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5 day guided climbing expedition to Mt Aspiring, the Matterhorn of the South.

Queenstown Mountain Guides Mount Aspiring climb & guided ascent is a 5 day mountaineering expedition. Our Mount Aspiring climb is based from Colin Todd Hut on the Bonar glacier at 1800m. 

Mount Aspiring is the highest mountain outside of the Mt Cook national park at 3033m and is a well known and classic New Zealand mountain. Mt Aspiring is often referred to as the “Matterhorn” of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

The Mt Aspiring climb & guided ascent by the North West ridge can be attempted by climbers with basic mountaineering experience. The classic climb of the SW of Mt Aspiring ridge is steeper and more challenging and is suitable for more experienced climbers. Mt Aspiring is guided at a 1:1 client guide ratio.

A good level of fitness and previous mountaineering experience  equivalent to our 3 day Queenstown Mountaineering Course or New Zealand Mountaineering Course is required for climbing Mt Aspiring. The typical summit day is between 10 and 12 hours long.  After the climb a 1 ½ day walk out down through the Matukituki valley to the road end is required. It is also possible to fly out by helicopter.

The Mt Aspiring climbing season is normally from October through until late April. As the summer season progresses the route options on the mountain change. From October until December it is possible to climb the Ramp route on the North West ridge staying on snow and ice all the way to the summit. After December, rock climbing is often required on the full North West ridge to reach the summit.

Queenstown Mountain Guides are a local guiding company. Our guides have years of experience working on Mt Aspiring and an impressive track record of safety and successful ascents. Please contact us for more information on climbing Mt Aspiring with us.


The Mt Aspiring National Park


Your guide will meet with you at 8.30am on the first day of the trip at your accomodation. 


Note that this itinerary is a sample only. Your final itinerary is subject to weather and other conditions.

Day 1

8.30am Meet at your accommodation for introductions & gear check. Drive to the Matukituki valley and the Mt Aspiring helicopter flight staging area. We will arrive at the Mt Aspiring helicopter staging area and prepare our equipment for the flight into the mountains.

Before the flight we will go through the aircraft safety briefing. Arrive at Bevan Col. It is a 1 ½ hour walk across the Bonar Glacier to get to Colin Todd Hut where we will be based for the Mt Aspiring climb. Bevan Col offers great views of Mt Aspiring’s North West and South West ridge routes as well as incredible views of the Mt Aspiring National Park.

Days 2 – 4 

Summit days. Normally we depart the hut at 4.00am under the cover of darkness. The goal is to reach the summit by 9.00am. A typical summit day on Mt Aspiring is 10-12 hours long.

Days 4 – 5

Walk or egress flight out of the mountains. It is normally a 1.5 day walk from the high alpine area to the road end where we will drive back to Wanaka or Queenstown. 


1 to 2 people
5 days
From $5,495
Mid October to March



  • Guide fees
  • Technical equipment hire
  • Hut fees
  • Meals and snacks
  • Ground transport


  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Aircraft access fees
  • Optional flight out
  • Accommodation in Queenstown & Wanaka


Additional booking conditions

These are additional conditions to our standard booking terms and conditions.

As part of the Mount Aspiring climb a period of 5 days guiding is included in the price of the trip. It may be possible to complete the climb before the 5 day period is over. If you finish the climb early you may choose to retain the services of the guide. If you choose to finish the trip early no refund is due.

Extending your 5 day Mount Aspiring climbing trip may be possible depending on your guides commitments.

The cost of extending your trip is $700 plus $200 per person per day. 

If your trip is involuntarily extended (for example being stuck in a high mountain hut due to bad weather) the cost will be $600 plus $100 per person per day.

Experience required

Previous mountaineering experience is required including experience climbing with two tools on snow and ice. Belaying/rope skills including previous crevassse rescue training are required.  Rock climbing experience is needed for late season ascents of Mt Aspiring as the lower part of the route requires climbing steep pitches of rock while wearing mountaineering boots.

Clothing & equipment

Climbing in the New Zealand mountains requires that you have high quality equipment and clothing due to the extremes of weather we experience. Please ensure you look carefully at our equipment checklist. At the start of the trip your guide will go through your equipment and make sure that you have everything that you need for the trip. Please organise to have your extra equipment stored at your accomodation for the duration of the trip.

It is important that you keep as close as possible to the equipment checklist. The focus is on ensuring that you have the equipment you need, but also on keeping your pack as light as possible. If your guide is meeting you at your accomodation for the start of the trip it would be helpful if you have all your equipment and clothing organised and laid out in a logical fashion so they can check that everyone has the right equipment and clothing for the trip.

Accomodation during the trip

On the Mount Aspiring climbing expedition we will stay at Colin Todd hut. This dormitory style hut is set in a impressive location directly below the North West ridge of Mt Aspiring.  Colin Todd hut has water, cooking facilities, a mountain radio, and a bunk area with individual mattresses. There are no showers or electrical sockets for recharging.

Accomodation in Queenstown & Wanaka is not included in the trip costs. Staying in Queenstown or Wanaka may happen if you are delayed entering the mountains or exit early because of the weather. Being based in Queenstown during poor weather in the high mountains will enable us to use the Remarkables mountain range as often this is sheltered from the worst of the Southern Alps weather.

Accomodation in Queenstown  before or after the trip is not included in trip costs. To organise accomodation before and after the course we recommend here you will find a wide range of accomodation depending on your preferred style and budget.

Daily trip logistics

Every day in the mountains is different with changing weather, snowpack, and access conditions. When you book your trip with Queenstown Mountain Guides we will discuss your goals for the trip and the general plan. When you meet with your guide on the first morning of your trip your guide will discuss with you the weather forecast and current conditions and make a final plan for the trip. It is best to be flexible so we can ensure that you will make the most of your time with us.

At the start of the trip we will fly into the mountains at the first possible opportunity.

On any poor weather days it is possible to learn skills inside the hut – for example crevasse rescue, navigation, weather theory, avalanche awareness.

On the final day of the trip we will aim to have you back in Queenstown by approximately 5.00pm.

Queenstown Mountain Guides uses aircraft to fly into the mountains and this enables us to bring a good supply of fresh food on our trips. Your guide will organise breakfast, lunch, and dinner for you when  you are in the mountains. Your guide will cook your meals on a basic mountain stove but you will impressed by what is possible!

Guide to participant ratios
The maximum guide to participant ratio that we ski guide in glaciated at is 1 guide to 4 participants. In glaciated terrain groups larger than 4 participants require an extra guide. In non glaciated terrain we can run trips with 6 participants to 1 guide.
Aircraft access & egress

The flight into and out of the mountains is not included in the trip cost. Our goal is to minimise the cost of the flight out by sharing the cost of flights with other climbing and skiing parties when possible.

*All prices are subject to availability and occasional change by aircraft operators.

Mt Aspiring Region.

Mt Aspiring – Bevan Col: Approximately $860 -$1290 depending on if it is a shared flight with another climbing party.

From Colin Todd hut it is a 1.5 day walk out down through the spectacular Matukituki valley. Flying out from Bevan Col is also an option if you would like to extend your time in the high alpine area.

Guide to participant ratios

The guide to participant ratio on Mt Aspiring is 1 client to 1 guide. We only guide Mt Aspiring at a 1:1 guide/cleint ratio to operate at a high safety level and to help maximise your chance of sucessfully summitting Mt Aspiring.

Man in green jacket standing in skis
Mountain hut
Digging into snow
Man skiing by rocky mountain