New Zealand





MountainRec's AvALANCHE Lodge


Extract from: Air New Zealand's- Pacific Wave magazine

Avalanche Lodge is a name which could give some people insomnia. However, after a three hour walk up the West Matukituki Valley of Mount Aspiring National Park in the Southern Alps, most trekkers sleep well despite the rumble of snow avalanches.

The hut is Mountain Recreation's base for it's guided trek and mountaineering business. It is nestled at the top of Shovel Flat, surrounded by a spectacular circle of snow peaks and hanging glaciers. Mt. Aspiring crowns the breathtaking mountain views.

Since forming Mountain Recreation Ltd. in 1973, the Wayatts' clientele has changed considerably. "Our mountaineering school numbers have dwindled and we are now seeing more of the older, less altitude ambitious groups," says Geoff Wayatt.

"They want to spend time in wild locations without suffering too much or carrying heavy packs. They love energetic days but want the guarantee of a dry bunk and warm sleeping bag. I have also installed a hot shower as an alternative to a cold plunge in the Matukituki River."

Geoff Wayatt was the first person to ski from the summit of Mount Cook in 1982. He climbed the precipitous East Face of Mt Cook in 1991, seven days before the summit fell off. Last summer he confirmed his standing as one of New Zealand's most experienced mountain guides by climbing Mount Aspiring a total record of 87 ascents 1966 -Nov 2012 and 24 ascents, Mt Cook (05 Nov2012)

"The Routeburn and Milford Tracks are almost at their full capacity, so people are looking for alternatives or more adventure." Most of the National Park is untracked and rarely seen, except by aircraft. For enthusiasts willing to walk a few hours a day, Mt. Aspiring Treks opens up a dramatic world of unparalleled mountain and forest vistas.

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