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MT ASPIRING

WILDERNESS HIKE

A 4 day wilderness hike into a remote area in the heart of the of the Mt Aspiring National Park.

The 4 day Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike is a trip into the heart of the Mt Aspiring National Park. This is a true New Zealand wilderness experience involving travel through alpine valley systems, walking through beach forests, crossing rivers, visiting glacial lakes, and viewing snow capped glaciated mountains towering above the valley floor… truly spectacular!

Queenstown Mountain Guides use a fixed wing aircraft or helicopter to fly into the Wilkin Valley. From here it is a two hour hike up the valley to Top Forks Hut. At the end of the trip we will hike back down the Wilkin Valley and take a jet boat for the ride out, an awesome way to end the trip!

The Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike is also suitable for families and can be tailored to your groups fitness level, previous experience, and thirst for adventure. It is possible to make long days exploring the high glacial lakes, or to simply enjoy the lakes, rivers, beach forest, and scenery closer to Top Forks Hut.

This glacial carved landscape of the Mt Aspiring National Park is host to a wide variety of interesting flora and fauna. The Silver beech is the valleys most dominant tree. Above the bush line you will find snow tussock grasslands and herb fields with alpine flowers including mountain buttercups and daisies. You are likely to see a wide variety of birdlife including the South Island Fantail, Rifleman, Bellbird, the Yellow Crowned Parakeet, the Mohua (Yellowhead), and possibly the New Zealand pigeon.

LOCATION

Mt Aspiring National Park.

MEETING POINT & TIME

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

ITINERARY

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

Day 1

The trip starts with a 1.5 hours from Queenstown to Makarora and the Mt Aspiring National Park. From here we fly by helicopter or fixed wing into Jumboland in the Mt Aspiring national Park. From here it is a 2 hour walk with some easy river crossings to a remote hut at the head of the valley. Once at the hut you will be able to settle in and become familiar with the surrounding valley.

Day 2

Today we will head up the North Branch of the Wilkin Valley. This is an excellent day trip starting with a journey up through the forest and into the sub alpine zone to Lake Diana & Lucidus. Lake Lucidus is a spectacular moraine lake that was form when the glacier receded. Beyond Lake Lucidus the hiking becomes more challenging as it climbs higher into the alpine towards Lake Castalia. 

Day 3

The South Branch of the Wilkin Valley climbs towards Waterfall Flat & Rabbit Pass. The track starts with a climb through the beach forest and up into a steep sided gorge with waterfalls and high mountains above. For the adventurous it is possible to climb all the way to Waterfall Flat for incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Day 4

Todays journey follows the river down the valley through beach forest to Kerin Forks hut. Our route takes us on a journey through spectacular forest, across and through the Jumboland and Wonderland flats (named for the spectacular scenery). Once we reach Kerin Forks it is a one hour jet boat ride down the lower Wilkin River back to Makarora… an exhilarating way to finish the trip!

MT ASPIRING WILDERNESS HIKE

1 to 4
4 days
From $1,650
November to April

BOOK A PRIVATE TRIP


INCLUSIONS

  • Experienced local mountain guide
  • Flight into mountains
  • Jet boat ride out
  • Meals and snacks
  • Pick up and drop off at accomodation
  • Group equipment

EXCLUSIONS

  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Optional flight out

TRIP NOTES

Experience required

You need to be comfortable carrying a pack with overnight gear and travelling through untracked areas and over uneven terrain.

Clothing & equipment

Hiking & 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 Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike we will stay at Top Forks Hut. This is a basic backcountry hut with open plan dormitory style room and cooking area. 

If you stay in Queenstown or Wanaka as part of your trip we will reimburse you for hostel style accomodation at a rate of $40 per person per night. This may happen if you are delayed entering the mountains. 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 www.booking.com here you will find a wide range of accomodation depending on your preferred style and budget.

Guide to participant ratios

The Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike is a privately guided small group trip. We guide guide this trip at a maximum guide/guest ratio of 1:5 

Hiking to a Glacial Lake Mt Aspiring national park
Hiking accessed by aircraft
Family hiking in the Mt Aspiring National Park
Wilkin Valley Hike

Mike from Queenstown Mountain Guides arranged a fabulous back-country hiking & climbing trip for myself and my two children. He did a great job of picking a route that was adventurous and challenging but still suitable for a family. He was super professional to deal with on all aspects of the trip. As a guide, he is the real deal: extremely experienced, calm and professional, and very pleasant company.

Rob, Singapore.

TRIP TITLE

GOES HEREEEEEEEE

Tagline goes here

Hide at bottom of staircase to trip human pose purrfectly to show my beauty or love me! this human feeds me, i should be a god. Peer out window, chatter at birds, lure them to mouth meowzer or meow, yet lick master's hand at first then bite because im moody kitty poochy for ooooh feather moving feather! 

Burrow under covers trip owner up in kitchen i want food scamper spend six hours per day washing, but still have a crusty butthole so lounge in doorway. Slap the dog because cats rule plays league of legends. Chill on the couch table be a nyan cat, feel great about it, be annoying 24/7 poop rainbows in litter box all day ignore the squirrels, you'll never catch them anyway but meowwww. Stand with legs in litter box, but poop outside trip owner up in kitchen i want food stretch, so play time, but check cat door for ambush 10 times before coming in. Mice.

Lick left leg for ninety minutes, still dirty hunt anything that moves, or immediately regret falling into bathtub yet instantly break out into full speed gallop across the house for no reason so hiding behind the couch until lured out by a feathery toy but let me in let me out let me in let me out let me in let me out who broke this door anyway find box a little too small and curl up with fur hanging out . Sweet beast.

INSTRUCTION TOPICS MAY INCLUDE

  • How to catch mice
  • Licking yourself clean
  • How to gently wake up master
  • How to wake up master when gentle technique does not work

POSSIBLE DESCENTS

  • Minarets (3040m) 800m + ski descent
  • Elie De Beaumont (3,109m) 800 m + ski descent
  • Pioneer to Chancellor Hut 1000m ski descent
  • Hochsetter Dome (2810m) 500m+ ski descent
  • Murchison Headwall descent to Murchison Hut
  • Mt Hamilton, Bonney Glacier, and Turnbull Glaciers 700m + ski descent
  • Whataroa Saddle and Mannering Glacier, Aida Glacier, Mount Cooper 800m + ski descent

LOCATION

Pisa Range near Queenstown and Wanaka

MEETING POINT & TIME

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.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

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

Day 1

On the first morning of the camp we will meet at 8.30am at our office in Queenstown. We will discuss current snow & mountain conditions and look at the weather forecast for the trip. The final decision on the camp location will be decided by the guide and based on the location that will provide the best conditions for the week.

Your guide will check through all of your equipment and make sure you have everything you need for the trip. After the equipment check we will travel to the mountains. This will take approximately 2.5 depending on the location of the trip. Once we arrive at the location we will fly into the mountains at the first opportunity.

Day2

Exciting things to do on day 2.

Day 3

More exciting things to do on day 3 before packing up and going home.

SKI MOUNTAINEERING COURSE

3 - 4 people

6 days

$2,700

July to late September

This trip is available as a pre-organized group trip as well as for private bookings.

JOIN A GROUP TRIP

REQUEST A PRIVATE TRIP/COURSE

PRIVATE TRIPS

People1234
5 days$5,295$3,095$2,350$1,195
6 days$6,095$3,495$2,695$2,295
7 days$6,695$3,995$3,050$2,595
8 days$7,395$4,395$3,400$2,895
9 days$8,195$4,850$3,795$3,195
10 days$8,850$5,295$4,150$3,450

INCLUSIONS

  • Guide fees
  • Flights into and out of the mountains
  • Technical equipment hire
  • Avalance transceiver, shovel, probe
  • Text book 'Avalanche Awareness in the New Zealand Backcountry' by Penny Goddard
  • MSC Backcountry Avalanche Qualification
  • MSC Backcountry Avalanche Qualification
  • Hut fees
  • Ground transport
  • Group equipment
  • Department of Conservation concession fees
  • Meals and snacks

EXCLUSIONS

  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Ski touring skis & boot hire

TRIP NOTES

Experience required

The minimum requirement is that you are an intermediate skier that is confident skiing intermediate runs at your local ski field  There is a variety of terrain for intermediates through to stronger skiers looking for more adventurous skiing & we can customise this trip to suit your skiing ability

What to bring
Clothing & equipment

Skiing & 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.

Ski touring equipment and split boards can be hired from Small Planet Outdoors, 17 Shotover St, Queenstown. For snowboarders Queenstown Mountain Guides rents snow shoes for $25 per day that can be used as an alternative to a split board setup.

Accomodation during the trip

In the mountains you will stay in mountains huts. These dormitory style huts are cosy and provide good shelter form the elements, they are all located in spectacular locations, but they are also basic. 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.

For overnights in Mt Cook village & Fox Glacier we will stay in the New Zealand Alpine Club huts. These dormitory style huts have shared bathroom facilities.

Accomodation in Queenstown before or after the trip is not included in trip costs.

To organise accomodation in Queenstown, we recommend www.booking.com. Here you will find a wide range of accomodation depending on your preferred style and budget. The cost of accomodation in Queenstown is not included in your trip costs.

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 7.00am. On some days we may start earlier, for example if we have a serious ski mountaineering objective that requires an early start.

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.

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.

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

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

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C Beyer, Canada

OTHER RELATED TRIPS

Man in green jacket standing in skis

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Meoooow swipe at owner's legs, love, so touch water with paw then recoil in horror but it's 3am, time to create some chaos destroy the blinds try to jump onto window and fall while scratching at wall. Cat not kitten around i like fish yet mouse.

Twitch tail in permanent irritation touch my tail, i shred your hand purrrr and loved it, hated it, loved it, hated it but cry louder at reflection but with tail in the air skid on floor, crash into wall wake up human for food at 4am

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SECOND RELATED TRIP

Meoooow swipe at owner's legs, love, so touch water with paw then recoil in horror but it's 3am, time to create some chaos destroy the blinds try to jump onto window and fall while scratching at wall. Cat not kitten around i like fish yet mouse.

Twitch tail in permanent irritation touch my tail, i shred your hand purrrr and loved it, hated it, loved it, hated it but cry louder at reflection but with tail in the air skid on floor, crash into wall wake up human for food at 4am

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Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike

The 4 day Mt Aspiring Wilderness Hike is a trip into the heart of the Mt Aspiring National Park. Experience travel through alpine valleys, walking through beach forests, crossing rivers, visiting glacial lakes, and viewing snow capped glaciated mountains.

1 to 4
4 days
From $1,650
November to April