Learn contemporary mountaineering skills

Mountaineering Instruction Course

This course is designed to navigate your way towards safe and successful climbing practices for the high and glaciated mountains of New Zealand.

You don’t need to have climbed before - all you need is the desire to learn new skills in a truly spectacular environment!

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Difficulty Level Low ?
Fitness Level Low ?
Duration 7 days
Elevation 2,000M / 6,562FT
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Sunset gazing high in the mountains - Andy Cole

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Learn introductory ice climbing skills - Andy Cole

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Learn introductory mountaineering techniques - Guy Cotter

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Standing on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps - Guy Cotter

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Climbing high above the clouds - Guy Cotter

  • Overview

    • Learn contemporary mountaineering skills and glacier travel
    • Follow on with a guided ascent or Alpine Climbing Course
    • Includes flights in and out

    If you want to learn what alpine mountaineering is about whilst you learn the skills that will keep you safe and give your mountaineering career a solid foundation, then the MIC is ideal for you.

    We focus on the development of your skills at a pace that suits you and along the way you will consolidate those skills by climbing peaks.

    Your personable and highly motivated guides are very keen to see you progress and will introduce appropriate techniques towards your development while you are actually climbing mountains!

  • Course Dates

    Dates 2022/2023

    Course 1: October 6–12, 2022
    Course 2: October 2–26, 2022
    Course 3: November 3–9, 2022
    Course 4: November 2–17, 2022
    Course 5: December 1–7, 2022
    Course 6: December 15–21, 2022
    Course 7: December 29, 2022 to January 4, 2023
    Course 8: January 5–11, 2023
    Course 9: January 19–25, 2023
    Course 10: February 1–8, 2023
    Course 11: February 16–22, 2023
    Course 12: March 1–8, 2023
    Course 13: March 16–22, 2023
    Course 14: March 30 to April 5, 2023
    Course 15: April 13–19, 2023
    Course 16: April 27 to May 3, 2023

    Pricing Schedule 2022/2023

    The cost of the course is NZ$3,500 ex Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand.

  • Payment Conditions


    The price of your trip includes the following:

    • Guide fees
    • Hut fees
    • All meals and snack foods whilst on the trip
    • Group equipment such as ropes, tents and stoves
    • Ground transport ex departure location
    • Department of Conservation concession fees (37125-GUI)
    • 15% New Zealand Goods and Services Tax
    • Aircraft access and egress (see below)

    Aircraft Access

    Aircraft access alleviates long and tiring walks into the alpine region with heavy packs. It allows you to start the course fresh, gain more valuable instructional time and take advantage of fine weather periods. For this reason, we utilise helicopters or ski planes depending on availability and the region we operate in. The helicopter or ski-plane flight into the alpine region is included in the course fee.

    A bonus for this course is the inclusion of an egress flight in the course fee. We include an egress flight out from the mountains so your course spends the maximum amount of time above the snowline.

    Registration, Deposit & Balance Payments

    In order to confirm a guide and your trip, we require a completed Registration Form and a deposit of NZ$1,000.

    The balance of payment is then due 60 days prior to the start date.

    Please note: In order to reserve a guide we recommend that you book well in advance. This especially applies to the high season period (November through March).

    Payment Options

    All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:

    Bank: Bank of New Zealand
    For the account of: Adventure Consultants Limited
    Account number: 02 0673 0043443 00
    Account Type: NZ Dollars

    We can also accept your deposit and balance payment by credit card – Visa, Mastercard, Amex plus a 3% credit card payment fee.

    Cancellation & Refund Policy

    Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 60 days prior to your trip commencement date. An expedition member may then cancel his/her participation on the following basis:

    • Up to 60 days prior to the departure date a NZ$500 fee applies.
    • Inside 60 days of the departure date, we reserve the right to retain 50% of the full fee.
    • Inside 30 days of the departure date, we reserve the right to retain 75% of the full fee.
    • Inside 15 days of the departure date forfeits 100% of the full fee.

    Trip Cancellation Insurance

    We highly recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent – trip cancellation insurance is usually packaged together with your travel insurance and covers you for loss of deposits should you not be able to make the trip for personal reasons.

  • Course Notes

    MIC 2021 22 Trip Notes CoverThe Course Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Mountaineering Instruction Courses.

    You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:

    Mountaineering Instruction Course Notes 2021/22

    Our Guides

    NZMGA IFMGA LogoThe instructors on our New Zealand courses are all NZMGA/IFMGA qualified guides with many years experience, not only in pursuing their own climbing careers, but also in learning how to pass these skills on in an environment which is conducive to accelerated learning.

    Our focus is to pass on knowledge that will assist your development towards becoming a competent climber. Many courses focus primarily on techniques that are taught as skills in isolation yet we recognise that you need to learn those skills in context while you are actually climbing the mountain so you know where and when to utilise each technique learned.

    Success with the highest margin of care is always a hallmark of our approach; promoting the realisation that even extreme pursuits such as high altitude mountaineering can be undertaken safely.

    A founding principle at Adventure Consultants is to recognise the necessity of positive communication within the group to foster an open and friendly approach to communicating and reinforcing learning processes.

    Adventure Consultants employs only IFMGA or NZMGA qualified guides, the most advanced training and certification program internationally. In order to gain these qualifications guides must undergo rigorous training and assessment on climbing skills, instructional skills, avalanche training and assessment, wilderness first aid, rescue training and much more. The qualification takes around five years to attain and ensures you are getting a world-class professional service.

    Head Office Support Team

    Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.

    Suze KellySuze Kelly, General Manager

    Suze has been coordinating the office at AC headquarters since 1996 and was our Everest Base Camp Manager in 2000, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Much of the quality of our expeditions and the way we go about things here at AC is owed to the attention to detail which Suze applies in her role. Suze has skied and climbed in New Zealand all her life, including ascents of Mt Aspiring and Mt Cook and internationally she has climbed Island Peak, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Lhotse, Everest and Vinson.


    Staff Photo

    Your Health

    Our registration form requests that you advise us of any medical problems you may have and if you are on any medication. Any information you supply will be treated as confidential.

    Level of Experience Required

    The course is perfect for those who lead an active lifestyle and want to take full advantage of world class, professional instruction. Participants on this course should have a reasonable level of fitness.

    Difficulty Rating

    Each of our trips is individually rated according to its physical and technical difficulty, displayed in the icons towards the top of each trip page. You can click on the accompanying question mark for additional descriptions and the full run-down of our grading system is available on our Difficulty Ratings page.

    Preparing for Your Trip

    To make the most of your climbing experience we encourage you to work on your fitness prior to the course. A good level of fitness takes time and commitment and can only be achieved by either training hard or being constantly physically active. When training, it is recommended you carry a pack for long periods on hills and uneven terrain. Over time you should increase the weight the pack until you are comfortable with 15-20kg up and down hills and preferably off-trail. Your own level of enjoyment will be directly related to your level of fitness so it is up to you to ensure you make the best of your time on the course. See our Fitness Training Programs for information on how we can help you prepare for your course.



    We place emphasis on providing nutritious meals and a good supply of snack food throughout the trip.

    If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of registration. For special diets such as vegan and gluten/dairy free we will call you to discuss your needs and how this will work in the group cooking situation.

    If your dietary requirements are especially strict you are advised to bring a sufficient supply of your required food types with you to ensure you are provided for.


    Wanaka has a range of accommodation from backpackers, youth hostels, motels, and hotels to luxury lodges.

    We are happy to assist with your accommodation and bus transfer arrangements.

    Adventure Consultants will provide your accommodation while the course is running which is from 9.00am on Day 1 until 5.00pm on Day 7. When in the mountains you will stay in mountain huts with shared bunkrooms and basic facilities. There are no single rooms available. Some mountain nights will be spent in tents or bivvies where you will be more exposed to the elements but the final decision on this will be made by the guides after weighing up all the factors. For more information on New Zealand's mountain accommodation see our Alpine Huts page.

    For overnights in Fox Glacier and Aoraki Mount Cook villages you will be accommodated in dormitory style Alpine Club huts and in Wanaka in dormitory style backpackers with shared bathroom facilities. You may decide to upgrade to single accommodations in Wanaka at your own expense, should you require.

    Clothing & Equipment

    Climbing in the Southern Alps requires good personal gear due to the potential weather conditions. Our focus is on having the essential clothing and equipment, whilst keeping pack weights as light as possible for your comfort and ease of travel.

    The course equipment list is a guideline to your equipment requirements. Your guide will go through an equipment checklist with you on the morning of day one of the course. The checklist will vary subject to seasonal weather and route conditions. All group equipment including ropes and stoves will be organised by your guide.

    Adventure Consultants can help with all your equipment needs prior to your trip departing. We have a dedicated equipment coordinator that can answer any questions you may have, or you can also read the following equipment notes which are designed to help you when making decisions about which equipment best suits your personal needs.

    We carry a good range of modern rental equipment. If you will be renting equipment from us please advise your requirements in advance to ensure correct sizing and availability. In addition, our extensive retail catalogue and gear store provide the added service of purchasing your clothing and equipment needs directly from us. We are regularly outfitting climbers from head to toe to help them prepare for their course, ascent or trek! We also have a range of products available at our headquarters for any last minute purchases on the day of departure.

    We can offer secure storage at our office for your luggage and valuables during the trip.

    Communication & Messages

    Our guides are in radio/cell/sat phone communication with our operations base and Department of Conservation headquarters throughout the trip. This assists us with schedule and weather forecast updates, helicopter coordination and safety back up. Urgent messages can be relayed via our office to the field if required. Each course carries a locator beacon for additional security.


    We commence this trip from our base in Wanaka. The nearest airport is located in Queenstown, approximately one hour's drive away. Air New Zealand and Jetstar airlines provide daily services to Queenstown from Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington. There are also direct international flights from most major Australian cities.

    A shuttle service operates several times daily between Queenstown and Wanaka (from $35 each way), see https://www.ritchies.co.nz/wanaka. We are happy to assist with your transfer arrangements.

    Bus services also operate daily between Christchurch and Wanaka (approximately 6 hours' travel time).

    Return ground transport from Wanaka to the course venue is included in the course fee.

    Guide Books & Maps

    Included in your course fee is a complimentary copy of ‘A Climbers Guide to New Zealand Mountaineering Techniques’. Written by Adventure Consultants guides Guy Cotter, Dean Staples and Mark Sedon, the ‘ACG’ was published specifically as reference material which you will find useful before, during, and long after your course has finished.

    Aoraki Tai Poutini - A Guide for Mountaineers by Rob Frost and The Mount Aspiring Region - by Allan Uren and Mark Watson offer good insight into to the variety of peaks and routes in these respective areas.

    It is useful to have your own map for navigation exercises, and we can advise you of the relevant 1:50,000 topographic maps required.

    The training area venue for your Mountaineering Instruction Course will generally only be decided just prior to the course commencement date to ensure the most favourable area is utilised.

    The above books and maps can be purchased from our gear store in Wanaka.

  • Curriculum

    We operate our courses in the Mt Aspiring, Mt Cook or Westland National Parks.

    Being based in Wanaka gives us more flexibility than any other location in the Southern Alps to be able to travel directly to the area that is best for running the course.

    Operators based in Mt Cook are often shut down by weather for extended periods yet due to Wanaka’s central proximity to all the regions, we have the ability to anticipate these weather systems and will travel to the fine-weather side of the mountain range.

    We can often get into the mountains several days before it clears on the windward aspects. Prior to committing to a region we consider factors such as: weather and snow conditions, hut occupancy rates, and our knowledge of where to find the best climbing conditions at the time.

    The course will commence at our Wanaka office at 9.00am on Day 1 and finish around 5pm on day 7.

    Our objective is to pass on the skills, which have made us successful in our own climbing careers. The most important attributes being:

    • Current techniques for mountaineering
    • A climbing standard appropriate to the objective
    • Attuned mountain awareness
    • Sound judgement of your own abilities
    • Solid planning and preparation skills
    • The basis of good decision making

    We endeavour to cover the following skills during the course; however factors such as weather, your fitness and climbing conditions may dictate that some skills are not covered in full.

    • Fundamental snow and ice craft skills
    • Rope skills applicable to alpine climbing
    • Glacier travel and self rescue skills
    • Weather analysis
    • Route finding and navigation

    At the end of the course, participants should have the skills and confidence to travel in glaciated terrain. You will have the technical ability and know-how to attempt major mountains by their easier routes in New Zealand and trekking peaks in the Himalayas. The program will also set you up with sufficient prowess to be guided on some technically difficult ascents.

    Experiential learning is a major factor in learning how to be a competent mountaineer and therefore we spend as much time as possible in the mountains actually climbing peaks whilst developing skills. Prior to going into the mountains we conduct an equipment check then work on rope techniques, knots and belaying. We will utilise helicopters or ski planes to fly into the high mountains to enable us to get to the high glaciers and huts. The timing of when we enter the mountains depends on the weather conditions at the time and we make every effort to get into the mountains as soon as we can to maximise your time in the high peaks.

    When we are in the mountains we usually establish ourselves in a hut or camp then get on with the rest of the program. Initially you will learn how to travel safely in the mountains and on glaciated terrain. Often this will be on the way to a non-technical climbing route that you can then climb while your guide introduces you to skills applicable to the terrain you are on. Throughout the course, the guides will try to vary the terrain to give you variety and allow you to learn the techniques specific to snow, ice and rock and the aim is to increase the intensity of the program at your pace.

    Alpine climbing can involve long days with early starts in order to gain a summit, and descend before nightfall. There are times when the weather may be rough and there can be periods of discomfort. We manage this through consultation with the group members and our objectives are dictated by the strength and motivation of the group as a whole.

    You may have the opportunity to develop additional skills before the course commences. Rope skills can be learned through local alpine clubs, and previous rock or alpine climbing experience will allow you to gain even more from the course.

    Weather plays a major factor in any mountain experience and New Zealand's Southern Alps get their share. We intend to run the course to schedule, however weather influences may require us to adjust the program accordingly. Weather in itself is an important lesson for the group in versatility, and selection of the appropriate objective, based on the present and forecasted weather conditions.

    The following is a typical outline for the Mountaineering Instruction Course (MIC) based on a previous course in the Westland region at the head of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers where the highest concentration of New Zealand’s tallest mountains are located. The guide, Steve, instructed four participants on an adventurous week. Following are diary excerpts written after the trip:

    1 We met at the Adventure Consultants office at 9.00am and were introduced to the other course participants and our guide, Steve who briefed us on the course itinerary and other details. We discussed, and then organised our personal and group equipment. Steve sorted out gear that we needed to rent and there was time to make a couple of last minute purchases in town. I made a mental note of what Steve told us 'It's very important to ration food effectively, too much and your packs become overly heavy, too little and you starve!' Steve showed us the preferred method for tying-in and basic rope skills that we would use when we reached the glacier so we spent some time on that, then we sat down to have Steve explain the weather forecast. He told us we would not be flying into the mountains today as planned because a cold front was passing over and the helicopters could not fly today. He said it looked like the following morning would be fine. As an alternative we headed out to the local rock climbing area to learn belaying and abseiling skills, and learn some rock climbing skills. I’d rock climbed on climbing walls before but not on real rock so it was fun making the transition to the ‘real thing!’ What I did notice was the shoes with the sticky soles made standing on small holds much easier and enabled me to use friction rather than edging all the time. The other course members were new to rock climbing and progressed really quickly as Steve demonstrated how to move properly on rock and what technique to use for the different type of moves we had to make. At the end of the session, we returned to Wanaka for dinner and a talk about what would happen the next day. It seemed the weather was going to be best up the west coast thus we packed all our kit so we’d be able to get away early in the morning.

    We met at 8am, loaded all our gear into the van and drove for 3 hours to Fox Glacier. The plan is to fly by helicopter to Centennial Hut at 2400m on the Franz Josef Glacier. Cool, this was going to be my first ride in a helicopter!

    We had some lunch and changed into our mountain gear, after all this time getting ready for this trip it was good to test it out in the real environment. At the helipad, we are introduced to the pilot and given a helicopter safety briefing before taking off. We buzzed over Fox village then had an amazing flight over the rainforest and up to the glaciers that we flew over (for what seemed like a long way!) to get to the hut. Huge peaks were all around us and I couldn’t believe how small the hut looked as we approached. This is outrageous terrain! Glaciers flowed everywhere all broken up in places and heavily crevassed, yet in other places it was all smooth. I wondered how we were going to be able to make our way around and work out where to go!

    When we had landed Steve got us to get out of the helicopter and crouch on the snow while he unpacked the gear. Soon the helicopter pilot waved and left us to an increasing silence. Wow! I was looking down across the glacier directly at the Tasman Sea that seemed really close and Steve said it is only 20km away.

    We sat around for a while taking it all in and Steve told us the names of all the peaks and what all the features were around us. I now know the difference between a crevasse and a bergschrund - I hope that comes up in a game of Trivial Pursuits some time!

    We carried our gear to the hut and moved inside. It’s small and basic but big enough to shelter from the weather and fits about 14 people at a squeeze. There was another group of 4 people there so there wasn’t an issue with space, but Steve said sometimes it gets very busy so we were quite lucky. We dressed in our gear and took our equipment with us outside to begin our lessons. I could see there was no way we could just get out there and go climbing without learning how to be safe on the glaciers.

    We learnt how to walk properly on snow, then how to use crampons and ice axes. Then we put on the ropes, set up for glacier travel and went for a walk for a couple of hours to learn how to travel safely without falling into a crevasse. The sun was setting so we went back to the hut and helped Steve prepare dinner which ended up being a really nice meal. And I’d thought I might end up eating dehydrated food all week!


    Steve got up at 6.30am, started the stoves and soon we had a brew on. Apparently we have to learn how to do it ourselves so we can prepare and cook tonight. A quick breakfast followed and when the caffeine levels were achieved, we roped up and got our crampons on (wow, the snow had got so hard overnight!).

    We crunched our way downhill initially and stopped to do some self arrest on a smooth face of snow. Self arrest is the art of stopping yourself if you slip, by throwing the pick of the ice axe into the snow and coming to a halt. We did that for an hour until we were experts! Then we tromped across the glacier towards a peak on the edge of the Davis snowfield called Mt Von Bulow. Not much of a climb up really but an opportunity for us to learn how to use snow stakes and belay on snow, a technique we can use for steeper climbs now we’ve learnt how to do it on low angled terrain. The tramp back across the glacier was extremely hot in the afternoon sun and we retuned to the hut tired yet happy with the day. And yes, we did learn how to use the stoves and make dinner! We spent an hour and a half that night learning navigation techniques and made a navigation plan for an ascent of Aurora next day.


    We packed up early full of anticipation for the day ahead. After all, we’ve already learnt a lot of the skills we need to safely do the climb (I just hope we don’t go into any crevasses as we’ve not learned how to get someone out yet!) The trip across the glacier to the base of the mountain didn’t take long and soon we were pitching up the slope putting in snow anchors and belaying each other. Arriving at the top was fun and we did some rappels off snow anchors on the way down (even though we could have climbed down as it wasn’t so steep) then Steve came down after and brought our snow stakes back to us.

    We had lunch on the glacier then Steve taught us assisted hoist crevasse rescue, something I realised I’d need a lot more time to perfect before I could consider myself proficient. It was good for me to realise that prevention is better than cure and, on the whole (as explained by Steve), good technique and route finding prevents the need for us to perform crevasse rescue by not going in them in the first place!

    The weather is changing slowly but surely, high clouds are dancing across the sky and lower level grey clouds are billowing onto the glacier towards us. I realise we’ve been pretty fortunate but our forecast last night said things were getting worse (‘crapping out’ was Steve’s official interpretation!).

    The climb back up to the hut is getting tiring. I was pleased to get there just as the sleet started coming at us and luckily I didn’t get too wet. Dinner was consumed with a ‘gusto’ that only comes about when one is truly famished. We listened to the forecast then Steve taught us some weather theory so I began to get a better appreciation for how to read a weather map and how to ‘read’ the weather. This would help a lot when I was planning my own mountain trips in future.


    I must say I wasn’t upset when we awoke to the sound of rain lashing the hut, my body needed a rest so I rolled over and slept a bit longer, luckily so did everyone else! Finally Steve got up and got a brew on and we had a late breakfast. With no chance of going out in this weather, so we did some more rope work and learnt how to prussic up and down ropes. We followed up by putting more time into getting our assisted hoist crevasse extraction technique sorted. I enjoyed an equipment lecture from Steve that was very comprehensive and we had lots of cups of tea and snacks during the day.


    More bad weather today as the storm hadn’t moved off. The forecast said it would turn to the south today and get colder and fine up. We had a lecture on trip planning and preparation and Steve talked about his Himalayan climbing exploits and what it was like to climb Everest, a climb he’d done as a guide with AC back in 2006. I don’t see that on my horizon and feel like I have a long way to go but a couple of the guys seemed interested in doing that in future. Toasted sandwiches were the highlight of the day and after lunch we started packing up to hike out towards the Fox Glacier for the night where we’d planned to bivvy out. It’s amazing how heavy the packs feel when all the sleeping bags, food and climbing gear are loaded into them so we were a little slow across the glacier that afternoon. We walked for two and a half hours across the Davis snowfield and dropped onto the Fox Glacier below Mt Von Bulow that we’d climbed a couple of days before. From there we trudged down the glacier to Chancellor Dome. The plan was for us to bivvy out which I found out meant to just lay a mat out on the snow and lie down on it to sleep! We cooked a simple pasta meal on the stoves and watched the snow sparkle as it froze. A cold wind blew in the early hours and I had to pull the hood of my bivvy bag over me to stop the snow blowing in. Yuk!


    It wasn’t easy getting up but there was no point in sticking around, so we hurriedly packed up and descended in a couple of hours to Chancellor Hut. Steve arranged for a helicopter pick-up and soon we were winging our way down to the Fox Glacier village.

    We managed a shower followed by lunch then hit the road back to Wanaka again where we sorted out the gear we’d used. Steve took us through a debrief where we could chat about our experiences of the week and get ideas about what progression would be appropriate for our next steps.

    A few of us decided to go downtown for a meal and social evening, and to share plans for future adventures!

  • Add Ons

    201911 XP21746Special occasion? Celebration? Staff function? Or just looking for something deliciously different? Our gourmet catered Hike & Dine Treks are exactly that! Fly into our First Tracks Geo Dome Camp where you'll head out for guided hike taking in spectacular views of the nearby Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, before returning to the Domes for lunch prepared by our experienced professional chef. Create unforgettable memories wining and dining in a location quite unlike any other.

    Return helicopter flights included, prices tailored to your group, contact us for further details and menu options.

    Wanaka has some of the most relaxing and beautiful accommodation in New Zealand. Let your friendly liaison know if you would like to discover some of the potential options that Wanaka has to offer.

    IMG 00170Take a private transfer between Queenstown Airport and Wanaka in a Jaguar F-Pace S.

    Available any time of the day or week, the service is personalised and includes an airport meet and greet at the gate.

    A Frankton shopping stop can be included in this service, as can a brief Wanaka orientation tour upon arrival.

    Each transfer can be tailor-made to meet your needs and transport can be included for up to 4 passengers.

    Please see Wanaka Chauffeured for more information.

    (Photo: Wanaka Chauffeured)

    Wild Wire - Our top pick!

    Experience a via ferrata (iron rung) climb on soaring waterfall whilst in Wanaka. Wild Wire is a truly great guided day out climbing a private via ferrata at Twin Falls in the Matukituki Valley. A safe and fun adventure activity for all ages.

    Scenic Flights

    In Wanaka we are surrounded by a myriad of lakes and mountain ranges as well as South Westland and Fiordland National Park, with the world famous Milford Sound. Seeing such sights from above by helicopter or plane is a must whilst visiting the South Island. Talk to our office about booking a flight.

    Queenstown Rafting

    Feel the spray on your face and adrenaline through your body as you shoot through the rapids on one of Queenstown Rafting's numerous options, from short half day trips to three day wilderness experiences, there is something for everyone.

    Wanaka Paragliding

    Experience paragliding with Wanaka Paragliding, New Zealand's most Scenic Tandem Flight with lake and mountain views across the stunning Matukituki Valley. On a clear day enjoy spectacular views of Mt Aspiring, Lake Wanaka, Roy's Peak and the surrounding mountains.

    Bike and Boat Tour

    Enjoy a fun and adventurous half day boat and bike tour which combines a scenic lake cruise on the pristine Lake Wanaka with a mountain bike tour skirting the lakeshore with our friends at Wanaka Bike Guides.

    Wanaka Wine Tours

    Discover the scenery, history, food and wine of Wanaka and Central Otago with Wanaka Wine Tours. Catering to all, from complete wine novices to dedicated wine connoisseurs, their explorations of the local vineyards are a delight to the senses!

    Bungy Jumping / Canyon Swing

    Bungy… the quintessential New Zealand activity that speaks for itself. And Canyon Swing! Let us organise this for you after your trip with us and take the hassle out of it. Talk to our staff about it today!


    Canyoning adventures are a journey unlike any other. Get in touch with a special natural world and see beauty such as you’ve only dreamed of… From the raw power of strong waterfalls to the tranquillity of deep, forested pools, from sculptural rockscapes to glowing green moss droplets, you will be immersed in a world you never knew existed.

    Fiordland Helicopter Flight, Cruise or Remote Scuba Dive

    Take an incredible scenic helicopter flight through Fiordland National Park, a listed World Heritage Area, where you will land on a private boat in the very remote Dusky Sound. Enjoy a cruise of the Sounds and if you're feeling adventurous then don your dive gear and head underwater for a phenomenal dive in the unique underwater world that Fiordland has to offer. Feast on an amazing lunch of fresh seafood, before heading back to civilisation. Truly an experience not to be forgotten.

    Rock Climbing

    After your course you could add-on a multi-pitch single day 1:1 ascent with your guide. Depending on your skill level, there is a range of excellent options for rock climbing in the region. This is a superb way to consolidate the skills that you learnt, and an opportunity to feel the real exposure of multi-pitch climbing.

    Kosciuszko 2021 22 CoverClimb Kosciuszko

    While you are in New Zealand, you could pop over to Australia to climb one of the Seven Summits, Kosciuszko the highest mountain in Australasia. Let us take the hassle out of the logistics and organise everything for you. It is a fantastic country and a really fun, non-technical, adventure. Contact our office for a detailed quote.

    Have a camera man join your course or ascent and document the entire thing! Choose from a variety of options for different budgets. You could have a full colour book and short film, or a full documentary for television. Your trip is the trip of a lifetime; why not keep it to show your friends and family. Contact us or see our specialty Film & Photo Services page for more information.

    Let us take the hassle out of buying new gear. We can sort all of your expedition equipment requirements for you from head to toe with specific personal purchases that will leave you with all of the best gear for use on the mountain. Contact us or see our specialty Gear Store page for more information.

    Your friends or family may wish to join you on your holiday but don't like the idea of actually climbing a mountain. Let us know if this is the situation and we will be able to put together an itinerary that keeps them busy while you are up high. There are so many wonderful things to do, so have a chat with us and we will put together the perfect programme.

  • Travel Insurance

    Finding the right travel and rescue insurance for your trekking and mountaineering adventures can be tricky! Rest assured when you book with the expedition specialists here at Adventure Consultants we'll help by sending through advice on what you'll need, including:

    • Travel insurance including trip interruption and cancellation cover
    • Medical Evacuation and Rescue Insurance

    For further information check out our Travel and Rescue Insurance page or contact us.

  • FAQ

    • Contact Us

      The following Frequently Asked Questions answers serve as a helpful guideline for the Adventure Consultants New Zealand Guided Ascents, Courses and Treks. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!

      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • Choosing a Provider

      How long have Adventure Consultants been in operation?
      Adventure Consultants commenced operations in 1990 and has been guiding internationally ever since. You can read the full story of the company on the AC History page. The New Zealand guiding operation for Adventure Consultants under CEO Guy Cotter’s leadership was established after 1996 and quickly propelled AC to become New Zealand’s largest guiding operation within a few years.

      A few outfitters claim to have the same level of experience and prestige as Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you the first choice for your climbers?
      As a New Zealand company leading clients to the summit of Mount Everest, we are renowned for our expertise at high altitude and the expansive logistics that are necessary to be able to be extraordinarily successful guiding in such extreme environments. This ‘top down’ approach is applied to all our planning and processes and we are proud to apply this service and level of detail to each and every trip we operate. We maintain such high standards by focusing on quality and by attracting the best guiding and headquarters administration staff in the business.

    • Food, Accommodation & Facilities

      What showers and washing (clothes) will be available?
      At our Wye Creek Camp and standard New Zealand alpine huts, there are no showers or clothes washing facilities. On our Luxury Backcountry Trekking trip, Whare Kea Chalet does enjoy hot shower facilities. The standard alpine huts and AC Base Camps have a small supply of fresh water for a basic wash cloth refresher and/or wet-wipes can be handy for a tidy up during your hut or camp stay.

      What food will be available?
      During your trip or course, we will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks and ample hot and cold drinks to keep you well-nourished and hydrated. We can cater for a variety of diets and with the convenience of flying in and out of the mountains, we are able to provide a good variety of fresh goods, protein sources and produce.

      What is the food like?
      All of our NZ guides are proficient cooks who aim to prepare high-quality popular dishes that are filling and nutritious. Please indicate any special dietary requirements on your application form, so that we can take this into consideration when planning.

      What are the NZ Mountain huts like? Can I have my own room?
      NZ offers some fantastic huts in amazing locations and most often these provide dormitory style bunk rooms and communal kitchens. Toilets are 'long drops' and many are famous for their views! Expect to share the huts with other like-minded climbers. Read more on our New Zealand Alpine Huts page.

    • Travel

      Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
      With an early start on Day 1, we do ask that you arrive at least one day prior to your trip start. This will allow you to get settled in and organized, and also provides some leeway in case of delays or lost baggage. This also means that you start your trip well-rested and ready to get into the mountains. You are welcome to arrive several days early or stay for extra nights at the end, and we are happy to assist with accommodation bookings and/or travel advice.

      When should I book my ticket?
      If you are joining a group course we generally ask you to wait until 60 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights then ensure you can make changes to your tickets or you run the risk of losing your ticket if we do have to cancel the trip.

      If you are joining us for a 1:1 course or ascent, or with a group of friends then you are welcome to book your tickets as soon as you have your trip dates confirmed.

      Can I get a cheap ticket online?
      The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket. Therefore, we highly recommend using a travel agent.

      Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
      The majority of our NZ trips start at the Adventure Consultants head office. The exceptions are our Wye Creek ice climbing trips, which convene at the Heliworks Hangar, Queenstown Airport, Tex Smith Lane, Queenstown, and our 1-Day Summer and Winter Climbing Skills Instruction courses that start either at our office, or meet at the bottom of the Remarkables Ski Area road.

      Our summer trips/courses start at 9:00am and winter trips and courses start at 8:30am. We can easily arrange for your guide to come pick you up from your accommodation and your Client Liaison will be happy to assist with booking airport transfers.

      What if I am arriving early or departing late?
      Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for local attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans.

    • Clothing & Equipment

      Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
      Yes, once your booking form and deposit have been received, we will send you out a specific gear and equipment checklist along with additional equipment notes, which will provide a description, example and recommendations for each item required.

      Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
      Yes, all of the items on the list (except those marked optional) are necessary for mountaineering in New Zealand. Due to the variable weather and conditions in the New Zealand Mountains some of the listed items may or may not be utilised on your trip and your guide will discuss this with you during your gear check on arrival.

      How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be?
      A sleeping bag rated up to 3-seasons or better (approx -5˚C and containing anything from 550gms–750gms down fill) is ideal for New Zealand summer mountaineering conditions. For winter courses and ascents bring a bag rated as 4-seasons or 700g+ down fill (approximately -5˚C to -10˚C).

      We suggest buying a sleeping bag big enough to allow you to wear some clothes in if it is especially cold. Sleeping in a warm hat can greatly improve a bag's warmth.

      How much weight will we carry?
      Once we arrive at our alpine base we will be able to leave most of our gear and only carry what is required for each day. This is all course/ascent dependent, but you will need to be able to carry a day pack with warm clothes, water, snacks, sun block, camera and whatever else you need for the day plus a share of group climbing equipment. Generally, it will be a medium weight of approximately 5 to 10kgs (10 to 20lbs). You need to be prepared to carry a full pack of about 20kg for trips and/or courses that finish with a walk out of the mountains, and for advanced trips and/or courses such as our Alpine Expedition Course, where hut to hut traverses may be possible as well as overnights outside of the alpine huts.

      What first aid supplies will be available on the trip?
      All our guides carry a full first aid kit to deal with any medical emergency on the trip. You need to bring any medications you regularly use (don’t forget to tell us about them), plus some extras. Also, bring a small first aid kit including a blister kit and mild pain relief medication.

    • Guide & Team Members

      How many guides will be assigned to our group?
      You will find the trip ratio in the 'Trip/Course Notes' section above. Generally, our group scheduled courses are guided at a maximum ratio of 1:4, whereas guided ascents are at a 1:1 ratio. Depending on your experience and objectives Private Instruction Courses operate at a ratio of between 1:1 and 1:4, and Ascents Weeks at 1:1 or 1:2.

      Who goes on your trips?
      Our climbers and ski tourers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels. We provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts, from those seeking skill development to those looking for assistance in reaching the world's highest mountains. We love what we do and we look forward to assisting you with whatever mountain adventure you’re dreaming up.

    • Health & Fitness

      What kind of physical condition should I be in for my trip or course?
      We encourage you to work on your fitness prior to your course/ascent. When training, it is recommended you carry a pack for long periods on hills and uneven terrain. Over time, increase the pack weight until you are comfortable with 15-20kg. Gym training, swimming, running and cycling also add to your base fitness and are a great addition to a pack training program.

      Arriving fit and prepared for your trip is an essential key to a successful and enjoyable time. Here at Adventure Consultants, we have partnered with the experts at Uphill Athlete to create scientifically sound training plans designed by two professional coaches and leading mountaineers. Together we provide a range of training programs designed specifically for mountaineering, as well as one on one online coaching options. Check out our programs at Training Peaks or see our Fitness Training page for more information.

      How do I know this is the right trip for me?
      We offer trips to suit all levels of ability and ambition, from your first mountain experience to extreme ascents and everything in between. To help you navigate the choices available, our trips are graded by both the level of physical exertion and the level of skill required, allowing you to find your perfect expedition match. These ratings are displayed in the icons at the top of each expedition page, with a further explanation available by clicking on the accompanying question mark. A full run-down of the categories can be found on our Difficulty Ratings page and our team is more than happy to discuss your experience to find the right trip for you.

    • Communication & Electronic Devices

      Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
      Yes, our guides take satellite phones on our NZ ascents/courses and you are welcome to use these at a cost of US$4 per minute. In some huts and camps, you will be able to get cell phone coverage, but please do not depend on this.

      I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
      The best place to reach a loved one is through our office, as we can pass on messages when the guide calls in with updates.

      Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc. available throughout the course/ascent?
      We highly recommend fully charging your phones and cameras before heading into the New Zealand Mountains. Once at the huts and camps, there are no charging facilities. We recommend that you bring a camera that uses standard batteries and it’s a good idea to bring some spare batteries as a backup.

    • Weather Forecasts

      Which weather reporting service do you use?
      On the days leading up to your trip, your guide will be looking closely at the weather and we utilise a variety of websites as well as being lucky enough to receive updates from landowners, the Department of Conservation and others already in the mountains. Once in the mountains, your guide will contact our office on a regular basis via satphone to receive weather updates and any changes to the perceived weather pattern for the week.

    • Adverse Weather & Conditions

      What happens if the weather is bad during my trip?
      Access into the New Zealand high mountains is always weather dependent and we are used to working around it. Your guide, along with our operations team closely monitor local weather conditions to ensure that every trip has the best possible outcome, for some of our trips, such as instruction courses this means that we often won’t make decisions on course location until the days leading up to departure.

      From time to time adverse weather can delay or prevent your trip from accessing the high mountains, if this happens your guide will endeavor to choose alternate venues for your chosen activity, and continue with instruction and skills development, whether it be at the local rock crag, on the lower reaches of one of our glaciers, or at an alternate mountainous venue experiencing more favourable weather conditions at the time.

      In such cases refunds will not be given, and unused trip expenses, such as helicopter fees, will be held in credit for you for a future trip.

      What happens if conditions on the mountain aren’t ideal?
      The mountains are a dynamic landscape-snow, ice and glacial conditions are constantly changing and this means that access and routes on some mountains aren’t always open and safe. If your guide considers mountain conditions too dangerous during your trip they will suggest an alternative programme that best fits with your skill level so that you can still make the most of your time in the hills!

      In such cases refunds will not be given, and unused trip expenses, such as helicopter fees, will be held in credit for you for a future trip.

    • Insurance

      What insurance do I need to get?
      We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation insurance and travel insurance to protect yourself in case of injury, mishap or cancellation prior to/or whilst on our trips. The New Zealand Alpine Club offers insurance options for Australian and New Zealand residents, and your client liaison will send you more details on this option.

      While our number one focus is on safety and our track record supports this, the mountains do have hazards and there is always the potential for mishap.

      Who do you recommend for insurance?
      Coverage varies based on your nationality and the trip that you are taking with us. When you have booked on for a trip with us we will send you information on various insurance options which will serve as a good starting point for obtaining the best coverage available for yourself.

      What is trip cancellation insurance?
      Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips and courses. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip, then we will refund your fees paid. However, if you have to cancel your trip at the last minute trip cancellation insurance will cover your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred in the lead up to your trip.

    • Fees & Payments

      Can I pay by credit card?
      Yes we have a secure online credit card payment service using Payment Express. A 3% credit card payment service fee is added to all transactions. We also accept payment by bank wire transfer and please seem further details in the 'Payment Conditions' sections above.

      What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
      Each trip page on the website has a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included in the trip. Please see the 'Payment Conditions' and 'Trip Notes' sections above. International airfares are not included in the trip price however, we recommend excellent travel agents should you require help with arranging your international airfare.

      Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
      We are proud to be leaders in the industry offering a variety of courses, trips, treks, and expeditions worldwide. We base our prices on the high level of operation and services we provide throughout the entire trip experience with us. Some of the things that set us apart are our internationally qualified guides, many of whom are world-renowned, our partnerships with proven dependable local operators, our small group sizes which provide for safe client-to-guide ratios, high-quality equipment, and extensive pre-trip support, plus all those extra services along the way that help to make your experience with us extraordinary.

      How do I sign up for a trip?
      The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to contact our office or complete our online booking form (click 'Book Now' below). Your deposit can be submitted by bank transfer (please see 'Payment Details' in the 'Payment Conditions' section above) or via our secure online payment system.

      NZ: +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST + 19 hours)

    • Photography

      I love the photographs in your brochure and on your website, are they for sale?
      Yes, our images are available for licensing or purchase. Please contact our office for more information.

    • Employment

      I want to become a mountain guide, where do I start?
      Those with limited experience generally start by taking an alpine climbing course and then go out and climb for a few years. You generally should have at least 5 years of climbing and/or teaching/guiding experience. You need avalanche and medical training and then you can apply to do an NZ Mountain Guides Course or the equivalent in your country, aligned with the IFMGA.

      Please see Adventure Consultants Mountain Guide Scholarships on our Career Opportunities page and check the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association for more information.

Book Now

AEC 2011 Mark Sedon 37

Thank you so much for an incredible experience. I have learnt so much and it is something I will continue to build on. I will see you guys soon!!
Mountaineering Instruction Course, 2017

Ben Smith

Very well run and professional as well. Instructors were excellent and connect well with the group.
Alpine Climbing Course 2017

Steve Massone

Excellent course, really good value and huge amounts of info given to us by the guide. Course was tailored well depending on our experience.
Alpine Climbing Course, 2017

Emma McCahill
Steve Moffat dude climbing

The AC office were very responsive, good at prompting the next step required with clear and concise information that minimised any miscommunication. I have a high level on confidence in that AC have your best interest in every decision made!
Mt Aspiring, 2016

Sharon Camac

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