Queenstown’s only professional mountain guiding company, Queenstown Mountain Holidays, will run a seven day ladies-only mountaineering course next year aimed at building skills and knowledge.
Queenstown Mountain Holidays launched earlier this year and operates guided ascents of New Zealand’s highest mountains as well as guided backcountry skiing and helicopter accessed hiking trips.
The focus of the inaugural course, which will run 22-28 February 2015, is for people to experience climbing New Zealand’s glaciers in a safe, fun, group environment.
Based from huts on the Fox or Tasman Glaciers at Mt Cook National Park, the course includes helicopter flights, expert guiding, meals and hut accommodation for six nights.
Queenstown Mountain Holidays’ owner and experienced mountain guide Mike Madden said the course was aimed at helping beginner to intermediate climbers.
“When operated in a safe environment armed with knowledge and experience, mountain climbing is a fun group activity,” he said.
“We’re extremely lucky to have some of the best mountain and glacier climbing in the world right on our doorstep.”
“The neve areas of New Zealand’s glaciers are an excellent venue for mountaineering instruction offering everything from gentle snow slopes to learn basic mountaineering skills through to steep ice to practice ice-climbing skills.”
“There are even crevasses to practice crevasse rescue skills i.e. what to do if someone in your climbing party falls in a crevasse.
“New Zealand’s Southern Alps are a world class climbing destination with climbers coming from all over the world to attempt climbing our highest mountains.”
“Our goal is to provide our guests with world class mountain guiding services and unique mountain experiences that only a professionally qualified mountain guide can offer.”
“The scenery from these high mountain huts is simply breath taking. Wherever you look, New Zealand’s highest mountains tower over the glaciers.
The skills taught on the all-girls course will include rope skills and belaying, climbing knots, ice axe use, belaying/rope skills, cramponing, crevasse rescue, rock climbing, ice climbing, decision making and judgment, weather analysis, route finding and navigation, snow anchors, and rock anchors.
This is the second all girls course led by Mr Madden after the success of the inaugural ski touring course held last October.
“It provided a great opportunity for a group of like-minded ladies to explore New Zealand’s best glaciers while learning new skills and meeting others.
“Everyone had a great time, so I decided to run another mountaineering-led course,” said Mr Madden.
“If you have an interest in ski touring or mountain climbing there’s nothing like this currently available in the region. People will come away with invaluable skills which will not only open up a world of fun but also teach essential mountain safety skills,” said Mr Madden.