Alpine Recreation, Mount Cook - MacKenzie, NZ - 116 travel reviews for Alpine Recreation
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Welcome to Alpine Recreation! We are all about outdoor adventures, specifically trekking, climbing, skiing & snowshoeing - plan your next adventure with us!

Alpine Recreation is a company based in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, specializing in trekking, climbing, ski touring and snowshoeing trips in the Southern Alps. We offer a range of guided hikes, alpine treks and ascents as well as climbing instruction courses based at our two private huts in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park.

Learn more…

Trekkers on the Ball Pass Alpine Crossing.

Trekkers on the Ball Pass Alpine Crossing.

Introductory Climbing Course at Caroline Hut.

Introductory Climbing Course at Caroline Hut.

Tasman Glacier Ski Touring.

Tasman Glacier Ski Touring.

Snowshoe Expedition to Caroline Hut.

Snowshoe Expedition to Caroline Hut.

Contact

Email: climb@alpinerecreation.com

Website: Alpine Recreation

Phone: 0800 006 096

Phone (intl): +64 3 680 6736

Lake Tekapo Address:
PO Box 75, Lake Tekapo 7945

Map

map

116 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 9.

Carita Johnsson's avatar

Carita Johnsson

Ranking: 9/10

My husband and I completed the Balls Pass Crossing late February with Alpine Recreation. We were originally booked for a few days earlier but due to extreme weather conditions we managed to organise alternative dates which was great. We had a window of 2 good days so we agreed to do the trek in 2 days and do local activities on the third day weather permitting. There were 3 of us in the group with our guide Jono leading the way. The walk was tough with lots of fresh soft snow but truly enjoyable. Jono was a fantastic guide and ensured a safe and enjoyable crossing. He was also a super chef cooking up a storm in quite basic conditions. Caroline Hut was perfect for the night.
I would recommend the trek highly to anyone interested in mountain trekking but caution that the weather is really unpredictable. Had we not been able to reschedule and ended up doing alternative activities would have been very disappointing.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Carita, for your helpful feedback. Yes, in this mountain environment we do have to respect the weather and be flexible with alternative dates, activities or venues if necessary. It is surprisingly seldom, however, that we cannot stick to original plans. You book the guide, not the weather, and the guides are well trained to make good use of the time with useful instruction on things such as map reading, navigation, local history...if the middle day has to be spent indoors.

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Susan Langridge's avatar

Susan Langridge

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Jon-o is the perfect mountaineering guide, moving from rock to rock with his arms folded and a sheer drop on one side, carefree with perfect balance! He has quite the sense of humour and was good company as well as a confidence-building guide. His culinary skills are superb, managing to produce exceptionally interesting food out of nowhere - especially impressive as I am vegetarian and he is not.

We tackled the Ball Pass Crossing, which included an interesting, picturesque ascent to the magnificent Caroline Hut, and a long, occasionally challenging descent on a slightly different route to the normal one. This route avoided a long, less enjoyable scree descent and included one particularly challenging area for which there was the option of being roped up.

Caroline Hut is a magical place, wonderful to just hang out or use as a base to explore the area.

Despite the challenges, I really enjoyed this trip which fulfilled a personal ambition of climbing close to Mt Cook, so it was well worth it. This is just about as close to Mt Cook as you can get, without actually climbing it.

I had read a review suggesting not to look down, but had ignored it as being from a less experienced climber. They were absolutely right! Just don't look down!

Reviewed 2 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Susan, it's great to have your detailed description of what it was like for you doing the Ball Pass Crossing. Yes, because you are so close to Aoraki/Mt Cook itself, it really is awe-inspiring. We're really pleased you enjoyed the whole experience, including being served well in terms of vegetarian meals. Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Anne

Halla Malik's avatar

Halla Malik

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I did the Ball Pass Crossing hike with Alpine Recreation and had a fantastic experience. They were very helpful in initially working out the most suitable trip for my ability and dates in New Zealand. The trip was very organised but still allowed flexibility, with a very user friendly website for information on what the trip entailed. Jonathan our guide was fantastic - very experienced and knowledgeable of the local area, he was able to cater to the differing needs of our group of 4 and has a very calming presence which helped build group confidence through the more challenging sections of the track. I would highly recommend Alpine Recreation and look forward to organising another trip in the near future - thanks again and keep up the great work!

Reviewed 3 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Halla, for taking the time to share your experience of the Ball Pass Crossing. Your words will help others gain an impression of what this demanding trek is like.

Alpine Recreation is open for business… Visit Website …now's your chance to take a closer look.

Nat Luxton's avatar

Nat Luxton

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I wanted to gain some experience, and confidence, after completing a mountaineering course last summer, so felt a trip with an experienced guide would be best. I phoned Alpine Recreation and spoke with Axel, who answered all of my questions, and advised that Elke would be the guide for me. I loved this confident assurance, and the idea of having a female guide, so booked a 5-day, 1:1 trip with her. This was the best decision I could have made, especially given that I have a terrible fear of heights!

I felt comfortable with Elke from the outset, from checking my gear to discussing her thoughts for our time in the mountains. She led me through unfamiliar, sometimes terrifying, terrain; schooled me in the art of crevasse rescue and navigation when bad weather made us hut-bound, and was somehow able to coax me to my very first summit, all with the patience of a saint. Until you're faced with your worst fear you don't realise just how emotionally exposed you are, yet with Elke this felt safe; there was no judgement, only support. Whilst reaching a summit was not an essential element of the trip, I'm so glad that I did, and know I could not have done it without the constant support & reassurance from Elke. It would be so easy to quit now that I've had my summit, but this has been such a positive experience that I want to continue, to push myself further, try to overcome my fear so that I can further evolve in the mountains I've come to feel at peace in. I can but hope that Elke will be with me on this journey.

So, would I recommend Alpine Recreation- hell yes!

Reviewed 3 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Wow, Nat! Thank you so much for this feedback. It is really heartening to know what this private Intensive Mountaineering Skills Course meant to you and we are so glad that Elke, our Co-Director, could help you deal with your fear of heights. Well done on summiting Turner Peak!

Warren Howe's avatar

Warren Howe

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

A great experience on the Aoraki/Mt.Cook trek with Henriette Beikirch and Alpine Recreation. Spectacular views of Aoraki/Mt. Cook and surrounds from the comfort of Caroline Hut.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you for joining us early December for this trek, Warren. We are pleased you were impressed with the views.

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Tim Clarke's avatar

Tim Clarke

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Specialist Alpine Course was everything that I wanted and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect. Booking was easy. Company was very informative when it came to choosing the most appropriate course. Elke was patient and thorough.
Highly recommended.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Great that you were prepared to go with a 1:1 guide-client ratio, meaning that Elke could tailor the course specifically to your needs. You chose a good time to come, end of November.

Mark Hillman's avatar

Mark Hillman

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

I was one of 3 mates who has just completed the Ball Pass Crossing. A fantastic experience. The guide was very welcoming and provided both a fun and safe experience - albeit very challenging!! I would highly recommend Alpine Recreation and will be using them again for further adventures.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you for your review, Mark. Yes, the Ball Pass Crossing is a challenging trek. It's a great way to get a taste of mountaineering fin just 3 days. We're pleased you found the experience fun and safe.

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Michael Colavita's avatar

Michael Colavita

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Took the intensive mountaineering course and had a great time. Had a great guide, great experience, and learned a lot. I took the course comming in with some trad climbing experience and a little mountain experience doing a few winter summits in California. I was looking to learn and boost my snow craft and travel. The course was perfect for this. I did some research and looked into some competitors before I choose this course and was glad I ended up choosing them. Here are a few things that really set them apart from their competitors: One is that they are more affordable by a few hundred dollars than the competitors which leads to the second reason which is that they don’t fly in or out. You have to get in and out on your own this means more time actually learning to move over snow, rock, and ice. This means putting all your skills to use on the last day to take a more difficult way out rather than just fly out. Another great thing about Alpine Rec is that they have their own private hut in a great location with and amazing view of Mt Cook. This means that everything in the hut is geared for your learning and enjoyment and not just to anyone comming through. They keep their own food, snacks, deserts, library, equipment, clean bedding, water, power, and anything you could need. Alpine rec is the way to go it’s is a great time with experienced knowledgeable guides, you will learn a lot.

Reviewed 5 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Michael, for your enthusiastic response. It's so good for our hard-working staff to receive such a pat on the back, and it's great to know your perspective with regard to our competition.

Giovanni Sansoni's avatar

Giovanni Sansoni

Italy

Ranking: 9/10

I live in Italy, we have the Alps and the Apennines, but the way we do ski-touring is heavily affected by the high degree of humanization of almost any area, so it's a challenge to go for tracks and landscapes one can feel fresh and freedom inspiring. I did not have much time for my first trip to New Zealand, so I decided that getting some guidance would have optimized my experience. Guidance means wise choices about where to go and what slope ski, technical skills , safe trips first, open mind and capability to relate with the customers especially those from far away countries. Well, I (me and another customer from USA) experienced all this in our 5 days trip with Paul Aubrey and Axel Reiser , exploring the area close to Lady Emily Hut. Two days of bad weather and fresh snow made more difficult the activties (evaluating snow conditions to avoid danger, spending the time in a profitable way reviewing theory and practice of rescue , making conversation not just because you are eating, by the way food was abundant and various); however these two days were well balanced by the climbing of the two beautiful valleys surrounding the hut the other days, enlightened by the midday North sun , so unusual for me. But what really makes me happy with this journey to the Southern Alps is the cultural approach of Paul and Axel in all their interactions with me, their focus on the environment so unique, their up to date knowledge of the art of living the mountains, so there is always to learn from people like them.

Reviewed 6 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Giovanni, for allowing to see this trip through your eyes. Yes, New Zealand is so different from Europe for ski touring - wilder, remoter, far fewer people, more challenging and adventurous. So pleased you enjoyed the experience and the personal interaction with the guides. Anne.

Award-1-24px Congratulations Alpine Recreation

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Carol and Ian's avatar

Carol and Ian

Ranking: 10/10

08/09 We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Two Thumb Range. We had walked here about 10 yrs ago so were interested to see what it was like in winter conditions. Terrain provided a good workout - undulating with some quite steep sections; relatively warm weather and rain made ground conditions sometimes challenging. Hut had spectacular views – grand peaks, approaching storms and the whole of the Tekapo valley. Our guide Steve looked after us well, was patient and professional & entertained us with stories of bee-keeping. We enjoyed his cooking – toasted sandwiches were a big hit - as well as Paul’s (Paul was at the hut guiding another group).
Rex Simpson Hut is luxurious compared to some of the backcountry & high country huts we’ve been in. Good sleeping & cooking facilities, very clean toilet, even a well-stocked library which came in handy on a rainy afternoon. We appreciated the ‘extras’, like gumboots to wear to the toilet so your own boots stay dry + lots of hooks for indoor drying. On the last morning we toured Snake Ridge – steep, icy & windy conditions but felt safe with expert guiding from Steve.
Road leading back to Tekapo was washed out & muddy because of heavy rain during our trip, however with Paul turning up and providing a ‘rescue’ tow, we made it back with no problems – thanks, Paul! Will definitely be returning for more trips.
14/09 Caroline Hut, was not accessible due to avalanche danger. The change of venue turned out to be an excellent alternative. Superb mountain terrain, huts full of character and history - Memorial Hut with rustic charm & the delights of cooking over an open fire, which also gave us wonderful warmth; Lady Emily Hut, about 600m higher in an atmospheric position on a ridge, peaks leaping up on all sides and ground diving away in between – spectacular! Highlight of the trip was snowshoeing further up the steep valley on the 2nd day – mountains towering all around & a perfectly sunny day; magical white-&-blue landscape.

Reviewed 7 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Carol and Ian. You were unlucky in that you did strike a period of very heavy rain during your trip. It is an exceptional event if it closes the road, even if for half a day. We are glad you enjoyed the trip despite this and were able to appreciate everything else. Your details are very helpful, Im sure, for other hikers thinking about doing a snowshoeing trip.

Lachlan Kennedy's avatar

Lachlan Kennedy

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Alpine Recreation Rex Simpson Hut Trip. My partner and I had a wonderful 4 days guided trip to Alpine Recreation's Rex Simpson Hut in the 2 Thumbs Range near Tekapo. Our guide, Paul Aubrey, was very professional and an all round good bloke to share the mountains with. The rolling terrain around the hut provided some excellent opportunities for doing telemark turns, although the visibility was affected at times by drifting low cloud. Alpine Recreation provided our transport to the trail head from Tekapo, and any equipment we needed, and didn't have. The food was simple, but fresh and tasty, and the hut was warm. There is an outside pit toilet, and no shower, but these were slight disadvantages to be able to ski in a place with views of alpine peaks, including Mt Cook and Elie de Beaumont. Such a stunning place to ski, we really hope we can come back one day. Alpine Recreation were really easy to deal with, and we would no hesitate to use their services again. Maybe Paul will take us to Lady Emily hut next year??!!

Reviewed 8 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

It was a pleasure to have you with us again, Lachlan and Victoria. Yes, there are plenty of good runs for Telemark skiers to choose from in the Two Thumb Range. Thank you for sharing your experience of this area. Hope to see you back for another trip next July-September. Anne.

Alpine Recreation is open for business… Visit Website …now's your chance to take a closer look.

david john's avatar

david john

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Very well planned and organised. A great 4 day alpine trip in the middle of winter. The guide, Paul was really good. Very safe and experienced. He was patient and understanding and great company and also a good cook !
During the booking and enquiry process the staff were very good and followed up, answered questions promptly etc.
I am definitely planning more trips with Alpine Recreation and I would thoroughly recommend them to others.

Reviewed 9 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you so much, David for your heartening comments. This is our best reward for the hard work our guides and other staff put in - to have happy clients!

Louise's avatar

Louise

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Highly recommened taking a tour with this company! I did the 'Lake Tekapo High Country' cross-country ski tour and thoroughly enjoyed it. This 4 day/3 night tour was aimed at beginners and was perfect for those with minimal/no ski experience but good fitness and plenty of enthusiasm; they also offer many tours for people with more experience too. The admin guys are super helpful at finding a tour suited to your interests and fitness levels.

We had a fantastic guided, Elke, who was friendly, knowledgeable and very patient. Alpine Recreation was well organised, all required equipment was provided, the hut was comfortable and warm, I felt safe at all times and the scenery was absolutely amazing...be prepared for some awesome pics! I had a fabulous time and can't recommend these guys highly enough to anyone with a sense of adventure who wants to explore the backcountry and see some stunning views!

Reviewed 9 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

So glad you had a good time, Louise, and we'd love to have you back!

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Smith Reynolds's avatar

Smith Reynolds

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Alpine Recreation was a pleasure to work with from planning through the end of the trip. Clear information was available, excellent equipment was provided as needed, comfortable, quaint and clean accommodations for both nights on the mountain and a confident, caring, experienced and effective guide led us throughout the journey. The experience was one of the best I've ever had. I love beauty, challenge and solitude and this adventure provided that and so much more. Viewing Mt. Cook from our hut window, hearing the avalanches crash down on the face of Mt. Cook and seeing the brilliant and innumerable stars at night were experiences I will cherish forever. Bia was an excellent guide and was quick to assess our skill and fitness level, equipment needs and appropriate techniques to use throughout. She was patient, confident, fun and ready to teach at all times over the course of our three day trip. I highly recommend this trip to fit experienced hikers desiring a true challenge.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Smith, for sharing your experience of Ball Pass and the Caroline Hut. Yes it truly is a special place to be and we are privileged to have such a good guide working for us.

116 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 9.

Carita Johnsson's avatar

Carita Johnsson

Ranking: 9/10

My husband and I completed the Balls Pass Crossing late February with Alpine Recreation. We were originally booked for a few days earlier but due to extreme weather conditions we managed to organise alternative dates which was great. We had a window of 2 good days so we agreed to do the trek in 2 days and do local activities on the third day weather permitting. There were 3 of us in the group with our guide Jono leading the way. The walk was tough with lots of fresh soft snow but truly enjoyable. Jono was a fantastic guide and ensured a safe and enjoyable crossing. He was also a super chef cooking up a storm in quite basic conditions. Caroline Hut was perfect for the night.
I would recommend the trek highly to anyone interested in mountain trekking but caution that the weather is really unpredictable. Had we not been able to reschedule and ended up doing alternative activities would have been very disappointing.

Reviewed about 1 month ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Carita, for your helpful feedback. Yes, in this mountain environment we do have to respect the weather and be flexible with alternative dates, activities or venues if necessary. It is surprisingly seldom, however, that we cannot stick to original plans. You book the guide, not the weather, and the guides are well trained to make good use of the time with useful instruction on things such as map reading, navigation, local history...if the middle day has to be spent indoors.

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Susan Langridge's avatar

Susan Langridge

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Jon-o is the perfect mountaineering guide, moving from rock to rock with his arms folded and a sheer drop on one side, carefree with perfect balance! He has quite the sense of humour and was good company as well as a confidence-building guide. His culinary skills are superb, managing to produce exceptionally interesting food out of nowhere - especially impressive as I am vegetarian and he is not.

We tackled the Ball Pass Crossing, which included an interesting, picturesque ascent to the magnificent Caroline Hut, and a long, occasionally challenging descent on a slightly different route to the normal one. This route avoided a long, less enjoyable scree descent and included one particularly challenging area for which there was the option of being roped up.

Caroline Hut is a magical place, wonderful to just hang out or use as a base to explore the area.

Despite the challenges, I really enjoyed this trip which fulfilled a personal ambition of climbing close to Mt Cook, so it was well worth it. This is just about as close to Mt Cook as you can get, without actually climbing it.

I had read a review suggesting not to look down, but had ignored it as being from a less experienced climber. They were absolutely right! Just don't look down!

Reviewed 2 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Susan, it's great to have your detailed description of what it was like for you doing the Ball Pass Crossing. Yes, because you are so close to Aoraki/Mt Cook itself, it really is awe-inspiring. We're really pleased you enjoyed the whole experience, including being served well in terms of vegetarian meals. Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Anne

Halla Malik's avatar

Halla Malik

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I did the Ball Pass Crossing hike with Alpine Recreation and had a fantastic experience. They were very helpful in initially working out the most suitable trip for my ability and dates in New Zealand. The trip was very organised but still allowed flexibility, with a very user friendly website for information on what the trip entailed. Jonathan our guide was fantastic - very experienced and knowledgeable of the local area, he was able to cater to the differing needs of our group of 4 and has a very calming presence which helped build group confidence through the more challenging sections of the track. I would highly recommend Alpine Recreation and look forward to organising another trip in the near future - thanks again and keep up the great work!

Reviewed 3 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Halla, for taking the time to share your experience of the Ball Pass Crossing. Your words will help others gain an impression of what this demanding trek is like.

Alpine Recreation is open for business… Visit Website …now's your chance to take a closer look.

Nat Luxton's avatar

Nat Luxton

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I wanted to gain some experience, and confidence, after completing a mountaineering course last summer, so felt a trip with an experienced guide would be best. I phoned Alpine Recreation and spoke with Axel, who answered all of my questions, and advised that Elke would be the guide for me. I loved this confident assurance, and the idea of having a female guide, so booked a 5-day, 1:1 trip with her. This was the best decision I could have made, especially given that I have a terrible fear of heights!

I felt comfortable with Elke from the outset, from checking my gear to discussing her thoughts for our time in the mountains. She led me through unfamiliar, sometimes terrifying, terrain; schooled me in the art of crevasse rescue and navigation when bad weather made us hut-bound, and was somehow able to coax me to my very first summit, all with the patience of a saint. Until you're faced with your worst fear you don't realise just how emotionally exposed you are, yet with Elke this felt safe; there was no judgement, only support. Whilst reaching a summit was not an essential element of the trip, I'm so glad that I did, and know I could not have done it without the constant support & reassurance from Elke. It would be so easy to quit now that I've had my summit, but this has been such a positive experience that I want to continue, to push myself further, try to overcome my fear so that I can further evolve in the mountains I've come to feel at peace in. I can but hope that Elke will be with me on this journey.

So, would I recommend Alpine Recreation- hell yes!

Reviewed 3 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Wow, Nat! Thank you so much for this feedback. It is really heartening to know what this private Intensive Mountaineering Skills Course meant to you and we are so glad that Elke, our Co-Director, could help you deal with your fear of heights. Well done on summiting Turner Peak!

Warren Howe's avatar

Warren Howe

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

A great experience on the Aoraki/Mt.Cook trek with Henriette Beikirch and Alpine Recreation. Spectacular views of Aoraki/Mt. Cook and surrounds from the comfort of Caroline Hut.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you for joining us early December for this trek, Warren. We are pleased you were impressed with the views.

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Tim Clarke's avatar

Tim Clarke

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Specialist Alpine Course was everything that I wanted and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect. Booking was easy. Company was very informative when it came to choosing the most appropriate course. Elke was patient and thorough.
Highly recommended.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Great that you were prepared to go with a 1:1 guide-client ratio, meaning that Elke could tailor the course specifically to your needs. You chose a good time to come, end of November.

Mark Hillman's avatar

Mark Hillman

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

I was one of 3 mates who has just completed the Ball Pass Crossing. A fantastic experience. The guide was very welcoming and provided both a fun and safe experience - albeit very challenging!! I would highly recommend Alpine Recreation and will be using them again for further adventures.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you for your review, Mark. Yes, the Ball Pass Crossing is a challenging trek. It's a great way to get a taste of mountaineering fin just 3 days. We're pleased you found the experience fun and safe.

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Michael Colavita's avatar

Michael Colavita

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Took the intensive mountaineering course and had a great time. Had a great guide, great experience, and learned a lot. I took the course comming in with some trad climbing experience and a little mountain experience doing a few winter summits in California. I was looking to learn and boost my snow craft and travel. The course was perfect for this. I did some research and looked into some competitors before I choose this course and was glad I ended up choosing them. Here are a few things that really set them apart from their competitors: One is that they are more affordable by a few hundred dollars than the competitors which leads to the second reason which is that they don’t fly in or out. You have to get in and out on your own this means more time actually learning to move over snow, rock, and ice. This means putting all your skills to use on the last day to take a more difficult way out rather than just fly out. Another great thing about Alpine Rec is that they have their own private hut in a great location with and amazing view of Mt Cook. This means that everything in the hut is geared for your learning and enjoyment and not just to anyone comming through. They keep their own food, snacks, deserts, library, equipment, clean bedding, water, power, and anything you could need. Alpine rec is the way to go it’s is a great time with experienced knowledgeable guides, you will learn a lot.

Reviewed 5 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Michael, for your enthusiastic response. It's so good for our hard-working staff to receive such a pat on the back, and it's great to know your perspective with regard to our competition.

Giovanni Sansoni's avatar

Giovanni Sansoni

Italy

Ranking: 9/10

I live in Italy, we have the Alps and the Apennines, but the way we do ski-touring is heavily affected by the high degree of humanization of almost any area, so it's a challenge to go for tracks and landscapes one can feel fresh and freedom inspiring. I did not have much time for my first trip to New Zealand, so I decided that getting some guidance would have optimized my experience. Guidance means wise choices about where to go and what slope ski, technical skills , safe trips first, open mind and capability to relate with the customers especially those from far away countries. Well, I (me and another customer from USA) experienced all this in our 5 days trip with Paul Aubrey and Axel Reiser , exploring the area close to Lady Emily Hut. Two days of bad weather and fresh snow made more difficult the activties (evaluating snow conditions to avoid danger, spending the time in a profitable way reviewing theory and practice of rescue , making conversation not just because you are eating, by the way food was abundant and various); however these two days were well balanced by the climbing of the two beautiful valleys surrounding the hut the other days, enlightened by the midday North sun , so unusual for me. But what really makes me happy with this journey to the Southern Alps is the cultural approach of Paul and Axel in all their interactions with me, their focus on the environment so unique, their up to date knowledge of the art of living the mountains, so there is always to learn from people like them.

Reviewed 6 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Giovanni, for allowing to see this trip through your eyes. Yes, New Zealand is so different from Europe for ski touring - wilder, remoter, far fewer people, more challenging and adventurous. So pleased you enjoyed the experience and the personal interaction with the guides. Anne.

Award-1-24px Congratulations Alpine Recreation

Top Ranked NZ Awards 2016 Walking and Hiking Tours Winner

Carol and Ian's avatar

Carol and Ian

Ranking: 10/10

08/09 We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Two Thumb Range. We had walked here about 10 yrs ago so were interested to see what it was like in winter conditions. Terrain provided a good workout - undulating with some quite steep sections; relatively warm weather and rain made ground conditions sometimes challenging. Hut had spectacular views – grand peaks, approaching storms and the whole of the Tekapo valley. Our guide Steve looked after us well, was patient and professional & entertained us with stories of bee-keeping. We enjoyed his cooking – toasted sandwiches were a big hit - as well as Paul’s (Paul was at the hut guiding another group).
Rex Simpson Hut is luxurious compared to some of the backcountry & high country huts we’ve been in. Good sleeping & cooking facilities, very clean toilet, even a well-stocked library which came in handy on a rainy afternoon. We appreciated the ‘extras’, like gumboots to wear to the toilet so your own boots stay dry + lots of hooks for indoor drying. On the last morning we toured Snake Ridge – steep, icy & windy conditions but felt safe with expert guiding from Steve.
Road leading back to Tekapo was washed out & muddy because of heavy rain during our trip, however with Paul turning up and providing a ‘rescue’ tow, we made it back with no problems – thanks, Paul! Will definitely be returning for more trips.
14/09 Caroline Hut, was not accessible due to avalanche danger. The change of venue turned out to be an excellent alternative. Superb mountain terrain, huts full of character and history - Memorial Hut with rustic charm & the delights of cooking over an open fire, which also gave us wonderful warmth; Lady Emily Hut, about 600m higher in an atmospheric position on a ridge, peaks leaping up on all sides and ground diving away in between – spectacular! Highlight of the trip was snowshoeing further up the steep valley on the 2nd day – mountains towering all around & a perfectly sunny day; magical white-&-blue landscape.

Reviewed 7 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Carol and Ian. You were unlucky in that you did strike a period of very heavy rain during your trip. It is an exceptional event if it closes the road, even if for half a day. We are glad you enjoyed the trip despite this and were able to appreciate everything else. Your details are very helpful, Im sure, for other hikers thinking about doing a snowshoeing trip.

Lachlan Kennedy's avatar

Lachlan Kennedy

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Alpine Recreation Rex Simpson Hut Trip. My partner and I had a wonderful 4 days guided trip to Alpine Recreation's Rex Simpson Hut in the 2 Thumbs Range near Tekapo. Our guide, Paul Aubrey, was very professional and an all round good bloke to share the mountains with. The rolling terrain around the hut provided some excellent opportunities for doing telemark turns, although the visibility was affected at times by drifting low cloud. Alpine Recreation provided our transport to the trail head from Tekapo, and any equipment we needed, and didn't have. The food was simple, but fresh and tasty, and the hut was warm. There is an outside pit toilet, and no shower, but these were slight disadvantages to be able to ski in a place with views of alpine peaks, including Mt Cook and Elie de Beaumont. Such a stunning place to ski, we really hope we can come back one day. Alpine Recreation were really easy to deal with, and we would no hesitate to use their services again. Maybe Paul will take us to Lady Emily hut next year??!!

Reviewed 8 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

It was a pleasure to have you with us again, Lachlan and Victoria. Yes, there are plenty of good runs for Telemark skiers to choose from in the Two Thumb Range. Thank you for sharing your experience of this area. Hope to see you back for another trip next July-September. Anne.

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david john's avatar

david john

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Very well planned and organised. A great 4 day alpine trip in the middle of winter. The guide, Paul was really good. Very safe and experienced. He was patient and understanding and great company and also a good cook !
During the booking and enquiry process the staff were very good and followed up, answered questions promptly etc.
I am definitely planning more trips with Alpine Recreation and I would thoroughly recommend them to others.

Reviewed 9 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you so much, David for your heartening comments. This is our best reward for the hard work our guides and other staff put in - to have happy clients!

Louise's avatar

Louise

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Highly recommened taking a tour with this company! I did the 'Lake Tekapo High Country' cross-country ski tour and thoroughly enjoyed it. This 4 day/3 night tour was aimed at beginners and was perfect for those with minimal/no ski experience but good fitness and plenty of enthusiasm; they also offer many tours for people with more experience too. The admin guys are super helpful at finding a tour suited to your interests and fitness levels.

We had a fantastic guided, Elke, who was friendly, knowledgeable and very patient. Alpine Recreation was well organised, all required equipment was provided, the hut was comfortable and warm, I felt safe at all times and the scenery was absolutely amazing...be prepared for some awesome pics! I had a fabulous time and can't recommend these guys highly enough to anyone with a sense of adventure who wants to explore the backcountry and see some stunning views!

Reviewed 9 months ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

So glad you had a good time, Louise, and we'd love to have you back!