In New Zealand and worldwide, our mountaineering achievements combine with a comprehensive knowledge of the history of guiding and instruction. These are the fundamental ingredients in providing a safe and enlightening connection between our guests and the mountain environment.
While our activities are centred from our base in the Mount Aspiring region, our permits and experience extend throughout the Southern Alps including Fiordland, Westland and Mt Cook National Parks. This is a vast area, diverse in geography.
We have 'hand-picked' specialist guides from within the industry, in light of their qualifications, knowledge, experience level and communication skills. Our guiding team are qualified through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association. The NZMGA are affiliated to the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association who governs mountain guiding worldwide. Our high level of expertise, comprehensive logistics support and refreshing personalities are the basis of Aspiring Guides' internationally renowned reputation for providing a quality and personalised service.
Meet our team:
Whitney, originally from Jackson Hole US, has and climbed and skied throughout New Zealand since 1979. After living and working in here for over 20 years, together with his partner, decided to create a high end backcountry travel experience and hence Wild Walks NZ was created.
Whitney is a former Chief Guide of Aspiring Guides and Training Officer of the NZ Mountain Guides Association. He has over 50 ascents of Mount Aspiring and countless Southern Alps adventures. In 1990 he won the World Telemark Giant Slalom Championships and has also won four North American Telemark Championships. He takes pride in cooking fluffy rice in adverse conditions. Whitney has also skied, trekked and climbed throughout the world, more recently on a number of European ski tours.
When he is not in the mountains he is normally haning out on the wild south coast or Peru, surfing with and without his kite.
There will only ever be one Whit. If you have ever met him in a mountain hut, you will have experienced his hospitality. If you’ve ever spent a bit longer in a mountain hut with him, you might even have gone round the loop on his extensive repertoire of stories, anecdotes and w[h]itticisms.
IFMGA - New Zealand
Jessica ("Jess") is not only the Aspiring Guides Operations Manager, she also gets out into the field to spend time with our clients. Jessica has NZOIA Senior Instructor Rockclimbing, Bush 2 & Alpine 1 qualifications. When she's not organising everything that goes back at Base, or guiding on our Wild Walks treks, she escapes to climb some seriously high grade rock climbs. Quick with a giggle, Jess has a relaxed but caring manner that builds confidance with all her clients.
Trekking Guide & AG Operations Manager
Jo has been wandering the hills since she was a teenager. As well as years exploring the NZ Southern Alps on transalpine trips and climbing NZ’s well known and less well know peaks, she has been fortunate to have spent time in the Himalaya, on the rock walls in Australia and the USA and hanging out with Emperor penguins in Antarctica.
Jobs past and present include instructing at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre, working in Antarctica and the Himalaya, teaching high school physics and designing websites or working in the mountains around her local town of Wanaka. Back-country telemarking and skate skiing keeps the smile on her face in winter.
Dave has returned home to Otago after 25 years of travelling the world and latterly living in North Canterbury. My background in sales and management is slightly different to our other team members but my passion for the outdoors and love of the mountains makes the transition to Aspiring Guides and the Adventure Tourism industry an easy fit. My interests include Skiing, Tramping and Running and after years of being confined to a desk I can't wait to experience some of our amazing products first hand. I look forward to continuing the amazing service offered by the previous owners and feel privileged to be part of such a professional team.
Jess has come all the way from the tropics of Darwin and she has a passion for rock climbing and mountaineering. She’s got a degree in Music and a diploma in Outdoor Leadership and Management. She loves to guide and instruct in the outdoors and holds NZOIA Rock 2, Alpine 1 & Bush 2 qualifications. When away from the office Jess is usually out climbing, biking or skiing.
After many years of dreaming about mountain climbing Robyn participated in a Mountain Skills Course with Aspiring Guides in 2003. She loved it so much she continued in the same year with a Black Peak Ice Climbing Trip and a summit of Mt Aspiring. In 2004 Robyn travelled to Peru to join an Aspiring Guides expedition in the Cordillera Blanca and summitted Ishinca and Alpamayo. As she was spending so much time in the office Aspiring Guides decided to employ her to help out in the office.
Bookings & Administration
Carla was brought up in the South Island and after spending years adventuring around the world has landed in Wanaka and started calling it home. She loves the outdoors and has instructed and lead trips in NZ, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Her time off is spent in the mountains, running and biking around the local tracks or dreaming up her next adventure!
Bookings & Adminstration
Your safety is our priority. We have 'hand-picked' specialist guides from within the industry, in light of their qualifications, knowledge, experience level and communication skills. Our guiding team are qualified through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association. The NZMGA are affiliated to the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association who governs mountain guiding worldwide.
Our high level of expertise, comprehensive logistics support and refreshing personalities are the basis of Aspiring Guides' internationally renowned reputation for providing a quality and personalised service
Snow & Ice Walks
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