This trip starts at the top of the Franz Josef Glacier, with an easy climb near Centennial Hut, then traverses to the top of the Fox Glacier, to Pioneer Hut, for an ascent of Grey Peak, before descending to Chancellor Hut and flying back out to Fox Glacier township. The views from these glacier nevés out over the Tasman Sea are unsurpassed.
Pioneer and Centennial Huts, the bases for the "Dream Trek" are public huts that cannot be booked. The huts work on a first come first served basis. Participants must carry their own sleeping bags, personal gear and some of the group equipment, food, stove, fuel, and cooking utensils (all provided by us).
It is essential that participants are fit enough to walk out from the high mountain venue. This involves hiking with a full pack (approximately 20kg) over sometimes rough ground for 8-12 hours. Previous mountaineering experience and good cramponing skills are essential. We recommend doing either our 4-day Introductory Climbing Course or the Ball Pass Crossing as preparation for this trip.
Day 1: 8:00 am gear check at the Alpine Recreation office, 30 Murray Place, Lake Tekapo. Drive to Fox Glacier via Haast Pass and through the South Westland World Heritage Area. We pause for a walk to a beach with wild surf, where sometimes penguins can be observed. 6 hours driving. 1 hour walking.
Day 2: Fly by helicopter from Fox Glacier to Centennial Hut at the top of the Franz Josef Glacier and refresh cramponing and ice-axe skills on Mt Jervois. Practise roping up for glacier travel. 6 hours.
Day 3: Traverse to Pioneer Hut, climbing Mt Von Bulow en route. 5-7 hours.
Day 4: Climb Grey Peak and return to Pioneer Hut. 7 hours.
Day 5: Descend to Chancellor Hut at the head of the Fox Glacier. Fly out to Fox Glacier township. 4-5 hours.
Day 6: Return to Tekapo. There is some flexibility with this programme to work around unfavourable weather (eg. Days 5-6 could be combined if necessary; or the flight in could occur on Day 1 or on Day 3, with ice climbing on the lower Fox Glacier as a substitute on Day 2).
NB: This trip takes place on the western (wetter) side of the Southern Alps, so the itinerary may need to be varied according to weather conditions.
Equipment: Alpine Recreation provides all trekking and mountaineering equipment. A detailed equipment list will be sent at time of booking. Outdoor clothing, packs and boots can also be provided at no extra cost if necessary.
Accommodation pre-/post- tour: As our equipment check takes place at 8am on the morning of departure, you need to book accommodation in Tekapo the night before. After the tour, it is recommended to overnight in Tekapo again, or in Mount Cook. Accommodation options in Tekapo.
Insurance: In case of accident New Zealand's Accident Compensation scheme (ACC) will cover the majority of costs (about 80%) involved with evacuation and injury treatment, even for visitors to New Zealand. However you still need ordinary travel insurance to cover such things as your cancellation if an injury prevents you taking part on the trip, or a close relative suddenly becomes ill; and medical insurance in case you become ill. More information re Accident Compensation. The New Zealand Alpine Club provides a good mountaineering specific travel insurance.
How green are we? Alpine Recreation reduces its carbon footprint and environmental impact through such things as:
- restricting group size
- using fuel efficient vehicles
- minimising use of vehicles and aircraft
- recycling, re-using, composting, avoiding "consumerism"
- minimal impact huts
- bulk buying of food supplies
- promoting conservation of native flora and fauna
- supporting community efforts to encourage appreciation of the natural environment.
- 2-4 participants per guide
- Individual bookings welcome. If you end up being the only person on a trip you will have the option of changing to another date or a full refund.
- Price per person in NZ$
- 5% returning client discount, if you have been on an Alpine Recreation trip before.
- Please note that on public holidays there will be a surcharge of NZ$80 per person per day.
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