Mountaineering in New Zealand

I just returned from my long anticipated mountaineering trip to New Zealand, where I spent four weeks tramping and climbing in the Mt. Cook area. I initally took a Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC) with Alpine Guides, an excellent 10 day course on mountaineering technique, which included nights spent in snow caves, falling into crevasses (not intentionally I might add), climbing peaks and putting on several kilos from eating so much. If you’re interested in getting into the highly addictive sport of mountaineering, I can highly recommend this course. After the TMC I hired a guide for a week to attempt New Zealands highest peak, Mt. Cook (3754m). Unfortunately the expedition was unsuccessful due to unsafe snow conditions. By moonlight and headtorch we climbed about half-way up the mountain, via the infamous Linda Glacier, only to find ourselves on extremely high-risk avalanche terrain, from where we could not safely proceed. Bad luck I know, but that’s all part and parcel of mountaineering. We also spent a couple of days rock-climbing in the Lake Wanaka area, which was also great fun. As much fun as mountaineering is, it’s about as hard on the pocket as recreation can get. So before you take it up, ask yourself if you’re really willing to be perpetually broke. Personally, I wonder whether I should have taken up knitting instead. I know it would have made my mother happier.
Ice climbing

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