Select Page


The Mt Aspiring Climbing Course & Ascent is a 7 day course that includes an ascent of Mt Aspiring 3033m.

The Mt Aspiring Climbing Course & Ascent is a 6 day course that includes an ascent of Mt Aspiring 3033m. The focus of this course is learning snow and ice climbing skills, and learning about mountaineering on glaciated terrain.

This course will teach you the skills needed to safely make an ascent of Mt Aspiring. We recommend this course to clients that would like to quickly gain enough experience to continue on to climbing other significant peaks like Mt Cook.

The Mt Aspiring Climbing Course & Ascent trip is based from Colin Todd hut underneath the NW ridge of Mt Aspiring. This hut is accessed by a helicopter flight into Bevan Col and from here a 1.5 hour walk across the Bonar Glacier to the hut. We will base ourselves from the hut for the week and make day trips on the slopes of Mt Aspiring and the surrounding peaks.

A good level of fitness is required for this course. No previous mountaineering experience is required for this course however we do recommend that clients have some experience with rock climbing and basic rope work so you can get the most the course and have greater chance of success on Mt Aspiring.


  • Climbing knots
  • Ice axe use & climbing techniques
  • Cramponing technique on easy, moderate, and steep terrain
  • Self arresting
  • Belaying & rope skills
  • Glacier Travel
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Rock climbing
  • Ice climbing


    The Mt Aspiring Climbing Course & Ascent is based from Colin Todd Hut underneath the NW ridge of Mt Aspiring. The hut is accessed by a helicopter flight into Bevan Col and then a 1.5 hour walk across the Bonar Glacier.


    Your guide will meet with you at 8.30am on the first day of the trip at your accomodation. Alternatively, you are welcome to come to our office at Unit 403, 875 Frankton Rd in Queenstown.


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

    Day 1

    We will meet you at 8.30am at your accommodation. After introductions we will go through the equipment and clothing list to make sure that you have everything that you need for the trip. As it is a 1.5 hour walk to the hut and a walk out at the end of the trip we recommend that you stick as closely as possible to the packing list to keep your pack as light as possible. After the gear check we will drive to the Matukituki valley road end where we will do a helicopter safety briefing before we fly into Bevan Col.

    On Bevan col we will have a introductory lesson on ice axe use and crampon use, this will be a good introduction and give you enough skills to safely walk across the Bonar Glacier and climb up to Colin Todd Hut. Before departing we will also show you how to rope up for glacier travel, a skill that we will continue to teach every time that we head into glaciated mountain terrain.

    Please note that sometimes it is not possible to fly into the mountains on the first day because of the weather. We will fly in at the first possible opportunity. If we are delayed we will spend this time learning rope work, glacier travel, and climbing skills at a rock climbing area.

    Day 2

    Today we will head out onto the glacier and surrounding slopes and learn foundation mountaineering skills. Todays lessons will include climbing knots, Ice axe use & climbing techniques, cramponing technique on easy, moderate, and steep terrain, self arresting, belaying & rope skills, and glacier travel.

    Day 3

    We awake in the morning to the sound of gale force winds and rain outside the hut. It is a welcome rest day after a few days of mountaineering and a good chance to rest a tired body before we make an attempt at the Mt Aspiring summit. After a leisurely breakfast we can use the rest of the day to work on rope work skills inside the sanctuary of the hut. The wether forecast is for good weather tomorrow so we prepare our packs for tomorrows Mt Aspiring climb.

    Day 4

    We awake at 3am and are on the glacier moving upwards towards the base of Mt Aspiring by 4am. We make an early start on the mountain to make the most of the good conditions on the glacier and mountain in the morning. Its a 6 hour climb to the summit of Mt Aspiring and we are standing on the top by 10am. Taking in the incredible views its a great feeling to realise your goal of summiting Aspiring. Its a 5-6 hour descent off the mountain making for a total of 10-14 hours of climbing on the mountain.

    Day 5

    The next weather system is starting to move in so we start our walk out of the mountains early. Todays route will take us either across the Bonar Glacier to the Quarterdeck pass and then down to French Ridge Hut or across the Bonar Glacier and down through Bevan Col to Aspiring Hut.

    Day 6

    Today we will complete the walk out to the road end from Aspiring or French Ridge Hut. At the end of the trail our vehicle is waiting for the drive home and a well deserved shower and beer!


    1 to 2 people
    6 days
    From $6,550
    Mid October to March



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


    • Personal equipment & clothing
    • Aircraft access fees – required
    • Optional flight out at end of the trip
    • Accomodation in Queenstown & Wanaka


    Additional booking conditions

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

    As part of the Mount Aspiring climbing course a period of 6 days guiding is included in the price of the trip. It may be possible to complete the climb before the 6 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 6 day Mount Aspiring climbing course 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

    For this trip, the minimum requirement is that you have a good level of fitness and an interest in learning climbing & mountaineering skills. Previous rock climbing experience and basic rope work skills are recommended.

    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

    In the mountains we will stay in Colin Todd Hut.  This dormitory style hut is basic & cosy and provides good shelter form the elements. The huts have 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  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.

    Each day in the mountains will typically start at 6.00am. On summit day you will be required to start early to make the most of the safe frozen early morning conditions and quick glacier travel. A typical wake up time is 3.00am on summit day.

    On any poor weather days it is possible to learn skills inside the hut – for example cliff and 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.

    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.

    Climbing NW ridge Mt Aspiring
    NW ridge Mt Aspiring
    Standing on the summit of Mt Aspiring
    Guided climb Mt Aspiring