The Darrans mountain range in Fiordland is the premiere destination for a range of mountaineering objectives. From early January to the end of the summer season in March, when the loss of seasonal snow begins to cut off access to NZ’s high glaciated peaks, the area is renowned for mountaineering. This includes exposed rock scrambling and alpine rock climbing on the rough compact granite of the Moir massif, Mitre Peak and classical routes of Tutoko and Madeline. Many routes are easily accessible from the Upper Hollyford Valley and Milford Road or, lightweight bivis or utlising the area’s massive rock bivis.
Darrans Mountaineering Objectives
The Iconic Mitre Peak of Milford Sound features heavily in NZ’s tourism marketing. It is the backdrop for the thousands of daily tourists that cruise in the sound below. It’s 1692m high summit is accessed via a narrow ridge provides varied scrambling and massive exposure. Best enjoyed with a camp at the tree line to make the most of the sunrise over the Sound.
Macpherson Talbot Traverse
A classic crossing from the Milford Road to the Gertrude Valley. Ascend the ‘Postman’s’ route to Homer Saddle then Talbots Ladder and onwards to the summit of MacPherson. At one point this was considered as a tourist route to Milford Sound! From Macpherson, the route crosses the glacier to Traverse Pass and then down to Gertrude Saddle and the Gertrude Valley.
Mount Tūtoko and Mount Madeline
The mighty Mount Tūtoko (2723m) and Mount Madeline (2536m), the highest peaks of Fiordland National Park are both accessed from the amazingly situated Turner’s rock bivi. They provide classic, varied and remote mountaineering objectives.
Moirs Mate is the premier alpine rock climbing destination in the area with the west face having a high concentration of classic and modern rock climbs. The traverse from Homer Saddle and the North Ridge provides excellent, exposed scrambling on rough granite.
The popular Gertrude Valley track and viewpoint of Gertrude Saddle is just the first stop on the trip to Barrier Knob. The summit provides views down to Milford Sound and Lake Adelaide and the massive rock walls of Marian Peak and Sabre Peak. There are a number of bivi spots for the complete Fiordland experience.
The Sentinel above Adelaide Saddle provides the region’s best lower-grade alpine rock climbing. The area is accessed by a transalpine journey up and over Barrier Knob and a night can be spent at Gill’s Bivi rock by descending Gifford’s Crack to Lake South America and the upper Adelaide Cirque.
Details and Pricing
|Dates:||January to March|
Get in contact to arrange private dates.
|Price:||From $2690 per person for 4 days.|
Includes: GST, guide fees, compliance costs, technical equipment, transport from Wānaka, mountain food and accommodation.
‘First class guide with excellent skills with safety being the priority. However, even his cooking was good! :-)… overall had an amazing adventure! He managed all aspects of our safety efficiently and professionally. It was a truly great experience! A first-class job guiding us with his in-depth knowledge of the mountain.’
— Murray, Aspiring Ascent
‘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 Wanaka Mountain Guides!
— Landen, Mitre Peak Ascent