Aspiring Glacier Hike 3 day

Location

French Ridge rises steeply out of the Matukituki Valley and reaches the Bonar Glacier at its summit.  

Perfect father and son experience

Alastair, Sydney, Australia

"We were after a memorable adventure, and we sure got it. It was the two of us with an experienced guide, Tony.  We trekked along the valley, crossed freezing rivers barefoot, battled gravity 1,000m with our packs up very steep NZ  mountains, stayed in a mountaineering hut amongst the mountains. And that was Day 1. Day 2 involved crampons, ice axes and ropes. We came very close to crevices, but stayed away. Another 900m straight up, before descending down to the hut. For anyone in need of a serious challenge, a memorable experience and a heap of fun - try this one.  The company is very experienced, the guides good and the pricing reasonable given the low ratio of clients per guide.”  

More Information

The magnificence of this region speaks for itself. It is a demanding hiking trip and requires a high fitness level. It is an opportunity to discover the grandeur of the alpine regions and develop an approach to the mountain environment.

The route passes directly below Mount Aspiring with amazing views. Mount Aspiring itself is a majestic peak and the only peak over 3000 metres outside Mount Cook National Park. The Mount Aspiring National Park is renowned for its wonderful mixture of remote wilderness, high mountains and beautiful river valleys. It is a walker's paradise and a must for mountaineers. The views are endless and unforgettable. The park is part of Te Wahipounamu - Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area. Mount Aspiring National Park straddles the southern end of the Southern Alps.

Pack 30-40 litre   Weight 6-9kg


Available Dates

2017-2018 Dates Status  
2017    
Nov 13 - 15 Open  
Dec 10 - 12 Open  
2018    
Jan 1 - 3 Open  
Jan 24 - 26 Open  
Feb 13 - 15 Open  
Mar 18 - 21 Open  
Mar 30 - Apr 1 Open  
Apr 13 - 15 Open  

 

C= confirmed to run
 

Join a scheduled departure or book a private or custom trip on dates to suit you.

Difficulty

Fitness 

Hikers should be used to walking on uneven ground and covering longer distances with larger packs. The French Ridge track is steep, and requires short sections of down climbing on rocks and tree roots. This will give you a whole new appreciation of New Zealand hiking.  You will need to carry your own gear, including technical gear as well as some food or other group gear.   Pack weight 9-12kg


Price Details

Guide : Client Ratio Price per person
1 : 1 NZ$ 4,050
1 : 2 NZ$ 2,275
 

 

What's Included
  • helicopter flight into the mountains 
  • all meals and snacks from Lunch Day 1 to Lunch Day 3.
  • hut accommodation and any tents/general camping equipment
  • satellite phone/ radio communications
  • national park, guide fees and 15% goods and service tax (GST)
Note
  • A flight out of the mountains may also be possible at additional cost (dependent on weather and conditions).
  • In the event of weather preventing you from flying into the mountains then the alternative trip of a Brewster Glacier Hike or Mt French Trekking Peak may be offered - any helicopter expenses not incurred would be refunded. 

FAQs


Itinerary / Trip Options (multi)

Day One

 We meet at our office in Wanaka where your guide will check your clothing and equipment and you can ask any last minute questions.  It is a beautiful drive up the Matukituki Valley to the trail head.  The helicopter will pick you up from cattle grazing meadows and transport you up to the snow and rock of Bevan Col on the edge of the Bonar Glacier. From here it is a few hours walk across the Bonar Glacier, the view dominated by the western aspects of Mt Aspiring.  We arrive at Colin Todd hut, your home for the night. This leaves some time in the afternoon for exploring the area.        
100m ascent, 2-4 hours

Day Two

 An early start after breakfast and we descend to the Bonar Glacier and head up under Mt Aspiring to the summit of the trek, the Quarterdeck Pass. Nothing too tricky yet, just a steady climb in the cool of the morning. Soak up the views of the Glacier and Mt Aspiring before changing your perspective to the beautiful West Matukituki Valley.  Here the snow is broken by crevasses and your guide will careful show you how to safely navigate your way.  Depending on the time of year, the glacier can be either a smooth ramp leading down, or a jumbled icefall that you weave through.  After leaving the snow we follow a narrow ridge down to French Ridge Hut.
500m ascent/ 780m descent. 4-7 hrs  

Day Three

After leaving French Ridge Hut the track takes us back towards the valley floor. After down climbing the steep sections it’s magic to be back on flat ground again.  We have a few more hours before reaching Aspiring Hut where we usually have lunch. Two hours of walking beside the Matukituki River brings us back to our vehicle and the ride back to base.
1000m descent, 6-8 hours


Equipment Details

This video provides practical demonstration of the common equipment and clothing required for hiking in New Zealand.

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