Aspiring Glacier Trek
The Aspiring Glacier Trek is a multi-day expedition exploring the glaciers, passes, and valleys of Mount Aspiring National Park. Visit high alpine climbers’ huts and journey through the elevation zones showing the diversity of the region including glacier, sub-alpine scrub, and beech forest.
For ambitious trekkers, a glacier trek will provide the opportunity to learn new skills and experience the high alpine environment in the remote Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area of South West New Zealand.
We fly into Bevan Col with Aspiring Helicopters, on the edge of the Bonar Glacier, from the Matukituki Valley. From here it is a couple of hours across the glacier to Colin Todd hut, our base for one or two nights. There is time to explore the crevasses and ice sculptures of the glacier.
The next day provides the opportunity to explore the area. The climb up to the top of Shipowner Ridge provides an excellent viewpoint along the North West Ridge to the summit of Mount Aspiring itself and down onto the icefall of the glacier as it disappears off the edge into the valley below. In the afternoon, there is the opportunity to explore alpine tarns or to have a go at ice climbing on the glacier.
An early start to climb to the top of the Bonar Glacier, taking in views of the west and south faces of Mount Aspiring before climbing up to the Quarterdeck Pass. From here the route heads down, leaving the snow behind to enjoy the sunset from the deck of French Ridge Hut.
Our last day affords a slightly more relaxed start as we tackle the steep descent to the river below. Once down French Ridge, the track improves as we transition back into civilization along the West Matukituki Valley, through beech forest, and eventually into open grazing land, and the start of the road at Raspberry Creek.
Fitness and Difficulty
This is a challenging trek for people with some previous and recent trekking experience away from formed tracks on rough terrain, rock, and scree.
The trip involves 1500m of descent down the steep French Ridge track requiring good balance and head for heights. Distances can be up to 20km per day.
The use of crampons and ice axe are required and the use of these will be introduced by your guide during the trip.
Aspiring Glacier Trek Pricing and Details
|Duration 4 days|
|Dates: Get in touch for private trips from December to March.|
|$2890 / $5450 per person for 2 /1 people.|
Price includes GST, guide fees, compliance costs, mountain food and accommodation, transport from Wānaka, technical equipment, and helicopter flight into Bevan Col.
|Maximum ratio 1:2|
‘A very professional guide and great company. He took time to explain to us what walks were possible/practical each day depending on the weather and the impact it would have on the surrounding rivers. If you are city dwellers it is very comforting to know that your guide is thinking of the safety of the group. [He] certainly kept us well fed as well. We are looking forward to future trips in the beautiful mountains around Wānaka which is a refreshing change and takes us out of our comfort zone for a few days at least.’
— Michael, Siberia Hut Trip
‘Thank you again. That was an awesome day out and I really appreciated how generous [our guide] was with his time and knowledge. He crammed in more than I thought possible in a day.’
— Megan, Remarkables Alpine Rock Climbing Course
‘It was 4 days I’ll never forget! The experiences I had I only want to grow on. I set out to accomplish a task, but I got so much more! You showed me a whole new world with your sport and I can’t thank you enough! Absolutely exceeded my expectations!!! Thanks Wānaka Mountain Guides!
— Landen, Mitre Peak Ascent