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General Climbing Discussion

TMC which company is the best?
11:18:34 AM
not the up comming season but the next season I am looking at doing a private TMC(10 days) in new zeland the companies that i am looking at are Adventure consultants, Alpine Guides,Aspiring guides and souther alps guides.does anybody know which one is the better companies? or should i just go on which one is cheaper

thanks for any help clinton

12:52:01 PM
I did my TMC with Alpine Guides a few years ago and was happy enough with them. I would prefer to see a client guide ratio of 1:3 rather then 1:4 though. A TMC can be a bit of a lottery. The group before ours never left Mt Cook village because of crap weather. Also, Kelman Hut can get a bit overcrowded if there are 2 TMC's in there at the same time. My main recommendation: Go with anyone who does it at Mt Cook.
4:18:01 PM
ok thanks for that nich so are they all pretty much the same? as long as it is done in mount cook?
2:48:31 AM
Mount Cook NP is probably the best area for a TMC. I did a TMC with Alpine Guides and was quite happy with the standard. We stayed in Kelman Hut at the top of the Tasman Glacier.

It's difficult to compare the different companies, as it depends a lot on the particular guide who runs your TMC, and the other clients that go on it. I suppose you could check and see what each course includes if you're after value for money, ie. whether or not they have fresh food, what the location is, mode of transport, duration of course, guide to client ratio, what gear hire is included, etc.

11:26:49 AM
Take into account access and weather patterns when looking at the guide companies and their locations. As per the earlier post, the biggest gamble is not the guide company itself but rather the weather and the training location. I think Aspiring guides has their own hut(?).

12:59:48 PM
In my view: Aspiring Guides haas a shorter course, because you walk into their own hut, hence their is less dependance on the weather. Alpine guides course is longer, and you fly in/and walk or fly out, hence is more dependance on the weather. If you get good weather, Alpine guides would probably be best, beacuse you get longer on the ice/snow. But if the weather is crap, as said, you may not even leave the village... This would have to be pretty pretty rare, however. You should at least be able to walk from cook village to the footstool or Mt Sealy.

Also check out how hire prices compare, some cheap course have expensive hire prices if you don't have your own gear. Check the total cost for you, not just the course cost.

The weather is always part of mountineering!! Cheers

2:03:05 PM
Myself and a mate organised a private TMC ealier this year for a week and found the cost very little more than a group course. The guide we requested was unavailable and we ended up with someone with poor social skills. He knew his stuff but getting general conversation out of him was like getting blood out of a stone. However a private course will cater to exactly what you want out of your trip.

7:19:13 PM
I did a course with Adventure Consultants a while ago. We flew into Centennial Hut from Fox Glacier which worked out really well, bailed after a week when the weather looked ominous and spent a couple of days ice climbing on the glacier.
The company was well organised and the instructors were very good.I have no complaints about the trip at all and consider it money well spent.
However it could have easily been a disaster because of differing abilities and fitness in the group (of 8 clients). Fortunately the 2 instructors sussed out things quickly and tailored activities but I heard later the not so fit group felt a bit overwhelmed or left out. The other trouble with a large group is that you sort of monopolise the hut without meaning to.
Public courses are always a bit of a risk like that- so if you have the option of going with a friend of similar abilities, I'd arrange things privately and find a good instructor.
However you shouldn't expect them to keep you amused for 24 hours a day (as per the previous complaint). They are there to teach you climbing skills, not to engage in witty repartee. I reckon it would be a pretty hard job a lot of the time.

3:34:26 PM
>However you shouldn't expect them to keep you amused for 24 hours a day
>(as per the previous complaint). They are there to teach you climbing skills,
>not to engage in witty repartee. I reckon it would be a pretty hard job
>a lot of the time.

I don't think there was any claim of expecting entertainment 24 hours of the day, but the personanlity of the guide, especialy in a small group does have a big impact on how much you might learn and enjoy the course. If they make questions feel welcome, and treat you like a person, not a chore, you are likely to learn more. Hence, you cant totaly seperate the two issues. Alternatively, you shoud not treat the guide like a slave!!


4:22:28 PM
"However you shouldn't expect them to keep you amused for 24 hours a day (as per the previous complaint)."

I certainly wasn't looking to be entertained, but found the other Alpine guides much friendlier. I think we were just unlucky to get someone doing their last guiding week before taking time off. While he was pretty animated with his mates in the hut, he was decidedly unenthusiastic about the work side of things.

4:53:28 PM
Did a tmc with alpine guides a few years ago. Most of my group were not climbers and the instruction was simplified to cater for this. Remember that at the end of the day the companies are driven by profit and will take almost anyone willing to pay. If you want the best course you can with instruction thats as technical as you can handle, organise a group of fellow climbers that are of your ability and do some reseach into the guides. You can hire a guide independantly of the companies at reduced rates. NZMGA list contact details for all its guides. Many have web sites and you can ask here too. This way you drive the material and level of instruction. Also, don't expect to cover everything they say you will in 10 days. I would suggest that if you're competant on rock, focus the course on the white stuff.
9:50:47 PM
ill defiently be doing a private tmc ill probly go with alpine guides as from what i have heard they seem to be quite good and for a guide ratio of 1:2 over 10 days alpine guides are almost $900 cheaper than adventure consulants but adventure consulants seem to be more esstablished internationaly for example antartica and everest which dosent really mater becuse i dont plan on doing any asents with a guide any way but for this reason i thought that it might be a case of you get what you pay for and their guides might be more experincenced. but it seems that that they just want that extra (0$ per day!

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