to the top. Thank you so much for your patience and guidance... I doubt we would have made it otherwise (and still be on speaking terms anyway). I would recommend this trip for friends who wanted a real challenge and had done the 'easy' walks already. Amazingly fulfilling experience for all of us!  The girls are planning their next trip of course...

Hewitt Family, 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

"It was such an incredible experience, I felt so proud to have made it over both passes and it has certainly boosted my enthusiasm to get out into the wilderness more regularly. Stunning scenery.
I've told so many friends about Aspiring Guides and specifically the walk we did."

 

Cat Owen, Australia

"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

I chose this Wild Walk because there are no huts, few people, and it's wild. I recommend it for the lovely scenery, and the walk is challenging. Tim is a superb guide. High quality walk. I liked it.

Francsois, Feb 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

"Off the beaten track trips appeal to me. Loved the impressive views all the way along. Bivying out.  Accessing an area that few people get to see. Being away from crowded tracks. Oh...and the tomato relish :0)))) I'm delighted to have had an enjoyable trip in and out of this hidden gem."

Michelle, New Zealand, Feb 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."

Sue, Australia

"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

"We were very confident that Aspiring Guides would give us the small group experience we were looking for. I loved the Valley walking and the experience of the other people on the trip  I also loved how beautiful the scenery was, just so unlike what we get in Australia. It was stunning.  I was so impressed by Michael as our guide. He actually made the trip for me. While relatively young in years, his experience really shone and the way he dealt with people of differing ages and experiences was just so impressive. I learned a lot from him over the few days.My overall impression of Aspiring Guides from this particular trip was that it's a very professionally run organisation and you guys know what you're doing. It must get exhausting trying to make everyone's experience special and unique when you've done a trip so many times - but you guys do an excellent job of this and I felt very grateful. I survived and am looking forward to my next hike :)"

Jess, Australia

Gillespie Pass 2017 : "Often in Australia the news broadcast starts off with "a tourist was completely under-prepared for the conditions….', and either died or had to be rescued.  I knew that I could trust Carla to keep me safe so that I could focus on just enjoying my trip.  The Train2Trek program was a great asset for Jo especially (simply because she is unfortunate enough to be chained to a desk 8 hours a day). The training helped her with muscle strength, fitness and endurance. Carla made sure that the pace of the walk was suited to us both. I knew that crossing that mountain would be tough, and I loved it.  Sitting up there on such a beautiful day for a few hours was just magnificent."

Dan & Jo, 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

The impression given of the level of difficulty was very accurate. It was just right for me - sometimes demanding but not exhausting. The precautions on the potentially dangerous areas were absolutely great - I never felt at risk. George was very hands-off at other times but we were experienced walkers, so I think he judged it pretty well. I'd highly recommended this Wild Walk to anyone who's after a spectacular walk and fit enough to do it. The best tramp in NZ? Would do it again in a heartbeat. Superbly organised with the food and gear stashes. 

Philip, Australia - Gillespie-Rabbit 2017

Thank you for everything, just loved the experience (warts and all) - hard not too in such a beautiful place!

Melissa, Australia 2017 Italian Ski Tour

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

"Jo challenged us with river walks but we never felt unsafe.  She was very instructive and made sure we all understood what we were to do.  She took very good care of us.  I like a bit of a challenge and like pushing myself just a little more than I am comfortable.  This was definitely achieved especially with the river walks.  We saw beautiful scenery, got some very good exercise and spent some quality time with friends, both old and new.The walk up to the foot of Rabbit Pass was my favourite - there was a variety of terrain, a beautiful day, a nice long walk and a great lunch spot!"

Pat & Greg, Canada

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.

Peter, Australia

This was the perfect way to see the Amazon.  Loved watching the animals as we paddled along.  Felt lucky to not have the noise of a motor.  It was great to get to know the local people.

James Spail USA

Spot on challenging but within our skill set. I felt safe and assured with Andrea at all times. The whole experience was amazing and something I will never forget.  Boarding down is always the highlight but going up is all part of it.  Safe, well conducted at all levels from the office to the guide.

 

Mark, Australia, Split boarder

I took part in the one and half day avalanche awareness course with Aspiring Guides and learnt so much!! All the staff and guides are super lovely people, very knowledgeable and experienced, and I came away from the course with some awesome photos, very achy legs and most importantly a new respect for the mountains! The course taught me a lot about avalanches, and in the field we practiced things like safe travel techniques, recognising avalanche terrain, and the proper use of shovel, probe and transceiver in a rescue effort. I would highly recommend this course and the whole company for anyone wanting to experience the wild outdoors!

Bethany, New Zealand

How can I say enough about this experience? The location: OMG simply stunning backdrop. The private Rob Rosa huts are well organised and, well, very private. The 15 minute heli ride in was pure joy and anticipation. The course: they delivered big time on avalanche knowledge including theory & practical; a relevant and succinct manual was provided (to keep), as well as a laminated map for each course participant; I learned much more than expected.  The skiing: we were fortunate with 3 great weather days plus one snow/rain day in the middle that was firmly seized to deliver theory & practical; meaning that the fair-weather days were used for ski touring & on-mountain snowpack analysis from sun-up to sun-down, most of it on virgin powder. We summitted Mt Pisa on day 1 and the walk out on day 4 was extended to 12.5 km to achieve additional powder runs. The guide: saving the best for last, it would be hard to imagine a more positive or motivated guide than Mark Evans. Mark, thank you for your thoroughness, your thoughtfulness, your focus on keeping us safe and imparting knowledge, but most importantly for your unbridled love of ski touring. "Power skiing is my favourite kiiiiiiiiiiiiiind of skiing!" This course is not for the unfit, or for the beginning skier. However if you love nature, skiing, earning your thrills and taking responsibility for your own safety then I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

Steve, Australia

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.

Piotr

Favourite part of the trip was being in the mountains and having skiable terrain (for all levels) at your front door.  It was a positive experience and I would do it again.  Aspiring Guides are very professional, friendly and safe.

David, Australia, August 2017

My mates and I went on a single day backcountry tour in the Wye Saddle/Wye creek out the back of the Remarkables on 16 August 2017. It was 3 days after a storm that delivered 30cm of fresh snow. While the resort was tracked out days before, our guide took us to some stashes where we found some fantastic fresh turns. Some of my mates had not been in the backcountry before and the guide was very helpful in showing them how to use the Alpine Touring gear and skins. He also conducted a quick training session on avalanche safety gear. We had a truly fantasitc day with Andrea.

David T, Queensland, Australia

Really enjoyed the course with Aspiring Guides. We covered a lot of information in the prep evening, but it never felt rushed or too much to take in. Bronwyn, our guide for the course, was very helpful and allowed everyone time to ask questions and give our interpretation of what was being discussed. The field day at Cardrona was a great way to put the evening's theory into practice. Again we were given plenty of time and help to get to know and use the equipment and the rescue scenarios were informative and fun. This was a really enjoyable course and the knowledge I learned and shared with the great group of people who participated will surely be invaluable in my future ventures into the backcountry. Aspiring Guides and Bronwyn delivered above and beyond of what I expected.

Deb, Australia

I was looking for a challenging back country snowboarding opportunity for myself and my 12 year old son. It was a father and son trip so I wanted it to be memorable, fun, but also a big learning opportunity. Splitboarding was something neither of us had done.  The opportunity to stay at Robrosa Hut was ideal also. Day 2 was an absolutely beautiful day with great snow, total isolation, and the whole mountain to ourselves. The trip wouldn’t have been the same without our guide Jimmy's good nature, knowledge and professionalism. Ben and I now have a well embedded mantra of “what would Jimmy do” whenever decisions need to be made. The backcountry is a perfect metaphor for lifelong learning given the varying conditions on a daily basis. Jimmy was able to make that very clear to Ben in a very teachable way.

Michael, Australia

The course met my expectations and pushed me quite a bit beyond my existing experience & knowledge levels.  I felt completely confident & at ease at all times with our guide Andrea. I really enjoyed the  safety tutorials/classes (avalanche safety, snow anchor theory, skinning technique, steep ski descents), the practical tips & hints on a range of techniques & activities (eg ski crampon usage, belaying without a belay device), the awesome terrain & landscape, and Andrea's cooking. I was impressed by the calmly positive & friendly attitude of all the Aspiring Guides team I interacted with - no big egos or haughty manners!  Thanks for a great time, Andrea & everyone. You have a very slick, smooth service that really provides great value for $.

Kirk, Australia

Great extension on the shorter one day Avalanche Awareness Course. Going to different ski areas/ terrain provided new experiences/ observations. Anyone considering Avalanche Stage 1 needs to have completed this course. Great, excellent communication, skills, encouragement, fun.

Stephen, Wanaka, New Zealand

Positive ski mountaineering experience and beautiful glacier environment! Great experienced guide in Dan, super professional,  extremely hard working. Food was great and plentiful. 

David, California, USA

Thanks so much for such an awesome few days in the Pisa Range - remote location, amazing conditions, Dan, our guide, was super informative re snow conditions, safety and general mountain tips. Loved skiing a line and looking back up at it and then the relief of making it back to the top again - that satisfaction of getting some great lines after you have done all the hard work to get there!  And thanks for the big, hearty, warm meals.  Smooth and professional operation, amazing experience.


 

Poppy & Joel, Australia

Mark was full of great stories and advice. I really liked his practical approach to assessing snow conditions, reading maps and slopes etc.  He was always keen to chat about snow, mountains, judgements etc. Climbing up to the ridge of Remarkables with a strong NW wind and looking down at the slope thinking.. oh #$@!... but then working though our learnings with Tubbs to make an assessment and then actually committing to it was really rewarding... also learning more about skinning uphill and reading conditions. I feel more knowledgable, yet realistic that there's so much more to learn and get time in the mountains. There's so much to know and it's super interesting. Four days is just the tip of the iceberg, but it really supports everything else I know about the outdoors. It's great doing the back country skiing (of course) but learning all the time about the NZ mountain weather and snow just adds to the bigger picture. 
 

Nik, New Zealand

A relaxing getaway with an old mate combined with a cool lodge and back country skiing. Awesome slopes.  Staying at WhareKea Chalet was an amazing place with awesome facilities and luxury beds with a view of the milky way!  Back country ski touring with a guide in remote locations takes all the stress out of making decisions.

Murray, Hamilton, New Zealand

It was a wonderful learning experience. It was great to learning safe travel practices for glaciers,  ski the glaciers and experience the mountains of NZ.  Trip of a lifetime! It opened up a whole new world to me.

Aaron, USA

Perfect! In particular, the information on your website is very very good. I would even say that it sets the standard for any trip description and information. It allowed me to understand exactly what I was signing up for and prepare myself and my gear accordingly. I really appreciate that kind of information up front, allowing me to make an informed decision to go on the trip or not.

Bob Wigetman

It was perfect. Couldn’t speak highly enough about the guides and the trip. Top draw.

Bill, New Zealand

(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

MAD AS! 
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

Did not previously appreciate the risks and feel significantly more competent and aware in the back country now. Great course! Would recommend to anyone looking at doing more back country.
Thanks for a great 4 days!

Andy, New Zealand 2018

I would 100% recommend Aspiring Guides, it was a once in a lifetime trip for me. 
Our guide Dan made sure we got the most out of the conditions that were available to us and actually it meant we got to experience three different back country areas instead of just one so it worked out better than I even hoped for. Despite being the least experienced ski tourer in the group I felt comfortable and safe at all times.

 

Friyana, United Kingdom 2018

Yes, I would absolutely recommend this trip.  Great way to experience the beauty of New Zealand. This was the highlight of our 3 week trip to New Zealand.

Mitch, USA - Upper Wilkin Gillespie Pass Wild Walk


Everything has been super organised and the whole Aspiring team has been super helpful, definitely one of the most well designed and professional mountaineering training experience I have had. Beauty of this course is it can be tailor made for all levels, and the flexibility it offers.

Kerry, Hong Kong - 6 Day Private Instruction Course


Once again guys thanks for an awesome time! I achieved exactly what I set out to do and definitely came away with a sense of achievement. The climb was without a doubt a challenge, however not one that I felt was beyond my capability. Definitely many more NZ ascents to come in the future with Aspiring Guides. 

I had an awesome time on Aspiring and the walk out on the Bonar glacier over the Quaterdeck pass on to French Ridge Hut and down to Aspiring Hut through the west Matukituki Valley was the icing on the cake.

I highly recommend the walk out as I got see see a part of the NZ Alpine environment that I have never seen before.  I would do the walk out again in an heart beat, after another climb of-course.

Alistair, Australia - Aspiring Ascent

“exactly what I needed”

Ash, Australia 2018


(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 - Mountaineering Skills Course

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 - Winter Alpine Mountaineering Course

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