CLIMBING COURSE EXPEDITION NOTES
LOCATION: Our operating base since 1975 has been Shovel Flat, in the upper West Matukituki Valley. We have a spectacular, but sheltered and secluded site for our new Hut - Avalanche Lodge. Shovel Flat drops away to the north-west from the hut offering excellent views of mountains, hanging glaciers and waterfalls combining a splendid balance of native forest and mountain glaciation. Throughout the four seasons there is a constant change in the flora, the forests and snowline like seeing an old friend in new clothing.
ACCESS: Wanaka is a five hour drive from Christchurch and one hour from Queenstown. Daily bus services connect most South Island centres (see transport) and flights connect with major carriers to Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland with Aspiring Air. Helicopter charter from Wanaka is also available for various permited drop offs in the Park.
The West Matukituki Valley is accessed from Wanaka via the 50km Mt Aspiring Road to the Raspbery Flat roadhead.
It is a 3 hour walk to Shovel Flat and 200m. height gain along easy river valley walking.
MAPS/GUIDE BOOKS: Full details of the region are provided in the following guides available from Mtn Rec.: MOIR'S GUIDEBOOK NORTHERN SECTION - TRAMPING - MT ASPIRING NATIONAL PARK MAP 1/150,000 -
During your stay, consider Shovel Flat YOUR own chunk of paradise.
CLIMATE: The West Matukituki Valley receives an annual rainfall of 4000mm - much in the form of snow, so if you are not getting frizzled, you're getting soaked! In order to see some of the exciting aspects of the valley and keep active we have to do some travel in adverse weather conditions. (e.g. the perfect time to appreciate the difficulties of N.Z. rivercrossing is when you are standing on the wrong side of the river, in your knickers in a howling Nor-wester.) However, we attempt to suffer with a smile. The region and clothes dry quickly and for most of the time we wear shorts and sandshoes with either a T shirt or thermal top. If it's windy we add on a fleece pullover and windshells, leaving a light dry set of thermals for evening.
FOOD: Our food emphasis is on quality, followed by quantity, recognizing the needs of various appetites. We have a high reputation for our tatarua biscuits, Shovel Flat pancakes and Matuki venison (when sighted). Bring your own chocolates and sweets for nibbling enroute. Also Leppin high carbo squeezes for big climbing days. Vegetarians: Our food and catering provides equally well for vegetarians.
DRINKING WATER: Most of the streams in the region are fast running and crystal clear and giardia is not a concern to date, but we encourage normal hygiene precautions.
SUNBURN: The Bonar Glacier is one of the brightest places on earth. Protection from burning is best achieved via peaked caps, broad brimmed hats and light scarfs. Suncreme should be applied hourly when it is clear or misty. Write for "Preventing Alpine Sunburn" by Geoff Wayatt price: $7.00
MTN REC. GUIDES: Are dedicated professionals headed by Geoff & Beryl Wayatt. They will show you the mountains and valleys and how to enjoy them. They will also let you do your climbing and in an informal way provide whatever encouragement, support and guidance is necessary for your successful Aspiring expedition.
NATIONAL PARK ETHICS: We are in a privileged (and licenced) situation in Mt Aspiring National Park and are happy to share it with our clients. We request you conduct your activities accordingly, respecting and protecting this unique environment for yourself and others use.
GUIDING: We do a limited number of guiding trips on Mt Aspiring and to Mt. Cook throughout the year subject to glacial recession etc. We cater for individual requirements on request.
PASSPORTS: Australian visitors must carry current passports to N Z. All other Nationals must also have visitors visas. INSURANCE: We advise travel insurance for illness, injury, loss of baggage, flight and course booking cancellation.
ACCIDENTS: In New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Act applies to everyone, resident and visitor. It covers local medical expenses pertaining to injury by accident.
RELEASE FROM LIABILITY: As part of your course you will be asked to complete a "Release from Liability" Form recognizing your responsibility in regard to personal injury sustained during a Mountain Recreation conducted activity.
MEDICAL: The key to an enjoyable course is adequate fitness and some body toughness. We advise a regular medical check-up. NOTE: Please inform us of any medical condition which could affect your (or others) activity on the course.
FEET: IF YOU GET A HOT SPOT ON YOUR FEET - TAPE IT! Carry Moleskin and 2nd Skin. If your boots trouble you, alternate with track shoes. SUNBURN: New Zealand has very clear sky, long days and bright sun. Be prepared with adequate caps, sunglasses (and spares), suncreme and bandanas and masks! INSECTS: Sandflies can be a nuisance at times, but are easily deterred by adequate clothing and insect repellant.
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