Introductory Mountaineering Course (IDM)
"An Intro to Mountaineering in New Zealand" - a blog review of the Introductory Mountaineering Course by @bearfoottheory.
"My partner and I attended the 4-day Introductory Mountaineering Course based out of the private Caroline Hutt in Mt Cook National Park. Our guide Martin Hess was amazing, he was very experienced, personable and a great cook! Everything went great, we felt very safe and felt we were able to get everything and more out of the trip. We have already done a bit of rock climbing and have both spent a lot of time in the outdoors having done walks above the bush line throughout New Zealand. As it was just us and Martin, we were able to tailor the course to meet our needs and focus on what we were most interested in. Communication, logistics, food, and the location were absolutely superb. The fact that Alpine Recreation was able to provide the technical gear as part of the course cost was a huge plus and the gear itself was great. We loved the 'leave no trace' approach Alpine Recreation takes to its courses, and appreciate their passion for 'true' mountaineering and the environment around them as opposed to other companies who may be more focused on the more commercial 'conquer the mountain' approach. We would recommend this course to our friends who are wanting to get a taste for mountaineering and understand what it is all about, we definitely feel a lot of people do not really understand what mountaineering really is. We have a new appreciation for mountaineering and the skills you need to be safe in the mountains. We are already planning more trips and would love to progress our skills further with Alpine Recreation in the future!"
- R. Muir, New Zealand. April 2016.
"Firstly a big thank you to you and your team for running this great course. I felt comfortable from the moment we arrived at your office, right through to the time we returned. Mt Cook NP is also a great location. Ewan Paterson was a great guide, who is obviously very experienced. He is also a people person with great communication skills. His method of teaching/coaching/training is exceptional. He commenced with training/coaching us from the moment we arrived and this continued until we returned to base. While there was never a doubt that he was in charge, he was also very inclusive, involving us in the decision making process, which in turn helped us with making decisions for ourselves and the team as a whole. At no time did I have safety concerns as he explained what we were going to before we did it, and he explained it clearly. I learnt a lot including some basic alpine knots, climbing path selection, belaying, snow/ice skills, both with and without crampons. The self arrest session was a highlight, especially for someone like me who hasn't snow experience. Our night out bivvying at Ball Pass was a highlight that I will never forget. Given the earlier weather we had, to have a clear, fine, still night (even though it got a bit cold, was an opportunity I am glad we didn't miss. Being so close to Mt Cook and to look up at the night sky was awesome. Thank you again for the great course."
- G. Verdoorn, Australia. March 2016.
"I thought the guide did an excellent job. He had a friendly demeanor, a good sense of humor, and helped us through the tough parts. At the same time, by the end of the course, he set expectation that for us pulling our own weight which is really important on a mountaineering expedition where the group's safety depends on the choices of each individual. ... I can't imagine a better setting for a course like this. "
- K. Bor, USA. February 2016.
"Equipment was provided and the response I got after my initial enquiry was informative and quick. I felt right away that this was a group of professionals who knew the areas they were working in exceptionally well. Also got a very friendly vibe. Plenty of information but attention was always made to make sure that there wasn't too much at any one time. Paul was plenty of fun, but also very professional and always able to answer further questions. Great enthusiasm and knowlege. "
- K. Underhill, Canada. July 2015.
"This time last week I was happily learning new mountaineering skills on the IDM. Oh my, how time flies. I really wish that I was still there rather than sat here doing office work. sigh. My legs were pretty sore after that quick descent of the "waterfall" track on the last day. The best quad workout for a while J
The experience I had was absolutely wonderful and I really want to commend you on the high standard of service and facilities you provide. I still can't believe that I wore strange boots for 4 days without one bit of rubbing or soreness. Make sure you ear mark them for me next time I return. Haha.
Of course, Elke was amazing. Such a great teacher and so patient! I was very lucky to have spent so much valuable time with her but I acknowledge that all the guides I met seemed equally professional and inspiring."
- C. Allan, Australia. January 2014.
"I think having the hut independently run is great. In particular it is great for the introductory course, as it allowed us more time to focus on picking up skills rather than setting up and organising a campsite. I thought the approach to environmental responsiblity was exceptional as well."
- B. Pawski, Australia. February 2014.
"I would like to say that you have exceeded my expectations (yet again). I came and did the IDM in 2007 and was blown away by the professionalism of the guide and the experience of the IDM. I have since climbed in Europe and must say that NZ is the place to be! I decided to get my brother involved in mountaineering and so I booked the IDM again for this year. We had a brilliant time. Wolfgang again pushed us safely to experience new things. The weather and hut were awesome and I would strongly urge anyone with an interest in getting into mountaineering to sign up for the IDM course. You run a brilliant business and I look forward to organizing my next trip in 2013."
- D. Robinson, Australia. November 2012.
Intensive Mountaineering Skills Course (IMS)
"The Intensive Mountaineering Skills Course was a fantastic experience and one which i learnt a lot from. Ewan as a guide was outstanding, tailoring the course to our groups needs and making it really worth our time. Ewan not only taught us the technical aspects of mountaineering but gave great attention to increasing our decision making ability, which is ultimately the most important thing to learn. His willingness to teach us what we needed to learn and inquire into what we wanted to get from the course made it efficient and gave me a sense that the course was for us, and not a 'standard' climbing course given to everyone.
- H. Scanes, Australia. December 2015.
"...The company looks professional and being able to walk in to the private hut to save money was a massive bonus. Also, the fact we were able to hire gear for free was amazing. There's no way I could've afforded to buy boots or anything prior to the trip. I'd love to come back to do a further course with Alpine Recreation in the future. Beautiful location, fantastic guide, quality gear and food.
-P. Boxall, Australia. IMS December 2015.
"I think the entire product you were selling was exactly what we were after and will no doubt be returning into the future."The guides are exceptional - well trained, knowledgeable, friendly and willing to work with clients of varying ability. Having access to a well stocked private hut was fantastic and the facilities, while basic, were more than adequate. Communication was fast and efficient when booking and making arrangements."
- B. Balhatchet, Australia. January 2012.
"Excellent organisation, can't beat the private hut facility, well designed course."
- G. Bearne, Australia. January 2015.
Specialized Alpine Climbing Course (SAC)
"As with the previous trip with Wolfgang I think you do a great job of making a student feel less like a student and more like part of a climbing team, even if we are completely inept at what we are doing. I also like the style of instruction and your willingness to repeat and go over things until I have a grip on what I have been taught. And I like being stretched - asked to do stuff I would not intuitively do is a great way to build confidence. Outstanding value for money. Have recommended and will continue to do so."
-B. Lyman, Australia. January 2014.
"I found the week immensely rewarding and the skills learned were considerable. The different activities we did on the various days pushed me and gave me a steep and challenging learning curve. I would also like to say what a fantastic guide Wolfgang is. He not only pushed but also inspired both me and Sarah with his great fitness, skill and an enthusiasm for the mountains and climbing in general that is just so contagious. He really did make the trip really something special for us both. Wolfgang was an incredible guide, he taught us loads and really helped highlight where our strengths and weaknesses lie - he gave us loads to think about and progress from at home and was really very inspirational."
- R. Dodd & S. McCallum, New Zealand. December 2013.
"I think you run trips very well, it feels like a very personal company right down to it is great Anne to talk to you personally on the phone about a trip, and you are always there to meet the clients. It was well organised. I found Paul a great guide, he found out what we wanted to learn, where we were at and helped me develop my climbing skills past that, enabling me to make more decisions and take on more of a leader role in my climbing rather than mainly seconding not making many decisions. I think he did this in a great way. Thanks for a great trip."
- A. Pheasant, New Zealand. February 2013..
"Fantastic. Even on really short notice Gavin and Anne were able to put together a great climbing package, give me a good description of the itinerary for the climb and give great weather predictions for my time at Kelman. The gear rental policy is terrific - next time I will hardly need to bring anything when I come over from the States. Also, ensuring that I returned on time for my flight back given the unpredictable weather was difficult but well done."
- Specialized Alpine Climbing Course. T. Myer, USA. July 2012.
Combined Mountaineering Course (IMS + SAC)
"Personally, I think you have set up an exceptional model of instruction and in seeing what other companies were doing whilst on our Specialized Alpine Climbing Course I was very glad I went with Alpine Recreation. All of the guides that we were with (and that passed through Caroline Hut whilst we were there) all represented the company in an exemplary manner and made everyone feel welcome and never made us feel like we were behind the ball. All meals were amazing and we never went hungry. In fact we may have even eaten too much at times!!
- W. Bailey, Australia. January 2015.
"I should thank you and Alpine Recreation for making this trip possible. I have been wanting to do a course like this since 5 years ago, and it certainly all came together very well 5 years later. I certainly have no regrets doing it with Alpine Recreation, as we were very well taken care of, from the time i made my first enquiry, to the first day when you picked us up, till the last day when you saw us off at the office. Wolfgang and Paul are excellent guides in so many ways, and i certainly picked up plenty of skills with them during this first foray into the world of mountaineering. In future, when i find myself doing climbs anywhere in the world, i will fondly remember that it all started in New Zealand.
I will certainly make my way back to your beautiful country very soon, and might even bring my parents along to do an easy trek with Alpine Recreation.
Till next time, do take care, and continue delighting other eager adventurers with your excellent service."
-Y. Kee, Singapore. February 2014.