And it does feel like spring in the mountains. Days are warmer and daylight saving has just started here in NZ.
Coming out of winter we’re looking forward to the summer guiding season. Bookings are coming in steadily, and some periods are already full, or almost filled.
If you are thinking about climbing with Alpine Guide this summer, now is a very good time to check in and talk with us about dates.
Compared to last year we’ve had a much more “normal” snowfall pattern through winter/spring. We’re predicting that climbing conditions will far better than in 2010, after what was an unusually hot and dry spring.
We thought that visitor numbers to the region were down on recent years. The reasons? Christchurch earthquakes, and global recessions… maybe?
Whatever the reasons, a lot of people missed out on one of the best snow seasons we’ve had. The quality of skiing was superb with great powder days from the start of the season and well into September. A week long storm in early July set up snow to the valley floors in both Methven and Wilderness Heli’s terrain.
This year we had so many Wilderness Heliski guests tell us that they just had the best heliskiing experience of their lives. This was from people who’ve skied around the world. We’ll happily take customer feedback like that!
De la Beche Hut to go
Late this summer De la Beche Hut will be removed by the Department Of Conservation. It no longer meets alpine hut standards, due to weathering and gradual disrepair.
This is a sad loss for Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. We don’t know what will replace it, if anything. In the short to medium term there will be no hut at the location on De la Beche Ridge.
Apart from removing an important shelter in the lower Tasman Valley, this will affect our Across The Main Divide program. The route for the trip crosses from Pioneer Hut in Westland National Park, to De la Beche Hut, via Graham Saddle.
This summer could be the last season (for a while) that we offer this trip in its current format – unless a replacement hut or shelter is established in the area.
AGL Guides in the Himalayas
Everest summiter Dave is guiding for Russel Brice’s Himalayan Experience. His team have been in the area for a month, and were scheduled to leave base camp on 23rd, and to summit on 27th.
We’re all wishing him good luck for his climb. Tune in to http://www.himalayanexperience.com/manaslu-expeditions/2011 to get the latest news on his trip.
Mal Haskins is on his personal Speedfly 8000 project. He and his small team aim to climb Manaslu and fly from the summit using speedwings.
Mal has been working on this project for several years, training and testing gear. It’s one thing to climb an 8,000 metre peak, but carrying the extra gear and flying in the thin air at altitude are huge challenges in their own right.
They aim to summit and fly around 17/18 October. You can also check out Mal’s NZ flying videos on his Youtube channel.
That’s all for this one. Take care in the hills.