If you have ever wanted to hike on a glacier, safey stepping across yawning crevasses or try climbing out of a vertical melt water shaft (moulin), then this is the NZ trekking trip for you. This is your chance to experience a hiking adventure starting from the valley floor and culminating experiencing one of NZ's most accessible glaciers. We supply all the technical gear; all you need is a good pair of boots and a spirit of adventure. New Zealand's glaciers are spectacular but very few people ever get to visit the catchments of these vast oceans of snow.
"Magnificent scenery of the Southern Alps. Spectacular views. Special thanks to Phil for a memorable 3 days - an excellent, experienced, competent guide. A trip you couldn't really succeed on your own unless very experienced. All staff very friendly and willing to answer any queries. Well organised."
Mt Brewster lies within the Mount Aspiring National Park which 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.
C= confirmed to run
Join a scheduled departure or book a private or custom trip on dates to suit you.
Hikers should be used to 1000m of ascent or descent in a day and hiking for 4-6 hours carrying a 10-15kg pack. Packs are heavier than normal hiking packs due to the extra technical equipment required for walking on the glacier.
Experience is required on rough and uneven 'off track' terrain and scrambling over rocks. This can include trails equivalent to DOC 'tramping tracks' such as Breast Hill (Hawea, Avalanche Peak (Arthurs Pass) or Taranaki Summit route. Recent experience hiking in NZ is useful. The glacier day does not have much elevation gain but traverses exposed terrain requiring concentration extended periods of time. No prior experience on using crampons or ice axe is required.
Hikers should have experience of multi-day treks and wild camping and be comfortable in a range of adverse weather conditions.
Meet at our Wanaka office to meet your guide and do a complete gear check. There will be time for getting last minute items if you have to. It is a 1.5 hour drive to Fantail Falls where the track starts - just over the Haast Pass on the main divide and deep in the West Coast forest. A shallow river crossing is followed by a solid three-hour uphill push on a track throught the luch Beech forest. The is a steep track ascending 1000m vertically in less than 3km and involves some steep sections scrambling on exposed tree roots. Once you pass the tree line you are getting close. The new Brewster Hut is located on a beautiful tussock terrace with views toward the Makarora valley and the surrounding peaks of Armstrong and Brewster. Depending on the weather and the keeness of the party, you may choose to continue a further 2 hours to camp or bivi in the magical spot of the terminal lakes of the Brewster Glacier.
1000m ascent, 4 hours
An early start to traverse the tricky slopes around the headwaters of the Pyke Creek to access the stunning terminal lakes of the Brewster Glacier in about 2 hours. Face to face with the glacier itself, you crampon up, and set foot on the ice. The day is spent developing crampon technique as you safety step over yawning crevasses, or try a hand at ice climbing in a crevasse or Moulin. Return to the camp or hut for the night.
400m ascent/descent 6-8 hours
The energetic may choose to scramble up Mt Armstrong for a view down onto the previous day's antics on the glacier. Descend down to the valley floor and the comforts of Wanaka.
1000m descent, 3 hours
This video provides practical demonstration of the common equipment and clothing required for hiking in New Zealand.
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