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Beginner NZ Mountaineering 28/12-4/1 - suggestions

1:49:56 PM
My wife and I are hiring a guide (just us and him/her) for 8 days out of Mt Cook Village after Christmas 2010. Neither of us have done any mountaineering before but have rock climbed for many years and are fairly confident with our rope skills.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a plan to get up some skills and have a crack at a peak (apparently it has to be a "pretty one")? Our original plan was Mt Aspiring but we have been told that Mt Cook region offers slightly better weather.

We understand that we could be stuck in a hut all day everyday or could be flogged for 8 days straight (and everything in between). We just want to have a plan. Alpine Guides have suggested Kelman hut, but I gather that is pretty busy with TMC groups over summer.

Fitness = average for a climber and improving

Is Mt Dixon likely to be possible that time of year? Mt Sefton also looks pretty cool. Or is that all dreamy la-la land and we should set our sights a little lower...
3:23:02 PM
On 12/11/2010 cruze wrote:
> ... Our original
>plan was Mt Aspiring but we have been told that Mt Cook region offers slightly
>better weather.

Classic -- this post should go in Friday funnies! Stick with your original plan, Cruze: Mt Aspiring is a pretty one. There's a bunch of good practice stuff in the area too -- Bevan, Rolling Pin, French -- and if the budget stretches far enough, the chopper in & walk out option via French Ridge and the Matukituki makes for a great trip.
4:30:22 PM
Mt Sealey from Mueller Hut is a nice easy peak.....something more challenging could be Mt Sefton. Are you prepared to fly in and/or out? If so this could open up some stuff in the Tasman.

* note it's been nearly 20yrs since i was there :p

4:59:39 PM
Definitely fly in, and I am in the process of exemplifying to my wife how wussy I am by convincing her to fly out as well to save time (and knees).
Mike Bee
6:45:01 PM
If you like the look of some of the peaks around the Kelman Hut area but don't want to deal with the TMC crews, it's only a couple of kms away to Tasman Saddle Hut. It's not as nicer hut, but I reckon it's in a more spectacular position, and gives faster access to stuff on the west side of the Tasman.

8:22:13 PM
I suspect you will end up going where the guide thinks you should go. Tasman Saddle is smaller and not so crowded as Kelman Hut, and Mt Green is a pretty peak.

9:23:40 PM
On 12/11/2010 vwills wrote:
>I suspect you will end up going where the guide thinks you should go.
I suspect that you are right, and after all we are paying for their expertise, it's just that they have asked us to let them know if there is anything in particular that we would like to do. Thanks for the advice all.
9:48:36 PM
As above - The Upper Tasman would be my recommendation, it has a good surrounding environment with moderate terrain and objectives for practicing and learning skills. There is a choice of huts, Kelman hut is large and modern but will probably have some groups, Tasman hut is an old cosy hut an hour or so walk across the glacier. Some achievable objectives would be Hochstetter Dome, Mt Alymer, Peak 9144 and then moving on from there. Although Dixon is a nice hill the climb seems to be quite dependent on conditions and the Grand Plateau doesn't offer much else that is on the moderate scale. Fly in and then try and do the walk out down the Tasman, it's a big day but well worthwhile. The AGL guys would look after you.

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