The "Matterhorn of the South"
Enjoying the view from Bevan Col
Descending French Ridge in cloud
A quick transition from snow to alpine meadows
Keas are regular visitors
Mount Aspiring Trek
A stunning New Zealand alpine experience!
Experience the wonderful contrast from grassy valleys and alpine meadows to jagged and ice covered peaks and vast glacial plateaus! Take in the stunning views of Mount Aspiring - the only 3000m peak outside of Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park. Combine glacier trekking and some introductory level mountaineering for a great alpine adventure.
This 4-day trip has been developed for trekkers who have already done the Ball Pass Crossing and seek something of a similar level of difficulty, or slightly harder. The trip begins with an enjoyable walk up the Matukituki Valley to Aspiring Hut. Trekkers complete a loop up French Ridge, cross the Bonar Glacier and descend back down to the Matukituki Valley via Bevan Col. The route allows an up close experience of Mount Aspiring - the "Matterhorn of the South" - the only 3000m peak outside of Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park). A climb of Mount French may be possible, if weather and snow conditions permit.
|Participants||4 days||5 days|
|returning client discount (on individual bookings), if you have been on an Alpine Recreation trip before.|
|Group Booking Discounts (NZ$ per person)|
|A per person surcharge of NZ will apply to all prices on.|
- IFMGA/NZMGA certified mountain guide
- National Park fees
- Hut accommodation
- Local accommodation for any nights required during the trip
- Local transport (Tekapo - Wanaka/Raspberry Flat return)
- ALL meals (including snacks & energy bars) for the duration of the trip
- ALL mountaineering and trekking equipment
Meals and accommodation before/after the trip are NOT included.
+Minimum & Maximum Numbers
A minimum number of 2 participants is required to run this trip. If you end up being the only person booked on the trip, you will be offered the choice of:
- paying an additional fee of NZ for 4 days or NZ for 5 days
- rescheduling to another trip/date
- a full refund
The maximum number of participants per guide is 4. The maximum group size is 8, with 2 guides.
Take advantage of our group booking discounts and get a group of family and friends together. The amount of discount you will be eligible for will depend on the group size - the more people you book, the more your discount will be! If our scheduled dates don't suit your group's travel plans, please contact us as we can reschedule a trip to suit (subject to guide availability).
Please note that group bookings are not private bookings - if you wish to keep your group closed (ie. you have a private guide just for your group), a surcharge will apply. Alterntatively you can book a group of 4 or 8 (which will ensure there are no others in your group).
+Aircraft Access - optional
Mount Aspiring Trek dates are scheduled on a case by case basis - please contact us with the dates you would like. We recommend that you settle guiding dates well in advance as guide availability during peak season is limited. Please allow extra time in case you are held up in the mountains due to weather.
Venue: Aspiring, French Ridge & Colin Todd Huts
↑ French Ridge Hut
Aspiring, French Ridge and Colin Todd Huts, the bases for this alpine trek are public huts that cannot be booked. The huts work on a first-come first-served basis.
→ Aspiring Hut in the Matukituki Valley is situated at 470m. It is a 38 bunk fully serviced hut with solar lighting, heating and cooking facilities.
→ French Ridge Hut is located part way up French Ridge at 1480m and offers great views over the Matukituki Valley. It is a 20 bunk serviced alpine hut with solar lighting, heating and cooking facilities.
→ Colin Todd Hut is located at 1800m below the NW ridge of Mt Aspiring. It is a basic 12 bunk hut with a water supply, toilet, radio and an amazing view. As the hut is the departure point for ascents of Mount Aspiring, it is often crowded so it may be necessary to use a small tent or bivvy outside.
Bivvy/snow cave option:
During fine weather, it is common to spend a night in a bivvy or snow cave. In this case, additional equipment (such as sleeping mats) will be carried.
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).
Previous Experience & Agility
Fitness & Endurance
Regular aerobic fitness training is a pre-requisite along with stamina to hike with a full pack (approximately 20kg) over uneven, rough ground for 9-10 hours.
Previous Experience & Agility
Previous mountaineering experience and good cramponing skills are essential. Your guide may elect to take snowshoes if conditions dictate. No prior experience of these is necessary and they are provided at no extra cost.
8am gear check at Alpine Recreation's Edelweiss Lodge, 8 Erebus Place, Lake Tekapo. Drive to Wanaka, then Raspberry Flat (3½ hours). Walk in to Aspiring Flat and leave a load of fresh food for our return. 2 hours walking.
It is possible to meet your guide in Wanaka (on request) - this largely depends on how much equipment (if any) you may need to borrow from us.
Continue up the Matukituki Valley to French Ridge and climb up through steep native beech forest to French Ridge Hut. 5-6 hours.
Using crampons and ice axe, climb up to the top of French Ridge to gain the Quarterdeck and access onto the Bonar Glacier. In good conditions you may spend the night in a snow cave or bivvy at the base of Mount French or near Bevan Col. Alternatively continue to Colin Todd Hut for the night. If time and conditions permit, you may also climb to the summit of Mount French to savour the panoramic views of Mount Aspiring and its surrounding peaks. 6-8 hours.
A big day descending steep and technical terrain from Bevan Col back down to the Matukituki Valley and Aspiring Hut. Your guide will provide protection with a rope over steeper rocky sections. Enjoy a big meal and well earned rest at the hut. 10-12 hours.
Walk back out to Raspberry Flat and drive back to Wanaka/Tekapo. 2 hours walking.
Optional - Air Access
There is the option to fly in or out of Bevan Col. This can save a whole day, but is dependant on fine weather. Flights cost extra (see the prices section for details). Please ask is if you'd like this option.
Bad weather options
There is some flexibility within this programme to work around unfavourable weather conditions (for example, Days 1 & 2 could be combined or the trip can be done in reverse). We recommend leaving 1-2 days free at the end of your trip in case you get held up due to weather. We usally run this trip during the months of December through to March, but it may still be possible outside of these times with an alternate itinerary/route to work around difficult snow/crevasse conditions. Please email us to request your dates.
All of your equipment will be checked during the gear check at our office at the start of your trip. Any equipment you need to borrow from us will be issued by your guide. Alpine Recreation provides packs, helmets, harnesses, crampons, ice-axes and any outdoor clothing, you may require at no extra cost. Please see the equipment list below for further details.