Note that this itinerary is a sample only. Your final itinerary is subject to weather and other conditions.
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.
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.
Today we will make an ascent of Mt Rolling Pin 2249m. This peak requires glacier travel, and snow and ice climbing skills and is a good climb to practice the skills we will need to climb Mt Aspiring. On the climb we will have great views of Mt Aspiring and the full NW ridge route.
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.
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.
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.
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!