EXPEDITION
FOCUSED
TRAINING

Expedition Training Course

Learn crevasse rescue techniques on the Expedition Training Course
Snow camping skills are an important skill to learn for expedition climbing
Clmbr8

Big mountain training at a 'low' altitude. Learn the skills to climb expedition-style for your Seven Summits mission in New Zealand's Southern Alps.

The Mount Cook region is a perfect training and proving ground for mountaineers. Sir Edmund Hillary trained for his successful Everest and Antarctic expeditions here, and some of the world’s most successful climbers and guides began their climbing careers at Mount Cook.

Aoraki Mount Cook area offers Himalayan vertical scale, steep glaciers, and fast-changing weather. The benefit of training here is the high-altitude feel, without the dangers of extreme cold and lack of oxygen.

Our Expedition Course base camp is at a prime location, deep in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. We fly you in and out, to avoid heavy load carrying, and to maximise training time. Our expedition course guides are veterans of the expedition climbing world, with experience in the Himalayas, South America, Alaska, and Antarctica.

  • Led by veteran expedition guides
  • Tailored to match your goals and objectives
  • Suitable for aspirant Seven Summits climbers
  • Training available for individuals or groups

Climbing Ability

Climbing Ability

Any

Elevation

Elevation

2,000m/6,650f

Duration

Duration

6 days

Location

Location

Aoraki Mount Cook, NZ

ITINERARY
DAY 1

Planning. Set up. Fly in.

DAY 2

Camping Skills

DAY 3

Climbing and Mountaineering Skills 1

DAY 4

Climbing and Mountaineering Skills 2

DAY 5

Crevasse Rescue Day

DAY 6

Climbing and Mountaineering Skills 3

Sample Expedition Training Course Map

Departures and Pricing

Note: Dates are subject to change due to many factors out of our control
Start/End Pricing Book
Oct - Apr 2025 $10,495 NZD $
Oct - Apr 2025 $5,950 NZD $
Oct - Apr 2025 $4,450 NZD $
Oct - Apr 2025 $3,725 NZD $

Want to head straight to the big mountains? Check out the Himalayan Climbing Course

PREPARE

Fitness

The most important prerequisite is a high level of aerobic fitness, and the ability to carry a backpack. As we fly the course in and out of the mountains, extended heavy load carrying is usually not required - only when moving base camps.

Technical Experience

Previous alpine climbing or rock climbing experience is not required.

Skills Covered
  • Camp management: tent camping, and emergency shelter options
  • Fixed-line techniques and alpine self-contained rope craft
  • Basic crampon and ice axe use
  • Glacier travel and self-rescue
  • Sled fixing and towing
  • How to travel and climb safely in extreme, glaciated mountain terrain
  • Mountain weather and snow conditions analysis
  • Navigation
  • Decision-making and risk analysis at altitude
Learn how to rescue yourself and team mates on the Expedition Training Course
Why Adventure Consultants

The Adventure Consultants story evolved from the Southern Alps of New Zealand where large glaciated mountains forged our passion for high places. It is a legacy that still exists today through guided ascents and instruction programs. We work with the best guides in the country to bring you high-quality programs that introduce you to the best the country has to offer and we regularly partner with Alpine Guides (Aoraki) to provide professional guiding under the IFMGA qualification program.

Experience incredible glacier terrain on the Expedition Climbing Course
Inclusions

The price of your trip includes the following:

  • Professional NZMGA/IFMGA mountain guide
  • All meals including snacks and energy bars
  • Helicopter access and egress from the mountains
  • Mountain Hut fees (as required)
  • Local accommodation, as required
  • Free use of a range of technical equipment.
A climber departs in the early hours of the morning to climb a peak

A course that sets you up for all your future climbing endeavours.

GALLERY
Climbing through an ice tunnel

Become ONE with the ice!

A climber celebrates on the top of a peak in the New Zealand mountains, arms outstretched in elation.

A comprehensive course that includes reaching summits.

Frequently Asked Questions
Fitness & Training

Just how fit is 'fit enough'? Mountaineering is a demanding activity. The fitter you are the more you will enjoy your time with us. Unless you regularly climb, bushwalk/hike, and are used to long days carrying a pack, you will need to train for mountaineering.

Mountaineering is primarily an aerobic activity

Strength is important for lifting a pack, but it is more important to build up your aerobic fitness level and stamina for long climbing days. Aerobic fitness can only be improved over months - so start your training program now.

As you come close to the time for your climbing trip try to use a few weekends to load up with a 7-10 kg pack and walk all day (8 hours), up hills, if possible, to work on endurance.

Don’t underestimate how rigorous mountaineering can be. It is better to be over-prepared.

See our Fitness Training page for training tips and programs.

Summer Mountaineering Conditions

The summer climbing period extends from November to early-April. You must be prepared for a wide range of conditions, from very warm, to cold snowy days. As the summer season advances access on to climbing routes will change.

Summer Temperatures and Daylight Hours

  • Actual air temperatures may be 8°C, but can feel like 28°C due to reflected radiation.
  • Coolest period: November to mid-December, and March-April. Range -10°C to +10°C
  • Warmest period: January and February. Range -5°C to +15°C
  • Daylight hours: 05:00 to 21:00, with shorter days later in the season.

Changing Snow Conditions

During November and December access on to routes is usually easier, due to fewer crevasses. Expect fresh snow during storms. Your guide will place greater emphasis on avalanche awareness. Avalanche transceivers are normally carried.

The snowpack is deeper and "wetter". Conditions can be soft underfoot early in the season, especially in the afternoon.

From January onwards the snowpack will consolidate (shallower foot penetration). Crevasses are larger. Crevasse bridging is weakest. Less chance of snowfall. Rock fall hazard increases.

Late Season - March onwards: Conditions are typically "hard" underfoot. Crevassing is at its greatest extent. Night temperatures are dropping. Greater chance of snowfall.

Travel & Transport

For international visitors, Christchurch or Queenstown are the main entry points to the South Island, with the most public transport options. Christchurch has more direct flights.

Intercity Coaches
Intercity Coaches
provide direct daily services routes to Aoraki Mount Cook to and from Queenstown and Christchurch. Visit the Intercity website here. We recommend buying a FlexiPass to make considerable savings on your bus fare.

Cheeky Kiwi Travel

Get a shuttle directly to Mount Cook with Cheeky Kiwi Travel. They operate out of Christchurch and Queenstown.

If you have a mountaineering trip booked with us and are unable to coordinate transport from Twizel, please check in with us. We can help arrange transport from Twizel to Mt Cook.

Aircraft Access

In the remote mountains of New Zealand, there are no cable cars or roads to high elevations to provide easy access to the mountains. Walking into many mountain venues can use up to 2 days of your trip, across very rugged terrain.

To make the best use of your time many of our trips use aircraft access. When you arrive the scale, and nature of the terrain, will make the logic for flying obvious.

Flying access and egress is included in the cost of the Technical Mountaineering Course.

Walking out from your mountain venue is possible, but flying out is by far the more popular choice. Walking out may be beyond your fitness, especially at the end of a long trip. Conditions and weather may dictate that a flight out is the safer choice. Your guide will discuss these options with you.

Insurance

Once you have made your booking we strongly advise buying travel insurance, to cover you for unexpected cancellations, or other misadventures on your travels.

Travel insurance cancellation policies will protect you from losing the deposit for your trip if you have to cancel unexpectedly.

Insurance specifically for mountaineering activities is optional. New Zealand's Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) system extends to all visitors to New Zealand and includes cover in the event of an accident.

Any travel agent, or insurance broker (even your credit card provider) can assist with standard insurance, including insurance for trip cancellation.

The New Zealand Alpine Club can provide insurance coverage for their New Zealand and Australian members visiting NZ.

Practice pitched climbing skills on the Expedition Climbing Course

"AC offered a course which was perfectly suited to my skill level, abilities and ambition. I know AC's good reputation from personal encounters with previous clients. You have a solid and well earned reputation. Very professional with an air of being quite relaxed and easy going"

Chris Vincent, Australia
Time in the mountains always brings rewards

"I had previously utilised Adventure Consultants and other guiding companies but came back to AC as it is a most professional organisation"

Adam Rosen, Australia
Navigating glacier terrain on the Expedition Climbing Course

"My guide was very enthusiastic and appropriately professional. AC are very well organized and customer satisfaction is paramount"

Henry Van Brussel, United States
Ladder crossing on Island Peak summit day

Take your climbing to the next level and head to the Himalaya! Join an AC 6,000m peak expedition to climb Island Peak or the Three Peaks Nepal!

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