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Mt Aspiring Climbing Course & Ascent

The Mt Aspiring Climbing Course & Ascent is a 7 day course that includes an ascent of Mt Aspiring 3033m. The focus of this course is learning snow and ice climbing skills, and learning about mountaineering on glaciated terrain.

This course will teach you the skills needed to safely make an ascent of Mt Aspiring. We recommend this course to clients that would like to quickly gain enough experience to continue on to climbing other significant peaks like Mt Cook.

The Mt Aspiring Climbing Course & Ascent trip is based from Colin Todd hut underneath the NW ridge of Mt Aspiring. This hut is accessed by a helicopter flight into Bevan Col and from here a 1.5 hour walk across the Bonar Glacier to the hut. We will base ourselves from the hut for the week and make day trips on the slopes of Mt Aspiring and the surrounding peaks.

A good level of fitness is required for this course. No previous mountaineering experience is required for this course however we do recommend that clients have some experience with rock climbing and basic rope work so you can get the most the course and have greater chance of success on Mt Aspiring.

  • Climbing knots
  • Ice axe use & climbing techniques
  • Cramponing technique on easy, moderate, and steep terrain
  • Self arresting
  • Belaying & rope skills
  • Glacier Travel
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Rock climbing
  • Ice climbing

Other related trips

Beginner/Intermediate Glacier Mountaineering Course

3 Day Queenstown Mountaineering Course


Sample Itinerary

This is based on a past 7 day Mt Aspiring Course & Ascent

Each day in the mountains is special & unique. Mountain weather and conditions are always changing so it is often not possible to stick to a fixed itinerary. Your guide will make ongoing assessments of the current and forecast conditions and make a plan to best make use of your time in the mountains. Being flexible allows for a more successful outcome for the trip.

Day 1 

We will meet you at 8.30am at your accommodation. After introductions we will go through the equipment and clothing list to make sure that you have everything that you need for the trip. As it is a 1.5 hour walk to the hut and a walk out at the end of the trip we recommend that you stick as closely as possible to the packing list to keep your pack as light as possible. After the gear check we will drive to the Matukituki valley road end where we will do a helicopter safety briefing before we fly into Bevan Col.

On Bevan col we will have a introductory lesson on ice axe use and crampon use, this will be a good introduction and give you enough skills to safely walk across the Bonar Glacier and climb up to Colin Todd Hut. Before departing we will also show you how to rope up for glacier travel, a skill that we will continue to teach every time that we head into glaciated mountain terrain.

Please note that sometimes it is not possible to fly into the mountains on the first day because of the weather. We will fly in at the first possible opportunity. If we are delayed we will spend this time learning rope work, glacier travel, and climbing skills at a rock climbing area.

Day 2

Today we will head out onto the glacier and surrounding slopes and learn foundation mountaineering skills. Todays lessons will include climbing knots, Ice axe use & climbing techniques, cramponing technique on easy, moderate, and steep terrain, self arresting, belaying & rope skills, and glacier travel.

Day 3

Today we will make an ascent of Mt Rolling Pin 2249m. This peak requires glacier travel, and snow and ice climbing skills and is a good climb to practice the skills we will need to climb Mt Aspiring. On the climb we will have great views of Mt Aspiring and the full NW ridge route.

Day 4

We awake in the morning to the sound of gale force winds and rain outside the hut. It is a welcome rest day after a few days of mountaineering and a good chance to rest a tired body before we make an attempt at the Mt Aspiring summit. After a leisurely breakfast we can use the rest of the day to work on rope work skills inside the sanctuary of the hut. The wether forecast is for good weather tomorrow so we prepare our packs for tomorrows Mt Aspiring climb.

Day 5

We awake at 3am and are on the glacier moving upwards towards the base of Mt Aspiring by 4am. We make an early start on the mountain to make the most of the good conditions on the glacier and mountain in the morning. Its a 6 hour climb to the summit of Mt Aspiring and we are standing on the top by 10am. Taking in the incredible views its a great feeling to realise your goal of summiting Aspiring. Its a 5-6 hour descent off the mountain making for a total of 10-14 hours of climbing on the mountain.

Day 6

The next weather system is starting to move in so we start our walk out of the mountains early. Todays route will take us either across the Bonar Glacier to the Quarterdeck pass and then down to French Ridge Hut or across the Bonar Glacier and down through Bevan Col to Aspiring Hut.

Day 7

Today we will complete the walk out to the road end from Aspiring or French Ridge Hut. At the end of the trail our vehicle is waiting for the drive home and a well deserved shower and beer!



Map 2014

1 person

Map 2014




Map 2014

Flight in included


The Mt Aspiring Climbing Course & Ascent runs from October through until April. Contact us for private bookings.

Experience Required

For this trip, the minimum requirement is that you have a good level of fitness and an interest in learning climbing & mountaineering skills. Previous rock climbing experience and basic rope work skills are recommended.

Whats Included

The price of the course includes

  • Guide fees
  • Aircraft access fees
  • Technical equipment hire
  • Hut fees
  • Meals and snacks
  • Ground transport
  • Group equipment

The price of the course excludes

  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Optional flight out at end of trip
  • Accomodation in Queenstown & Wanaka

Program Location

The Mt Aspiring Climbing Course & Ascent trip is based from Colin Todd Hut underneath the NW ridge of Mt Aspiring. The hut is accessed by a helicopter flight into Bevan Col and then a 1.5 hour walk across the Bonar Glacier. 

More Information

detailed trip notesequipment listFAQ