Experience the guts and glory of an altitude climb on this summit hike to Mt. Aspiring (3,033m).
Travel to the ‘Matterhorn of the Southern Alps’ on this expedition in Mt. Aspiring National Park. A serious climb that will test your courage and commitment, Mt. Aspiring offers aspiring climbers the chance to test their mountain proficiency via two distinctive routes over 5 days – traversing the area’s infamous glaciated terrain and exposed couloirs.
This activity is run and operated from Colin Todd Hut in Mt. Aspiring National Park. The standard North West Ridge route includes 1,220 vertical metres of climbing, travel across glaciated terrain and pitched climbing. South West Ridge via the Bonar Glacier includes an overnight bivouac.
Travelling to the horned peak of Mt. Aspiring includes all the risks and rewards of true alpine climbing. From scree escarpments to icy couloirs, there is no easy route to the top of this enigmatic peak, however, two routes are available based on your group size, experience and technical proficiency. This 5-day Mt Aspiring mountaineering expedition can be attempted by climbers with basic experience via the North West Ridge or the classic SW Ridge - a challenge for the more experienced alpinist.
The North West Ridge (NZ Alpine Grade: 2+): The standard access to Mt. Aspiring takes 10 to 12 hours and includes glacier travel, pitched climbing and a 1,220-metre vertical ascent. The lower section of the mountain can be climbed either by pitched climbing up 40° snow or on mixed snow and rock. The upper part of the mountain involves moderate snow and ice up to the summit.
South West Ridge (NZ Alpine Grade: 3+): The SW ridge is a challenging climb for more experienced alpinists on a strict 1:1 basis. Access on to the ridge is via the Bonar Glacier with an overnight bivouac and takes 12-14 hours. The South West Ridge runs into a steep couloir with an exposed multi-pitch climb 55-60° on snow and ice. Because of snow conditions, the route is often in best condition earlier in the season (before the end of December).
Accommodation & Catering
A fully-catered package, base camp is at Colin Todd Hut (1,800 metres) - an alpine serviced 10-bunk hut in Mt. Aspiring National Park. All cooking & camping equipment is provided as standard. Camping may sometimes be required due to the limited bed capacity at Colin Todd Hut. Alpine Guides will provide tents and other camping gear, if required.
Mountaineering on Mt. Aspiring in the summer has a relatively low hazard rating. Suitable for participants with moderate/advanced alpine climbing skills, a high level of fitness and previous rock, ice and snow climbing experience is required
It is possible to fly out from Bevan Col, but the usual practice is to walk out. This can either be via the Bevan Col route (a very long days walk and climb over difficult terrain) or to the Quarter Deck Glacier and then down French Ridge to French Ridge Hut.