Wanaka Mountain Guides

Wye Creek Ice Climbing Course

The Ice Climbing Course is based at the upper crags and cirque of the South Branch of Wye Creek. The area provides one of New Zealand’s most accessible and varied winter climbing venues. Satisfying the criteria of altitude, drainage, and cold aspect gives this area reliability for good ice formation during the coldest periods of winter. Develop your climbing skills with expert instruction from NZ-certified guides and NZ’s most accomplished winter climbers.


Wanaka Mountain Guides

Your guide will pick you up from your accommodation in Wānaka or meet at the helicopter hanger in Frankton. After gear checks, it is short helicopter ride deep into the Remarkables mountain range. Campsites situated right under the ice provide easy daily access to a wide range of classic climbs to develop your skills over four intensive days of climbing and instruction. At the end of the trip, the helicopter returns to transport the group back to Frankton. All flights are included.


Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Ice Climbing Course

The upper Wye Creek is remote and there are no huts in the area so we fly in and out with expedition-style camp equipment including large base-camp tents, air mattresses, extra blankets, and cooking equipment. This allows for a comfortable winter camping experience.

All food and snacks are included to keep you fully fuelled up on this winter adventure.


Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Ice Climbing Course

Personal technical climbing equipment including harnesses, helmets, crampons, and ice axes are available for use and included. Group technical equipment including ropes are provided.

Participants will need to be equipped with suitable personal clothing for winter climbing and camping.

For more information regarding equipment selection, check out our article on preparing for ice climbing in New Zealand.

Ice Climbing Course Syllabus

Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Ice Climbing Course

The variety of climbs at Wye Creek allows the course to cater to all levels of previous ice climbing experience. Use crampons and ice axes for the first time or with previous rock climbing experience, it is possible to quickly progress into leading ice climbs and develop the skills to attempt sustained routes and alpine ice routes in the high mountains including multi-pitch ascents and descents.

A specialist ice climbing course is a excellent complement to previous alpine or winter mountaineering courses.

Topics covered include:

  • Preparation for ice climbing
  • Equipment selection
  • Managing ice climbing and winter hazards
  • Steep ice climbing techniques
  • Placing ice screws, building anchors, and leading
  • Multi-pitch climbing and abseil descents
  • Avalanche awareness and emergency preparedness
  • Winter camping

Fitness and Difficulty Requirements

Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Ice Climbing
Wanaka Mountain Guides

To get the most out of the course, participants should have good fitness.

Wanaka Mountain Guides

Participants should have some experience with rock climbing and ropework, including knots and belaying.

Cost and Dates

Duration: 4 days

The course venue is dependent on the weather so we offer 2 days of weather contingency. Participants will need to be available for 6 days from the start date.
2024 Dates:
29th July – 1st August: 4 places available
5th – 8th August: 4 places available

These dates are available for group or private bookings. Can’t make these dates, get in touch to arrange other dates or private guiding private trips.
2023 Price:
$1990 / $2690 / $3990 per person for 4 / 3 / 2 people.

Includes: GST, guide fees, compliance costs, technical equipment, all food, tents and cooking equipment, transport from Wānaka, helicopter flight in and out
Maximum ratio: 1:4

If the weather does not allow helicopter access into Wye Creek for the entire duration of the trip then accommodation will be required in Queenstown. Accommodation in Queenstown is not included in the trip cost but unused expenses will be refunded.  In this case, it will be possible to undertake day or overnight trips to ice and mixed climb in the Remarkables. 

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