Alpine Recreation

Reviews

A. Mullins 's avatar

A. Mullins

Ranking: 10/10

Caroline Hut Winter Hiking Skills Course, in July 2020: A challenging, rewarding, thoroughly enabling, food-filled, skill-gaining and beautiful trip. We were so satisfied with ourselves at the end of the day. We did this trip to learn skills that would allow us to go on a wider variety of treks and feel safe about it! We got that, with the opportunity to lead the day treks through the snow, learning how to scout the land with instant feedback. It was a great way to learn.

We had not expected the trip to be so soul-nourishing also. Good exercise, with the most beautiful views. I’ve never been anywhere so silent and so still.

Our wonderful guide, Jane, was phenomenal. She was a force to be reckoned with; incredibly skilled, and amazing teacher mixed with terrific kindness, encouragement and cooking skills! Such a joy! She asked us what we wanted to learn, and then catered to that.

The company were so accomodating, taking into consideration our lack of experience and lack of a car!

Reviewed 5 months ago

David Mansel's avatar

David Mansel

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

We went ski touring with Axel from Alpine Recreation 2-6 October 2019. We walked in from the Tasman Glacier to their private hut. Caroline Hut. Up on the Ball ridge right in front of Mount Cook. The terrain is fantastic for ski touring and Axels knowledge of the area and of snow conditions meant we had great skiing on every run. The hut was well stocked and meant we had to carry minimal gear in. Its heated with a great little pot belly which Axel lit morning and night. This is my eighth trip with Alpine Rec and each year they take me somewhere new to explore. Next years trip is already booked.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, David. It’s always a great pleasure having you on our trips.

Andrew Isb's avatar

Andrew Isb

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Did the introductory mountaineering course with Alpine Recreation recently. Two words: Bloody Awesome!! The best 5 days I've had in the mountains in NZ in years. If you think you want to learn more about how to travel safely above the snow line, and have a hoot doing so, do a course with these guys, seriously a great time.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in June 2019

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Andrew. Great to know you found the time worthwhile and fun on the Introductory Climbing Course at Caroline Hut.

Ash S's avatar

Ash S

Ranking: 10/10

Just attended the Introduction to Mountaineering course held by Alpine Recreation. The guides were brilliant and the facilities provided were great. All gear was top notch. Most amazing part was the experience, informative yet incredible as well.

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Great you learnt lots on this course in June. The conditions certainly are more challenging in winter, but you obviously responded well to that challenge.
Anne

Louis Manley's avatar

Louis Manley

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I attended the Intensive Mountaineering Skills Course In early July with Dave Alderson as my guide. Alpine Recreation were terrific, with all aspects of the course taken care of. Dave really knew his stuff and at all times felt safe while also learning a lot.
Would highly recommend doing the IMS course with Alpine Recreation!

Reviewed over 1 year ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Early July, being mid-winter in NZ, is not the easiest time to be doing a mountaineering course with short daylight hours, cold temperatures and deep snow. We're really pleased you met those challenges well and found the instruction worthwhile.
Anne

Alex Jenner's avatar

Alex Jenner

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Alpine Recreation is one of the best companies I have ever dealt with. Their communication was excellent and they where always willing to help. We did the introduction to mountaineering course and it was great value for money as it included gear hire, accommodation and meals. The guides we had (Gideon and Henry) where fantastic and really tailored the course to our needs. They where incredibly knowledgeable and easy to get along with and gave us ample support throughout the course.
I would highly recommend any course by Alpine Recreation

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you so much, Alex, for such a positive review. I'm sure it will be very helpful to other readers.

Oliver Keaveney's avatar

Oliver Keaveney

Ranking: 10/10

Did a guided ascent of Mt Aspiring on 29th March with Dave Alderson, the trip got held up for three days with bad weather so we rock climbed and relaxed in the companies accomodation in Tekapo. Flew up on the 28th and summited on the 29th on a beautiful sunny day. Dave was very professional and i felt safe in his care. Great trip and would highly recommend Alpine Recreation and of course Dave.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Oliver, for your helpful comments. Really glad it worked with the weather in the end - that's why we allow extra days to give a fair chance of submitting. Thank you for your patience while waiting for the right weather and undoing alternative activities.

Benoit Berty's avatar

Benoit Berty

Ranking: 8/10

I made a great ascent with this company. They asked exactly what I wanted. Really friendly and professional. The guide was very technical and safe. I learned a lot of things and I hope one day to return for a new trip.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago and experienced in February 2017

Annie Wang's avatar

Annie Wang

Ranking: 10/10

We four, have done Balls Pass Crossing with Alpine Recreation 23-25 February 2019. It was an amazing trip and would rank it 10 out of 10. We really enjoyed it and would recommend it to others. The view and the professional service make the trip unforgettable. Looking forward to going another trip with these guys again.
Cheers
Annie, Jack, Sam and Amanda

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Mark Geyle's avatar

Mark Geyle

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I just completed the Intensive Mountaineering Course with Alpine Recreation. Our guide Elke was exceptionally professional in all aspects of the course and whilst our team ranged from good to little previous experience, Elke was able to provide the training and support to make us all feel safe and enjoy the challenges that this course provides. A very professional company and I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking to safely enjoy alpine environments around the world

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Matt McGilton's avatar

Matt McGilton

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Awesome experience completing the introductory mountaineering course.
Great guide, awesome group and a fun and challenging experience which was very rewarding.
Great facilitates too and good equipment and food supplies.
The experience with Alpine Recreation was excellent from start to finish.
I would highly recommend them and would absolutely do another course / trek with them.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Matt. Really good to know you were totally happy with your mountaineering course mid-January.

Richard Everingham's avatar

Richard Everingham

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

A group of friends and I used Alpine Recreation to do the Ball Pass Crossing. In the end we did not complete the crossing (due to bad weather) but still had a fantastic time. This was due to the quality and calibre of our guides who crafted up a challenging and interesting plan B, cooked us great meals in cosy Caroline Hut, and were liberal in parting with their extensive alpine experience (they were also happy to engage in endless rounds of good humoured banter which for my mates was a big plus!!). Pre and post trip the company was very easy to deal with and the cost represented good "value for experience". I would recommend them and would use them again.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Richard, for taking the time to write this review. I'm sure it will be helpful for anyone thinking about doing a Ball Pass Crossing.Yes, our guides certainly work hard to give you a good time. The fact you came back happy, despite bad weather on the last day, shows that.

Michelle Martin's avatar

Michelle Martin

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I have just completed my 4th trip with Alpine Recreation and would highly recommend them if you have an alpine venture in mind. They have a huge amount of experience in the NZ mountains with their guides operating to the highest standards. The guides are also really fun to hang out with. All of my trips have been life highlights. New Zealand's alps are jaw droppingly stunning and you won't be disappointed. If the weather doesn't co-operate with your trip plans, they are able to offer alternate experiences.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Michelle, for your warm endorsement. Yes, the weather can be challenging, but our guides are well practised at making best use of the time booked with them.

Rob Morehead's avatar

Rob Morehead

United States

Ranking: 10/10

My wife and I did the four-day Introductory Mountaineering course. Our experience with Alpine Recreation was excellent, from a quick response to our initial inquiry (thank you Anne!) to the four days in the mountains with John learning abseiling, alpine roping systems, movement and safety. Lodging at the Caroline Hut - the only private hut in Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park - was excellent. Food was great, gear was comprehensive and high-quality. Instruction was highly personalized, deeply experienced, and highly professional. We are looking forward to our next trip to NZ, and our next chance to climb with AR.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Beginning of December was a particularly busy time for us, so I'm pleased you booked early enough so we could fit you in. Thank you for detailed comments, Rob, which will be very helpful I'm sure for anyone contemplating signing up for the Introductory Climbing Course. Good choice to go private with just a 1:2 guide-client ratio, so the course could be tailored specifically to your needs.

Liz Roberts's avatar

Liz Roberts

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Guided Ascent: Aoraki/Mount Cook.

We had six wonderful days at Plateau Hut, Mt Cook National Park, culminating in a guided ascent of Aoraki/Mt Cook. Elke Braun-Elwert and Anna Keeling were our two guides.

We have booked many trips with Alpine Recreation. They are a very professional company with great people. The communication is excellent before, during and after your trip. They can provide accommodation in Tekapo before and after.

We look forward to many more trips with Alpine Recreation!

Faultless successful trip, rate 10 out of 10 for experience.

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

We are so pleased you had such a positive experience, Liz. It is not easy with a serious climb such as Aoraki/Mt Cook to align the right conditions, weather and client abilities. You certainly made it easy for us in respect of the latter.

Andrew's avatar

Andrew

Ranking: 3/10

I had the unfortunate experience to be in the specialised mountaineering course in February 2018. I was clearly up-sold above my level of experience to try and fill a position. I spent an entire week being verbally abused by their lead instructor, Paul Aubrey. I found him rude, arrogant and without any patience. He really needs to remember that clients put food on his table.

Reviewed about 2 years ago and experienced in February 2018

Alpine Recreation responds:

Andrew, we are really sorry you are still feeling bitter about your negative experience 10 months ago. We did talk with the guide concerned and have had wider communications with other guides about how to avoid guide burn-out. Paul has since stepped down from the Chief Guide position. I hope you do remember that we offered you a free course this summer in compensation.

Snazzi's avatar

Snazzi

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I did my Introductory Mountaineering course with Alpine Recreation and I loved it. They were very professional and the guides were excellent. Having their own private hut which is well stocked and heated was a big bonus especially at the end of big days. I learned a lot and got challenged beyond my comfort zone. Highly recommended

Reviewed about 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you for your review, Snazzi. Glad you had a typical experience of one of our courses - not like the one above!

dougal s's avatar

dougal s

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Mount Cook & Westland Glaciers 5 day trip staying in Tasman Saddle Hut was an awesome experience. We (two of us and Dave the guide) started Monday 1 October 2018. Lots of fresh power (20-50cm) for the week meant we didn't have to look far for fresh tracks. Dave was an awesome guide with lots of technical skills, excellent cook and great sense of humour. Alpine Recreation is a very well run operation with excellent accommodation in at their base in Tekapo. I will be back for more.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thanks, Dougal. We're pleased you enjoyed your 5 days of ski touring at the top of the Tasman Glacier. It certainly is a prime spot for touring. We just have to make sure heli-skiers don't edge out the ski tourers in this particular area!

James Harman's avatar

James Harman

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Great experience, totally professional from the start to the finish. Paul is a great guide, he taught me so much.
Will be back in February to climb again.
Highly recommend Alpine Recreations.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you so much, James. It certainly was a pleasure to have you again for a private climbing course.
Anne

Peter Good's avatar

Peter Good

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Seven Aussies travelled with AR to the Two Thumbs range for a mainly telemark tour from Rex Simpson hut. I was the main contact for the group in Oz and our Ops manager Axel who was on our whole trip helped organise things before the trip. As it was not a great snow year Axel provided alternative locations and access methods for the group which was greatly appreciated. We had 2 other guides join us in succession, Manu and Anna. They hunted out fresh stashes of snow in the best locations and looked after our tiring legs on the commute up snake ridge each day. They were also responsive to various skiing and apprehension levels within the group in terms of ski locations to ensure everyone had a challenging, safe and rewarding ski. The hut is warm, comfortable and the cooks and food are exceptional. Axel paid strict attention to hygiene and order within the hut as well as making the best cinnamon porridge each morning. We all agreed this was a trip to remember.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Peter. It was great to have a group with such a positive attitude, who made the most of everything, despite the snow levels being higher than usual. Compare to last year, when for a whole month we were able to skin from right near the car! Do come again!
Anne

Graeme Woodward's avatar

Graeme Woodward

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and felt that I learned quite a lot in a very safe environment.

A very well run trip.

Elke was exceptional as a guide. Very knowledgeable, professional and friendly.

It is great that you provide the equipment, particularly for such intro courses. For new comers to the sport, having to sort out rental equipment, as is required with other companies, would be a hassle & prone to errors (e.g. hiring unsuitable gear).

I look forward to practising my skills in the backcountry, and coming back again in the future for a more adventurous tour.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Graeme, for sharing your experience of Alpine Recreation's Backcountry Ski Course. We are pleased you appreciate the professionalism of the guide and the fact we include the transceiver, probe, shovel, skis and skins...and any other outdoor clothing you require.
Anne

Cheryl Cottine's avatar

Cheryl Cottine

United States

Ranking: 10/10

I did the Ball Pass crossing, and this trip is as good as it sounds! Alpine Recreation was a pleasure to work with from arranging dates all the way through to the end of the trip. Everyone I communicated with in the office leading up to the trip was helpful, as was all the information they shared. Anna, my guide, was excellent. Her passion for and knowledge of the mountains was evident throughout, and her ability to read the weather and the terrain, appreciated. We ended up doing the crossing on the second day due to an incoming weather system, and as a result we had unbelievably good conditions, with breathtaking views from the pass and on the descent. Staying at Caroline Hut was lovely and the meals provided were excellent. Since we did the crossing a day early, we had a third day for other activities. We talked over various options and settled on doing some rock climbing in the Mt. Cook area and navigation practice on an orienteering course in Lake Tekapo. I very much appreciated the opportunity to practice some skills under the watchful eye of my guide, as well as her willingness to tailor the experience to my interests. I would highly recommend this company to anyone who is keen to do the crossing. I will certainly book with them again for future outings!

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in April 2018

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Cheryl, for taking the time to share your experience of a Ball Pass Crossing with others who are keen on mountain hiking. We're really pleased you found the time worthwhile, despite the bad weather forecast for Mt Cook on the third day. Anna, your guide, certainly made sure the time was well utilised with teaching you new skills.
Anne

Mohammed  Khudhari 's avatar

Mohammed Khudhari

Saudi Arabia

Ranking: 10/10

Great place to start your Alpine climbing adventures just try to book in the early season for a better weather.

Reviewed over 2 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you Mohammed for sharing your experience of the Intensive Mountaineering Skills Course in April, right near the end of our summer season. Yes, early season November-December can give you better weather, but of course there is no guarantee of that. New Zealand is a long narrow strip of land surrounded by wide expanses of ocean, so weather changes can come in fast, but it clears up quickly too!

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 almost 3 years 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.

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 almost 3 years 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 almost 3 years 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.

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 about 3 years 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 about 3 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

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

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 about 3 years 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 about 3 years 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.

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 about 3 years 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 about 3 years 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.

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 over 3 years 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 over 3 years 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.

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

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 over 3 years 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 over 3 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

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

Pim Willemstein's avatar

Pim Willemstein

Ranking: 9/10

Between 17 and 20 July 2017 we did a nordic ski touring trip with Alpine Recreation. We had a fantastic trip due to Alpine Recreation (and the good weather). Our guide was Elke Braun-Elwert and I give the whole trip 9 out of 10. The trip was well organised, safety taken seriously, the guiding was good and tailored to the experience levels in the group. The hut we stayed in was very nice, warm and clean. I would recommended this company and the trip to others.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Sam Walters's avatar

Sam Walters

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Excellent professional tour company with a longstanding and deep connection with treks in the Mt Cook region. We had a brilliant time trekking to the Caroline Hut and seeing views over Mt Cook. Every detail had been considered and the whole experience was very enjoyable. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in May 2017

Alpine Recreation responds:

We are glad you enjoyed your experience of the Aoraki Mt Cook Trek in May, even though we usually close the season end of April. Pleased you had good weather and not too much snow.

Emily Davies's avatar

Emily Davies

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

In early Feb, my sister and I did the Balls Pass crossing, with Bia as our guide - what a trip! The setting and location speaks for itself - but it's not until you get to the Caroline Hut, do you realise just how special this trip is. The views are absolutely incredible - and barely another person in sight. The equipment/kit provided is first class, as was the professionalism and knowledge of our guide, thanks Bia. I'll never forget sitting at 6pm, after the day one scramble up the ridge, surrounded by Kea, sipping at some red vino, munching on cheese and crackers and watching the sun set over Mount Cook - just superb. My advice to anyone thinking about this trip - do it!

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you Emily for taking the time to record your impressions of the Ball Pass Crossing. You obviously lapped up the challenge of this trek and truly appreciated this special place in the heart of Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

Julia Davies's avatar

Julia Davies

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

We chose Alpine Recreation to do a 3 day trek called the Balls Pass Crossing near Mount Cook. Alpine Recreation were professional, informative, organised and fun! We had very good communication before and during the trip and a high quality of equipment used. The trip was a trip of a lifetime with incredible views, fun scrambling and a good level of new mountaineering skills learnt. It is a tough trek that needs a good level of fitness but our guide Bia Boucinhas guided us through it brilliantly. She was extremely knowledgable and tailored the trip to our fitnesss and skill level making it fun as well. The view overlooking Mount Cook from the hut was breathtaking and the hut was cosy and well kitted out.

I'd highly reccommend Alpine Recreation and would use them again. Thank you for a fantastic trip!

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Great you enjoyed this demanding trek, Julia, and our guide, Bia, who just loves her job!

Steve Levy's avatar

Steve Levy

United States

Ranking: 9/10

Amazing experience on the Ball Pass Crossing trek. Ewan was the consummate professional in all respects (and a damn good cook, as well). The hike was challenging and appropriately tough - this is NOT the Milford trak :-). Because of a late snowstorm, we didn't get over the pass, but made up for it with 3 days of incredible hikes and clearing weather. I'd recommend this trip to experienced hikers in good condition. Wish I'd had more time to practice with crampons and ice axe.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Alpine Recreation responds:

Steve, we're pleased you found the trip worthwhile even without being able to cross the pass on the last day. Getting so close to Aoraki/Mt Cook certainly is rewarding - a place that commands a lot of respect.

Christina Clarke's avatar

Christina Clarke

Ranking: 10/10

I recently went on a 5 day custom guiding trip with Elke Braun-Elwert from Alpine Recreation. Our aim was to climb Mt Green, and anything else we could! We were a little unlucky with the weather but still managed to squeeze in a climb of Mt Green and made the most of the other weather windows. Elke was an excellent guide and I will definitely go with her on my next climbing trip. 10 out of 10!

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Many thanks, Christina. So pleased you found the trip worthwhile, even if the weather wasn't as kind as we might have hoped.

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 about 4 years 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.

Jane McRae's avatar

Jane McRae

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I joined a small party in August to snow shoe in the Two Thumb Conservation Area. Alpine Rec were very professional in all my dealings with them. There was plenty of useful information on the website for booking, preparing for and getting to Tekapo. Our guide Stella was excellent; concerned for our safety at all times, her experience and knowledge of the region was great. The Rex Simpson Hut had everything we needed. All equipment was supplied at no additional charge. A terrific experience, thank you!

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in August 2016

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Jane, for taking the time to write this helpful review. We're really pleased you enjoyed your snowshoeing trek with Alpine Recreation.

Danguole's avatar

Danguole

Ranking: 10/10

I have been very fortunate to be able to discover the Lake Tekapo region with Alpine Recreation. Two day hike is extremely rewarding in terms of a good workout and scenery. The guide of Alpine Recreation, Stephen is a very experienced guide who is willing to share his insights into the landscape and is very patient with any pace of a hiker. Thank you for both Stephen and Alpine Recreation's care and guidance during this tour.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Many thanks, Danguole, for taking the time to write this review. We are pleased you had a good time and responded well to the challenge of doing the Tekapo Trek in just a day and a half.
Anne

Liz Roberts's avatar

Liz Roberts

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I have had multiple trips with this company now. Always professional. Always friendly and helpful. Great communication. Great guides. Family business, which is nice too. Highly recommend.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Liz. It is always great to have you back again.

Rohan Muir's avatar

Rohan Muir

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

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!

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you so much, Rohan, for making the time and effort to write this feedback. We are really pleased you found the course worthwhile and appreciated Alpine Recreation's ethos and Martin's conscientious approach.

Tim Bloch's avatar

Tim Bloch

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Well organised and safe, considering the environment.
Amazing trip / adventure because of our superb guide Ewan.
Amazing scenery and views.
There was nothing negative but you should be prepared for a tough hike with heavy pack on day one and of course be used to the mountain long drop!

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Tim, for taking the time to write a review. Yes, the Ball Pass Crossing is a challenging alpine crossing. You have to make some effort to get close to such a mighty mountain as Aoraki/Mt Cook! Glad you thought the effort was worth it!

Judith Goodyear's avatar

Judith Goodyear

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

We managed to do some ski touring, despite the bad weather! The guide was friendly and knowledgeable. The first and last days consisted mainly in walking to and from the hut - we weren't made aware that there isn't usually enough snow to go to ski touring on all three days.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in December 2015

Alpine Recreation responds:

Not quite sure about this comment: it would definitely not have been experienced in December 2015 because that is during our summer and we run ski touring trips only during our winter months, July-September. In our description of the itinerary for the Two Thumb Range ski touring on Day 1 we do say it is 3 hours hiking and/or skinning with a climb of 550m up to the hut and that there is time only for a short ski tour that afternoon. Obviously it depends how far down the snow is below the hut and that varies throughout the season and can change from week to week. If there is not skiable snow from the hut upwards we do not operate. When we operate there is definitely enough snow to do a half-day's touring on the first, a full day's touring on the second day and another half-day's touring on the last day, if it's only a 3-day trip. I tried to look up your client record, Judith, to see when you came, but could not find it in our database! If you could help me out there, that would be much appreciated.

Michelle Martin's avatar

Michelle Martin

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I had been booked on a guided climbing trip with another company which was cancelled at short notice due to their guide being injured. Within 24 hours, Anne (manager) and Ewan (guide) had put together an alternate trip for myself and one other client. This was at the height of the busy climbing season and I am hugely appreciative of Anne's efforts to assist with getting us to Tekapo at very short notice. She even offered to help organise accommodation, which was a challenging prospect. Both Anne and Ewan were well tuned in to my requests for the trip, and came up with a perfect itinerary (which was not one of their regular features). Ewan is a competent guide who ensured safety was paramount and altered our plan to suit my needs. The trip was fantastic... I wouldn't have changed anything except made it longer if the weather had obliged. The scenery of course was spectacular and well worth the slog.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Michelle, for writing your comments. We thoroughly enjoyed having you along on the trip, even if it was challenging putting it all together at the last minute and working around the weather.

elaine rowley's avatar

elaine rowley

Ireland

Ranking: 10/10

Alpine Recreation is exactly what you need if you want to go trekking or climbing in NZ - experienced, professional and efficient. I did the Ball Pass Trek and found Paul our guide to be first rate. Also the Caroline Hut where we stayed is in a stunning location facing the Caroline face of Mount Cook. Unfortunately I was limited with my dates but I would love to return and do the intro mountaineering course with Paul or one of their guides. Keep up the good work and i hope to be back in a few years to maybe attempt a climbing peak!

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Elaine, we'd love to have you back. Pleased you really enjoyed this trip.

Jon Colbert's avatar

Jon Colbert

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I was lucky to spent six days with Elke and Gernot on an Advanced Climbing Course. We were based out of Tasman Saddle Hut, which for an instructional venue you'd be hard to beat.
Due to the low ratio of students to guides, the course was able to be tailored to our requirements, and the guides strove to help us reach our goals. I cant praise Gernot and Elke highly enough.

Thanks for the amazing experience and sharing the skills and all those little tips and tricks for exploring the alpine world!

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Jon. It was great to have you on the course and we're pleased you got a lot our of it.

george  Burke 's avatar

george Burke

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Awesome experience. Anne is lovely and the guides were fantastic. The climb took me out of my comfort zone whilst keeping my safety of paramount importance at all times. Lovely company, would recommend!

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, George.

Jesse's avatar

Jesse

United States

Ranking: 10/10

This review is for the Ball Pass Mt. Cook Crossing trek, a 2 night 3 day trek led by Alpine Recreation. Our group of 5 climbers + 2 guides successfully completed the 22-24 December trek led by guides Paul Aubrey and Dean Aspin. The key to success on the trip was physical fitness and meticulous attention to details regarding use of the equipment and attention to the route. Our guides were fantastic: competent, watchful and patient. They worked with each of us on correct use of the equipment, and on making sure that we stayed on the route they chose. They were observant and quick to identify possible problems.

We hiked up to the Caroline Hut the first day -- a stunning walk. We had very good weather. The second day was key to our problem free crossing on the third day. The guides worked patiently with us on crampon, ice axe and rope technique. We in fact walked up to the Ball Pass during the day. We reviewed and (for some of us) learned self arrest ice axe technique. We learned rope technique in steep descents over rock and snow. For me, while I had applied some of these techniques in previous climbs, this was the first time I received such careful training. I learned a great deal.

The third day we traversed the pass and hiked down ice and scree and eventually a trail to our starting point. It was a very long day. We got up at 4AM and returned to our van at 7PM. Everyone in the group successfully completed the descent. We kept up with our two very competent guides.

The Caroline Hut added a great deal of comfort to the trek. The guides cooked dinner for us. We had amazing views of Mt. Cook. We could hear occasional snow falls in the distance. And beautiful night skies.

My own previous climbing experience was somewhat dated. Both Paul and Dean double checked my equipment. They patiently helped me constantly in the mundane task of making sure my crampons, harness, helmet were properly adjusted.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Jesse, for your detailed review. You sum up the experience of a Ball Pass Crossing so nicely. With a 1:4 guide-client ratio it enables us to supervise clients closely, especially those new to using crampons and ice-axe.

Greg Hall's avatar

Greg Hall

United States

Ranking: 10/10

I recently completed a trip up Mt. Aspiring with two guides from Alpine Recreation. It was a blast! If you are considering a climbing trip with Alpine Recreation DO IT.

Compared to what I observed of other outfits, I feel there are a couple of of areas where Alpine Recreation stands out. Firstly their level of organization is first rate. The office staff was extremely quick to respond when I was booking the trip and when I had questions. Secondly the food for the trip was well organized, planned, and proportioned. This was nice as it meant we got to eat plenty of fresh items, had varied types of meals, and did not have to carry too much extra food around. Secondly I thought the guides I had (Elke and Gernot) were absolutely awesome. They managed to craft a schedule so that every day was different, fun, and took best advantage of the weather. They were also clearly passionate and knowledgeable about New Zealand climbing. During the ascent of Mt. Aspiring in particular I was impressed by their guiding efficiency. I could not help but notice that we finished much faster than other guided parties, even those that were climbing at a similar speed. I attribute this to Elke and Gernot's judgement and experience regarding the best way to climb and set anchors in New Zealand's specific snow conditions.

When I find the time and money to return for another trip I think I will come without an agenda. New Zealand has an amazing diversity of weather and mountains for it's size. Why spend your days stuck in bad weather below a specific climb when you could be enjoying something awesome elsewhere?

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Greg, these are perceptive comments. Yes, it makes sense to not be too set on just one goal, but to remain flexible in terms of choice of venue and itinerary to work around New Zealand's weather, which can vary considerably from one location to the next.

Stephen Xu's avatar

Stephen Xu

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Great value trip with inspiring diversity.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thanks, Stephen. Was great to have you on the trip and we valued your input. Anne.

Michel Lang's avatar

Michel Lang

France

Ranking: 8/10

After two days of bad weather, we did first the ascent of Anzac Peak (2528m), near Cinerama Col. We then started the ascent of Linda glacier at 11 p.m. We climbed during the night up to the final ridge. There were 2 or 3 vertical short interesting sections with mixed rock and snow-ice. At the end we arrived to the final snow slope and were at the summit of Mount Cook at about 5:30 a.m. The panorama was wonderful, with a beautiful light. During the descent a short dangerous section below seracs was crossed again in about 20 mn. Therefore we did a meandering between the crevasses, at some distance from landslides and some seracs. We had a chaotic progression as the snow was very smooth. We were just at noon for lunch at Plateau hut.
The day after my two guides (Gernot Lachmaier and Elke Braun-Elwert) recognized the access to the Syme ridge (Mount Tasman). We started the next day at about 3 a.m, with bad weather. The forecast was nevertheless correct, so we continued, first on the glacier, then on a 40-45° snow slope during 200 m. The beginning of the Syme ridge was really amazing with a horizontal section where we had to crawl, putting our axes alternatively on both sides of the narrow ridge. We climbed about two thirds of the Syme ridge, and we came back by the same way, as the weather was really bad, with important snow fall and always a strong wind. So it took several hours to go down, by the ridge. We didn’t have any regrets to have stopped as there was still strong wind in altitude during the afternoon.
Mountaineering in NZ should be carefully considered as the very variable weather may produce difficult conditions. Snow anchors appear to be essential in smooth snow, which requires some experience. The trip with Gernot and Elke was very secure as they are familiar with NZ mountaineering conditions. Logistic was also perfect.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Michel, for taking the time to send your feedback. You had some challenging conditions, especially for the Syme Ridge of Mt Tasman. Unfortunately the wind turned out to be stronger than forecast. Nevertheless you experienced most of a route that is not climbed very often. A good achievement!

Vee Rocket's avatar

Vee Rocket

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Had a wonderful three days on the Tekapo Trek in late November. Beautiful views and a well-appointed hut. Good value for money and an enjoyable retreat. Not too demanding whilst being rewarding. You were mostly trekking through tussock or rocky terrain, but the ascent up Snake Ridge included small sections in snow. Very fun. We even saw a chamois on the ascent to Beuzenberg Peak. Our guide for the trip was Stella. She was very friendly, knowledgeable, professional and full of great stories. Overall, an incredible and memorable experience. Highly recommended.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you Vee for your kind comments. We are really pleased you had a good time up there.

Lou Julia's avatar

Lou Julia

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

We did the 2 day Aoraki Mt Cook trek and really enjoyed it. I am 55y and did this with my son and his girlfriend. We had no climbing experience but plenty of walking and ski touring. I can be a bit scared of heights and my knees can be challenged by long steep down hills.
This trip was a challenge but so rewarding. Just to see the views and be faced with Mt Cook in all its grandeur with the avalanches rumbling intermittently. Our guides planned according to our abilities and I always felt fine and guided when faced with more difficult steps down rocks. I chose not to look down during the steep ascents and descents and tried not to think the "what if we slip" thoughts. Great to have achieved it and what a place to see!

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you Lou Julia. Yes, it feels like quite a privilege to "confront" the Caroline Face of Aoraki/Mt Cook. It's good that you appreciated being guided.

Ashley Bigaran's avatar

Ashley Bigaran

Australia

Ranking: 8/10

I completed the Tekapo trek recently in November and enjoyed every minute of it. For an Australian with a hectic lifestyle, the trek was exactly what I wanted to experience in New Zealand. My guide Steve was fantastic and taught me so much on the 3 day trek. I was ecstatic with the service and overall hospitality that Alpine Recreation provided. I'll be returning to New Zealand in 2016 with new activities to accomplish such as the Ball Pass summit and mountaineering instruction courses through Alpine Recreation.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you Ashley. We're really pleased you learnt lots from your guide, Steve, and are keen to come back and learn more!

Roger Palmer's avatar

Roger Palmer

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Did a Glacier ski trip based at Centennial Hut and a backcountry ski trip in the Two Thumb Range based at the Rex Simpson Hut. Both trips were well guided with excellent information provided about terrain, slope and snow condition. Food was generous with plenty of variety and fresh ingredients. Choice of routes was good considering variable snow conditions. Time spent hut bound due to extreme weather was well used to enhance rope skills. I intend to use Alpine Recreation for similar ski trips again.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Many thanks, Roger. We're pleased you found both the glacier touring and the Two Thumb Range ski touring worthwhile and thank you for taking the trouble to give feedback.

Peter Campbell's avatar

Peter Campbell

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I did an outstanding glacier ski tour trip with Alpine Recreation in September 2015 based in Centennial hut. Elke, our guide, took us up ski peaks, a dramatic col on the main divide and down several long ski descents. Elke's knowledge of the region, the weather and her alpine skills and leadership were superb.

The skiing was great and the views exceptional. One day spent in the hut during bad weather was not wasted as Elke provided instruction to us all on roping up for glacier travel and crevasse rescue. On the way out we scored fresh tracks on powder snow on the Tasman Glacier too.

The mountains and glaciers around the Mt Cook region offer ski mountaineering on par with the best in the world. Alpine Recreation have the local knowledge and experience to take you there safely. This was one of my best ski mountaineering trips to date.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Great to read your comments, Peter, and to have this perspective from someone who has a lot of experience. Thanks!

Andrew Raymer's avatar

Andrew Raymer

Australia

Ranking: 8/10

Communication, planning, guide, accommodation and food were all good.

Gear could use some improvement, it was fairly old and a bit tired (especially the ski poles).

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Andrew, for your feedback. The telescopic poles take a fair hammering, especially on a Ball Pass Crossing, even though new ones were purchased at the beginning of the season. More expensive carbon fibre poles have been ordered for next season. Please note that participants who need to borrow gear are not charged any extra for that.

Michael Earle's avatar

Michael Earle

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Spectacular weather and remote mountain scenery made this an awesome 3 day snowshoeing trip. It involved a tough 9km walk uphill to the hut, an afternoon loop on snowshoes, a longer ten kms the next day on pristine snow (which was breathtaking) and then the walk back to the van included being surprised by a wallaby and a thunderstorm. So you need to be able to tramp over 30kms in 3 days in snowy conditions….but all manageable in spite of 2 knee replacements last year. Easy for beginners to learn, the trip was well organised, well resourced and capably led. The guide was caring, attentive, knowledgeable and encouraging. The group was a lot of fun, the food was great, the morning snow cover was firm andy easy to snowshoe over, while softer afternoon snow sometimes gave way under our shoes…but all good fun and highly recommended at this time of the year.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Michael, for taking the time to send in your comments, which are very helpful for anybody else considering doing a snowshoe trek in the Two Thumb Range.

Kendra Underhill's avatar

Kendra Underhill

Ranking: 10/10

I took Alpine Recreation's Introductory Climbing Course this winter, in early July. Right from the start I was kept informed and updated about the trip and weather conditions, and I always got quick responses to my (many) emails. One great thing about this company is that all the gear is provided, so for someone like me who is just beginning to get into mountaineering it was nice that I would not have to make a very large up front investment on expensive equipment. Before leaving, Paul our guide went through all our gear with us and made sure that we would have everything we needed. As a result I was warm, dry and comfortable for the whole trip!
The course is extremely informative and in my opinion provides a perfect balance between theory, practical skills and actual hiking/climbing. The venue we went to was Rex Simpson Hut in the Two Thumbs Range since Caroline Hut was not accessible due to avalanches. The location was stunningly beautiful, with great views of the Mount Cook range and Lake Tekapo below. Paul was very professional and full of knowledge, but also a lot of fun and very relaxed. All in all I had a fantastic time, and would definitely recommend Alpine Recreation to climbers and mountaineers of all levels.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you Kendra for taking time to give us this feedback. It makes us feel all our efforts are worthwhile!

Brenda Osborne's avatar

Brenda Osborne

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

We had the most wonderful alpine trekking trip to Tasman Glacier with Alpine Recreation,

Anne was really helpful in getting things organised and was quick to answer all our pre-trip questions.

Paul Aubrey, our guide, was fantastic. He looked after us from the word go, checked we had suitable gear (much of it borrowed from Alpine Recreation and of a high standard), and he ensured we had a safe and enormously enjoyable trip. Paul is so knowledgeable that we felt we were in safe hands in an environment that we weren't familiar with, while at the same time learning so much from such an experienced mountaineer. We think Paul is a legend, but he'd never acknowledge it!

We feel privileged to have visited such a pristine and beautiful environment. We'd head back down in a flash if we could and would certainly not hesitate to do another trip with Alpine Recreation.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in January 2015

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Brenda. We're so pleased you had a good time.

Dean Schluter's avatar

Dean Schluter

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I was on the Ball Pass Summit trip with Alpine Recreation. Great experience, great guides, totally enjoyed it

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you Dean, for taking the time to give us your encouraging feedback.

Tuangpol Kasisil's avatar

Tuangpol Kasisil

Thailand

Ranking: 10/10

The Ball pass summit trek is one of my greatest experience. Although the weather is really unstable causing some struggles but I consider the trip a success. Our professional guide is Wolfgang Maier, never regret having him as our guide. Great information, great support, great encouragement and good cooking! Cheers to Alpine Recreation.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Pleased you enjoyed it Tuangpol in spite of some challenging weather.

Russell's avatar

Russell

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic time ski touring in the Two Thumb Range! Not much snow but that didn't stop us from having a great few days. Thank you so much.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in August 2014

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Robert Wieclawski's avatar

Robert Wieclawski

Poland

Ranking: 9/10

Took part in Ball Pass crossing.
Expectations: guiding, demanding alpine trekking.
Almost fullfiled - it could be more demanding ice-walking and/or ice-climbing! Guided perfectly by Elke Braun-Elwert in remote unmarked area. She requests from participants to be self-sufficient what I found very good. Good quality gear provided. Friendly and team building atmosphere.
It was awesome few days for me. Strictly reccomended.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thanks, Robert. We do ice climbing instruction on our climbing courses, but not on the Ball Pass Crossing, which is meant to be an alpine trek, where we teach only basic ice-axe and crampons skills. Conditions vary all the time according to temperatures, so in mid-summer on the Ball Glacier it is usually soft snow to walk over, rather than hard ice, which we are more likely to get late season: March-April.

Susan Rose Williams 's avatar

Susan Rose Williams

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

We had a awesome trip in December with Alpine recreations after not having such a good experience in Feb due to a bad guide so we complained and they come to the party for us to try again. We had a fantastic guide and the trek over Ball Pas was awesome the views were stunning the Tasman Glacier,being in the hut right next to Mt Cooks Caroline Face and the challenge of going over the pass itself into the Hooker Glacier and valley. Good fitness is essential it isn't easy .

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Thank you, Susan. Pleased you had a much better experience this time.

Geoff Bearne's avatar

Geoff Bearne

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

The 6 day Intermediate Climbing Course near Ball Pass and based at Caroline Hut, with guide Wolfgang Maier, was excellent. Challenging, exciting and social with a well designed and varied itinerary. Returning to the comfort of your own private hut at the end of a hard day's climbing is priceless.

Reviewed about 6 years ago

Alpine Recreation responds:

Please you appreciated the guiding and our facilities, Geoff. Thank you for this feedback.

Iwao FUJII's avatar

Iwao FUJII

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

I tried to climb Mt. Cook with a guide through Alpine Recreation. The bad weather didn't allow us to do it but the guide provided, instead, really useful and well-organized climb technique trip. It was awesome.

Reviewed about 6 years ago

Jane Hogarth's avatar

Jane Hogarth

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Three generations (10 to 65 years) on the two day Tekapo Trek with guide Stella was every bit the memorable experience we had hoped for. Our guide was so informative and hospitable, the scenery was amazing and our accommodation and food were excellent. A great first overnight trek for my granddaughter.

Reviewed about 6 years ago

Yiying Zhang's avatar

Yiying Zhang

Singapore

Ranking: 10/10

it was a great experience! stella was very helpful and keep checking on our condition when we are on our way up to the hut. although it was a long trek, it's definitely worth your time to try.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Harley12's avatar

Harley12

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Very professional guide; excellent communication before and during trip. Easy to organise; well run family business. Lovely spot (Two Thumbs range)

Reviewed over 6 years ago

yu wang's avatar

yu wang

China

Ranking: 10/10

Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!It 's so beautiful. Alpine Recreation Staff are very friendly. I have no snow shoesing experience before. After this good experience, I really enjoy hiking and snow shoesing and want to try next time. As a Chinese, I think it is totally different trip with others.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

sonia hayes's avatar

sonia hayes

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

we went on the ball pass crossing trek with alpine recreation. I would highly recommend this company they are well organised had all equipment needed and the most fantastic guide. This was our first alpine trek i was differently outside my comfit zone the guide made us feel very comfortable and secure. What a fabulous experience!!!!!!

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Brett Pawski's avatar

Brett Pawski

Ranking: 9/10

The Introductory Climbing Course was exactly as expected and helped us gain valuable elementary skills for Alpine trips. We undertook the course from 22-26 Feb 2014. The guide (Elke) was very knowledgeable and personable, and created a very good environment for us to learn in. Highly recommended course for those who want to get into Alpine Climbing and I would give the introductory course a 9/10. Thanks.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Jenny marsden's avatar

Jenny marsden

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

We recently did the Ball Pass Summit trek. We read the itinerary and felt this was within our capabilities, and found the trip lived up to our expectations but also gave us new experiences. Booking was easy and the company were very helpful with our queries. We arrived on the day to a very warm welcome from Anne the owner of the company, she introduced us to Gideon our guide and the rest of our party. Gideon did a thorough kit check and there was kit available at no extra cost if needed. We immediately felt part of a team and the friendly atmosphere continued throughout the trip. Caroline hut was clean and will kitted out and we were treated to excellent food cooked by our guide. It was great fun using the crampons and ice axes on the snow fields and we were blessed with amazing views. We had the most fantastic trip and would recommend Alpine Recreations to anyone.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Mark G's avatar

Mark G

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Ball Pass Summit Crossing
A most excellent alpine adventure, We were very fortunate to have Elke Braun-Elwert as our guide. Highly recommended.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Bhupesh Bansal's avatar

Bhupesh Bansal

United States

Ranking: 10/10

I signed up for the Ball Pass Crossing Trek with Alpine Recreation. I would rate them in the top decile in every category [professionalism of the guides], [quality of hut facilities], [meals], [equipment]. Elke is a fantastic guide - very knowledgeable and well experienced! Caroline hut is Mr. Gottlieb Braun-Elwert's home. I felt very welcome and honestly lucky to have had the opportunity to spend a few nights there. Overall, a fantastic experience!

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Bruce's avatar

Bruce

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

You know you are onto a good thing when it's blowing 100km/h and the snow is 'sandblasting' the hut and Elke, your guide, suggests we go for a walk. After all, if you are not in the mountains to enjoy some extremes then you are the wrong person in the wrong place. I had a week at Kelman Hut doing an Advanced climbing course and even though a student of these things I appreciated the sense that we were part of a climbing team, while at the same time being stretched to do things I might not usually contemplate. I appreciated the time taken to get into the science of snow and ice (endlessly fascinating) and the related tuition of understanding what exactly we are standing/climbing on. It's the second time I have climbed with these guys and I will be back. If you are looking for a real experience that will push you a bit further than where you have been before, rather than a cosy walk in the park, then sign on with Alpine Recreation. You will not be sorry.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Ofelia Spycher's avatar

Ofelia Spycher

Canada

Ranking: 10/10

I had the most terrific experience. First, my guide was Martin Hess. I cannot say enough about his experience and expertise . Not only is he knowledgeable but he is also kind and caring.
The Ball pass crossing is very challenging but at the end very fulfilling. The scenery is breathtaking and makes it all worthwhile .
I highly recommend this trek.
Also, I found the hut to be very cozy and homy . Martin definitely made it all happen. To top it all he also made great meals.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Andrew Oldfield's avatar

Andrew Oldfield

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Did an Intermediate Mountaineering Course with Alpine Rec. Great Guides (Mike Rowe and Gideon), amazing food and great location in their private hut across the valley from the Caroline Face of Mt Cook.

They tailored the course content to the group with was great, the only downside was that we didn't cover ice climbing or snow shelters partly due to running out of time focusing on other stuff, and rain which delayed the start of our first day.

The courses feel pricey (around $2200 for 6 days) but you get a lot for that with gear hire (which saves you a lot), transport to the hut (you drive then hike for ~3 hrs), great guide ratio (max 4:1) and a weather proofed location so it's really worth it.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Peter Aimer's avatar

Peter Aimer

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I've used Alpine Recreation multiple times for climbing, trekking, and (once) Nordic skiing. Obviously, I wouldn't go back to them if I wasn't completely satisfied with the quality and reliability of their services - their professionalism, their friendliness, their organisation of transport, food, gear, and alternative venues and activities when the weather dictated these. In December, I was back again, along with another client, to climb Aspiring. Our's was the only party to summit the peak that week, and that was due to some smart decisions by the guides, Elke and Wolfgang. Thanks to them, and despite unsettled weather, the trip achieved all our objectives - to fly in, climb, and trek out. Another Alpine Recreation experience that met all my expectations.

Reviewed about 7 years ago

Katy Glenie's avatar

Katy Glenie

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

The 6 day course was excellent. Very good quality instruction and a fantastic location right at the base of the Caroline Face of Mt Cook. The instructor was able to flex the content to fit the weather, and we had plenty of opportunities to put our new techniques into practice. Thank you Alpine Recreation!

Reviewed about 7 years ago

Sarah M's avatar

Sarah M

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Our trip with Alpine Recreation was fantastic. The manager, Anne, was a pleasure to communicate with and the expertise and facilities provided were even better than could be expected. We were blown away by the quality of the service and attention to detail. I would recommend this company to anyone seeking education or a peak-bagging trip in the Southern Alps. Enjoy!!

Reviewed about 7 years ago

Kylie Crawford's avatar

Kylie Crawford

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

I did the intro climbing course, with two other people. Martin was really professional and the whole experience was spectacular!! Got allot of info for 4 days which was great and steps to take to further my goal in achieving new heights in mountaineering :D Even got smoke salmon n blue cheese on the menu!!

Reviewed about 7 years ago

Jens Richter's avatar

Jens Richter

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I went on a Mt Aspiring ascent with Alpine Recreation. Our party of two was guided by Elke and Wolfgang. With challenging weather conditions for the week, the guides work hard on the logistics and managed to get us up to the top on the single weather window during that week. Having two highly experienced guides on a trip was a bonus. They are extremely professional, very safety conscious and work well together in evaluating options and coming to a decision. Options and reasoning were well communicated so that we always were clear what options were available and why an option was chosen. The gear was top notch, food fantastic and plenty. You certainly feel in very safe hands and they made sure they understood what our main objectives and goals were. I can highly recommend Alpine Recreation and will certainly be back for more.

Reviewed about 7 years ago

Trish Clarkson's avatar

Trish Clarkson

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Hi, would just like to say that I highly recommend using these guys to get some serious trekking done around Mt Cook. We were lucky to have Elke guide us, and although I found it quite taxing. ..& so did my hubby, it was an awesome experience. I would rate them 9 out of 10. The hut was lovely too. Just so you know, its not a "walk in the park" some serious hiking..rock scrambling, up very steep hills is to be found....so if you're in for the challenge, dont hesitate. We felt honoured to have had such a wonderful guide! Cheers, Trish Clarkson

Reviewed about 7 years ago

tony trimble's avatar

tony trimble

United States

Ranking: 10/10

The reasons for the 2012 gold cup award to Alpine Recreation were certainly evident in the ski touring recently completed. Knowledgeable, patient and helpful, and with a family history and commitment fueling the entire operation and experience, make this a fun and rewarding time, and creates a desire to return. Elke was a terrific guide, and I count her as a friend.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Andy Scrase 's avatar

Andy Scrase

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I was with a group of three that did a 5 day ski-touring trip in the Two Thumb range near Lake Tekapo, NZ.

This area is pretty special in that it has a lot of great terrain for Alpine, Telemark and Nordic skiers with a variety of steep, mellow and flat ground to cover all tastes and abilities. The Rex Simpson Hut, owned by Alpine Recreation, is a suberb base for touring and is of a very high standard.

The walk in is a steady 3 hours which makes the area one of the more accessible mountain regions in NZ for ski touring. The weather is often less severe than the higher ranges.

Our guide was Elke who was highly professional and brought a lot of local knowledge and experience to our trip. She was able to find trips that suited the weather and conditions which would have been much more difficult for a first time independent ski-tourer.
The quality of the accommodation and meals was great too.

I would highly recommend this company, guide and this area to any prospective visitors to the area who are interested in undertaking a ski tour

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Chad's avatar

Chad

Ranking: 10/10

I recently completed an Introductory Mountaineering Course with Alpine Recreation and was blown away by their service, friendliness and professionalism. The private Caroline hut was a significant advantage that enabled us to focus on climbing and not waste time setting up camp etc. Our guide even cooked out food - it was the best food I've ever had in the mountains. Our guide was highly experienced and had a huge amount of knowledge which he was able to effectively pass on to us. I'd encourage anyone interested in heading into the mountains to check out Alpine Recreation. I've already booked another trip with them.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Roy Jamieson's avatar

Roy Jamieson

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

There are not enough superlatives to cover my impressions after completing this company's Intermediate Climbing Course based at Caroline Hut in Aoraki/Mount Cook NP.
Everything from prior to booking the course, all the way through to completion, was superb.
The level of professionalism, not just at a company level, but via guides Wolfgang Maier and Jane Morris was a wonderful experience.
Although Wolfgang and Jane had never worked in tandem before, you would never have known it.
They communicated well with eachother and with their six clients.
Their cooking skills were also brilliant and to come away without a loss of weight surprised me.
I'm not one to hand out such solid praise easily but I found no negatives, only major pluses.
The course was value for money and I do believe I'll be back to do something else with Alpine Recreation.
I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago

Gary_L's avatar

Gary_L

Ranking: 10/10

Did the Ball Pass Summit trek. Great experience. Alpine Recreation were both friendly and professional.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago

Dave Long's avatar

Dave Long

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

This is the second time I've taken a course with Alpine Recreation and I'll certainly be coming back for more. Their guides are excellent, their equipment is top notch and the private hut is fantastic.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in mountain climbing, hiking or ice climbing...

Reviewed almost 8 years ago

Greg  Mauk's avatar

Greg Mauk

United States

Ranking: 10/10

I had a great experience traveling to the Rex Simpson Hut and the Caroline Hut with Alpine Recreation. Martin was our guide, he has the experience and knowledge to make the experience an unforgettable one. I highly reccomend Alpine Recreation and Martin.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago

Charles Lambert's avatar

Charles Lambert

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I completed the Ball Pass Crossing and enjoyed the experience so much that I will be back.
Exhilarating views,great company and superb food.
Alpine Recreation are a highly professional and competent company.
Gavin Lang our guide having just soloed the Caroline Face was a wonderful bonus to the whole journey.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago

Claudia Risch's avatar

Claudia Risch

Switzerland

Ranking: 10/10

Ball Pass Crossing 25 January 2013 - I enjoyed the trek a lot!!!! It was fantastic – one of my NZ highlights! Ewan was a very competent guide, a superb cook and good company, the hut was cosy, clean and spectacularly located, the weather couldn’t have been better and the trek was just amazing!! An unforgettable experience!

Reviewed almost 8 years ago

Eileen Lim's avatar

Eileen Lim

Singapore

Ranking: 10/10

I decided on a Ball Pass Summit Trek with Alpine Recreation in December 2012 and enjoyed it thoroughly. Elke was our guide and her great expertise in equipment handling, mountaineering techniques and trail knowledge kept us safe in the midst of an unforgettably awesome experience. Climb, trek, ski or snowshoe with Alpine Recreation without regrets! =D

Eileen
Singapore

Reviewed about 8 years ago

Tooty Fruity's avatar

Tooty Fruity

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Ball Pass Crossing - 20th December 2012. The views are out of this world - totally stunning. The big man upstairs was on our side and provided us with two amazing days of sunshine (that made up for our first day of rain, rain and more). We were in safe hands with guides Ewan & Jonathan (Good cop, bad cop) - brilliant guys. Caroline Hut - cozy and fun is how I would describe this hut; great to get away from T.V and other distractions, mix with other hut guests, chat and laugh out loud. This trip lived up to, in fact exceeded our expectations.

Reviewed about 8 years ago

ltekapo1 MacLaren's avatar

ltekapo1 MacLaren

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Gary Keuhn and myself went on a climbing trip superbly organized by Alpine Recreation to mountain called Hellsgates which is very accessible from Lake Tekapo. Gary for very good reasons decided that my chosen SE ridge route wasn't suitable and we circumnavigated the mountain and found a more interesting and safer mixed route on the more westerly peak. To anyone wanting a well organized, invigorating, well thought mountain experience I would fully recommend Alpine Recreation.

Reviewed about 8 years ago

1785184's avatar

1785184

Ranking: 9/10

Great price. Alpine Recreation was extremely friendly over the phone and willing to accommodate my unique and time-specific requests. I did the 1-1 week guided ascents program and though I did not achieve a personal summit I had in mind, I had a great time, learned a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my guide up in the Southern Alps. Should I return (I hope) I would book again, weather permitting.

Reviewed about 8 years ago

Award-1-24px Congratulations Alpine Recreation

Top Ranked NZ Awards 2016 Walking and Hiking Tours Winner

mfeild's avatar

mfeild

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

This is my third trip with Alpine Rec and you'd have a hard time convincing me to go anywhere else for guided ascents, mountaineering or rock climbing expertise. They are flexible and happy to work with you to achieve your goals - whether a specific ascent or general upskilling. I am always sad for the trip to end but I walk away with great experiences and new skills and for those reasons, they've made a repeat client out of me.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago

Geert_Erika's avatar

Geert_Erika

Belgium

Ranking: 10/10

Excellent organisation, exceeding our expectations

Reviewed about 8 years ago

Monica's avatar

Monica

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

The Intermediate climbing course I took on 30th October was a wonderful experience from start to finish. We exerienced sun shine, snow showers and a fierce storm, stayed in a cosy well equiped Caroline Hut. The guides Marty Schmidt and Dave Anderson where always there to help with a smile, teaching us survival skills needed for mountaineering, with the added bonus of being great cooks. I would recommend both guides and Alpine Rec to anyone without hesitation.

Reviewed about 8 years ago

RMac's avatar

RMac

Ranking: 10/10

Trip guided by Marty Schmidt and Dave Alderson, good balance of enthusiasm, support, encouragement, caution and structured thinking. Well done, great course, can’t think of anything I’d want to change.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

walkpaddleski's avatar

walkpaddleski

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Just enjoyed a fabulous five day Nordic Tour in the Two Thumbs Range. Great views, great skiing that was well matched to the participants abilities (begginer and intermediate) and professional guide.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

marta's avatar

marta

Ranking: 10/10

Amazing backountry tour!

Reviewed over 8 years ago

kandj1's avatar

kandj1

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

We have just returned from snow-shoeing to Rex Simpsons Hut with you guys. It was great. You looked after us very well both on the mountain and off. Company was fabulous and our guides were wonderful. The places we stayed were top class and the food fantastic. Special thanks to Steve for his patience and help and Gavin who kept us laughing. I will be telling everyone to make the trip. Well worth it. Thanks heaps. Kevin and Jeanette from the Gold Coast.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in January 2012

timezra's avatar

timezra

United States

Ranking: 10/10

On very short notice, Alpine Rec was able to setup a personalized Advanced Climbing class for me, lead by Gavin Lang. They let me borrow a few pieces of equipment that I could not have otherwise packed in from the States without a rental fee. They handled all the logistics of flying to and from the Kelman Hut. They provided great and plentiful fresh food. Gavin was a fantastic guide and we were able to climb 4 peaks in 5 days, with a slightly early exit on the fifth due to incoming inclement weather. Due to coordination between Alpine Rec and Mt. Cook Skiplanes, I was able to get off the glacier in time for my flight back. Overall, it was a terrific experience, and I would highly recommend Alpine Rec to anyone looking to put together a climb in the Southern Alps or any other locations where they offer guided trips.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Emmam's avatar

Emmam

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Snowshoeing trip with Gavin and Jin, most amazing exhilarating trip I can imagine. We loved every minute of it, including the aching muscles afterwards! Scenery and sun were amazing. Thanks to all in Alpine Recreation.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

rachelandmark's avatar

rachelandmark

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic way to see Mt. Cook and glaciers up close and with no crowd. The Caroline Hut provides cosy comfort and a great view. Shout out to our guide Ewan who managed to make the trip both more fun and more safe. These guys are highly recommended.

Reviewed almost 9 years ago

markwillers's avatar

markwillers

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I did the Ball Pass Crossing in February with Alpine Recreation. Our guide, Ewan, was fantastic, had years of experience and was willing to share this with us on our journey. The Caroline hut is beautiful. I highly recommend this trek.

Reviewed almost 9 years ago

Melissa's avatar

Melissa

Ranking: 10/10

I completed the Intermediate Climbing course guided by Andrew Finnegan which started on Feb 7, 2012 and I'd rank the service from Alpine Recreation at a 10. From woe to go- It was fantastic value for money, I learnt heaps and it has opened Pandora's box in terms building my confidence and interest in subsequent alpine adventures.

Reviewed almost 9 years ago

scottdavidson's avatar

scottdavidson

Canada

Ranking: 10/10

I just wanted to say thank you for an excellent adventure on Mt. Cook, and for your wonderful hospitality in Tekapo. Marty Schmidt was a world-class guide, and I was really glad to be able to support a family run business. I'd recommend Alpine Rec to my friends in a heartbeat!

Reviewed about 9 years ago

SandyC's avatar

SandyC

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Ball Pass 24 – 26 November, apparently the first crossing for this season and a fantastic experience. Our guide, Wolfgang, was highly professional, and showed himself to be a good cook as well. Caroline Hut is an excellent hut: we were forced inside for most of our second day due to very high winds, but library and supply of tea / coffee were good. As the person in our small group of 3 with least experience and highest level of nervousness at some of the day 3 traverses and descents I very much appreciated Wolfgang’s reassurances, (particularly his liberal use of the term “flat” to describe something I thought looked quite precipitous) and encouragement. The scenery was unbelievable: the experience unforgettable.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

dakerr's avatar

dakerr

United States

Ranking: 10/10

Elke (my guide)was great and the scenery was spectacular. It was challenging, but not too difficult. I had little alpine experience prior to this and it was great. The hut was great. The view of the Caroline Face was stunning. To be that close to a mountain that is cracking and having avalanches (every 20 minutes)and changing its visage with the sun is life changing.

This is a must do for reasonably fit individuals who are anywhere near Mount Cook in the summer in New Zealand.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

Paulie's avatar

Paulie

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

I recently completed the intermediate climbing course, followed by the advanced climbing course. I didn't actually know what to expect, as I hadn't researched Alpine Recreation prior to booking. I joined up solely on a friends recommendation. I was not dissapointed. During both the courses the friendly and professional guides gauge your abilities and adjust the course material accordingly. In a group of 8 with two guides, they effortlessly came up with activities to improve our skills no matter what the different levels, and kept everyone involved and interested. I'll always remember Andrews games of Mafia in the evenings too. An awesome experience with a very well organised, and very friendly company that feels like more of a family than a business. I would highly recommend Alpine Recreation to anyone looking for the best experience in the mountains. I will certainly be booking my next trip with them. Cheers for such an awesome experience guys.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

olivierbonnet's avatar

olivierbonnet

France

Ranking: 10/10

Hi,
I have been on Mt Cook early October 2012 with Alpine Recreation.
What I liked: clear presentation of the ascent on the website + quick and easy exchanges about the program + very flexible adaptation to enable the ascent outside the season: in October + very flexible on site because we changed the program to Dixon 1st and then Cook to straight to Cook after 1 day skiing, due this lovely uncertainty of the local weather + very kind welcome in Lake Tekapo. At the end summit reached + top ski + 4 beautiful days. Thanks to Anne& Marty.
It is quite important when you book it and travel from far away (France) to have a reliable and safe organisation and good communication because it is quite an investment.
Don't hesistate to liaise with me, if you need more information,
olivier

Reviewed about 9 years ago

jaredlaverty's avatar

jaredlaverty

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Two great days in the Two Thumb Range ski touring. Great views of the Southern Alps. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable. Rex Simpson Hut was very comfortable.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Kiwitony's avatar

Kiwitony

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Friendly and competent guides. Thoughtful itineraries, great private huts and awesome scenery.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

JFAiken's avatar

JFAiken

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Our 3rd trip with Alpine Recreation. Started at Rex Simpson hut in Two Thumb range due to poor forecast for Mt Cook region. V comfortable hut. Interesting terrain. Great food and compang. Weather improved so relocated for 3 days on Tasman glacier. Great time. Excellent guide in Jane Morris who exceeded our expectations both touring and skills based training

Reviewed over 9 years ago

rossly's avatar

rossly

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

I did the Backcountry Ski Course out of Rex Simpson Hut for four days. The course exceeded expectations through the quality of the instruction, the relevant routes selected, the logistical planning and attention to detail; all in order to ensure that the skiing was both enjoyable and rewarding. The knowledge, experience and ability of the instructor towards both the mountains and skiing in particular were second to none. I have already booked to attend some future climbing courses with Alpine Recreation; I cannot recommend them highly enough.

I attended the Intermediate Climbing Course followed immediately by the Advanced Climbing course in November with Alpine Recreation. Both courses were fantastic, achieving everything that I expected insofar as the insruction and practice of technical skills were concerned. Underpinning the positive experience were the professional and motivated guides, who always made the time and effort to ensure the best possible learning experience for the course attendees. Similar to the Backcountry Ski course conducted in August with Alpine Recreation, these courses again exceeded expectations and will be back again for guided ascents in the New Year. Well done!

I was back for a guided ascent of Aoraki via the East Ridge and Grand Traverse - Wolfgang was my guide and utterly professional in addition to his technical ability. Fortunate enough with the weather we were able to summit; a fantastic experience and will be back again with Alpine Rec!

Reviewed about 8 years ago

ruthandjosh's avatar

ruthandjosh

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I wanted to get away from phone, fax, email, Facebook, patients (i'm a doc) and any outside contact that I didn't want for me or my 12yo son! having originally enquired re a xc ski trip and being recommended to do the snowshoe trip in view of lack of sufficient snow at time of booking, we had 3 days hiking up to then staying at Rex Simpson hut under Elke's guiding.. she was awesome.. my son absolutely loved the experience, including the avalanche training skills learnt, toboganning :-) and we'll never forget the vistas, the solitude, pristine landscapes, the "hare footprints almost as big as ours with snowshoes on!!) and all the extras that went with this trip! won't ever forget the cold that even froze the tomatoes and pears in their tincans to solid iceblocks! :-) ..thanks Elke and Ann for the suggestion.... we'll definitely be back and have already recommended this trip to heaps of our friends..also really appreciated Elke's compassionate manner when we found out when got back to car that we'd lost a loved one whilst being away...def 10/10 for us!

Reviewed over 9 years ago

MistyBell's avatar

MistyBell

Ranking: 10/10

We did a 6 day Introductory Climbing Course based at Caroline Hut. The experience exceeded our expectation, the hut was amazing, so comfy, warm and gourmet meals prepared by our Guides. The climbing course was exciting and fun and we learned alot! We enjoyed it so much, we came back a week later for another four days learning intermediate climbing skills. The staff at Alpine Recreation are professional and went out of their way to ensure we had a fantastic mountain experience. Would recommend to anyone interested in mountaineering.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in December 2010

stephenlb's avatar

stephenlb

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

The ball pass crossing is a fantastic trip with excellent guiding. I would highly recommend it to anyone who would like to see the mountains close up.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

annappoole's avatar

annappoole

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Amazing but exhausting trip. The guides were fabulous and really helped me out along the way. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a challenge and spectacular scenery.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

shazza's avatar

shazza

Ranking: 9/10

Ball Pass trip was excellent, an opportunity to get into an alpine environment for people without climbing experience. Guides were very professional, the company looked after us very well. I'd highly recommend them

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

hev_81's avatar

hev_81

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

I had a great trip with Alpine Recreation. I did the 3 day hike from Lake Tekapo to Rex Simpson Hut.

The guide was knowledgeable, experienced and made me feel at ease. The equipment and standard of the hut was excellent.

The information before the trip was detailed and accurate.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

Bob Jordan's avatar

Bob Jordan

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Just completed the traverse of Ball Pass 4 with Alpine Recreation as a reasonably fit 63 year old. Probably my best three day tramp of all time, and I have done a few.

Probably helped by absolutely perfect weather, a very cool group of 6 friends and two excellent guides who were more like companions than guides. But they gave us an excellent range of experiences through hiking, crampon usage, rope belaying, self arrest with ice axes and climbing.

Day three is a biggy (12-13 hours including many stops) but all in the party completed it well.

Has to be one of the better tourist available guided trips around?

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

icewalk1's avatar

icewalk1

Australia

Ranking: 8/10

Got limited time but want an alpine adventure? Alpine Recreation can help with the logistics and if you'll excuse the pun, a "mountain of experience"! I am still amazed at the consistently good customer service that I received in dealing with this company and combined with the attractive pricing, it meant the whole trip was great value for money. To put it simply, Alpine Recreation exceeded my expectations.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

bdb3471's avatar

bdb3471

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Apart from the inclement weather that mother nature handed out, we had a tremendous time heading up to Caroline's Hut. Although we didn't head over Ball Pass we still had a tremendous time in the mountains. Special mention to our Guide, Ewan for his professionalism and good humour.

Reviewed about 10 years ago

odedhoffman's avatar

odedhoffman

Ranking: 9/10

If you're in a search for wilderness and nature this is the place for you.
The course isn't physically hard, but will give every participant the chance to develope his skills according to his pace.
I really enjoyed the 5 days course and hopefully in the future i'll be able to continue climbing new mountains alone.

Reviewed about 10 years ago

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alpanckhurst

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Three day guided trip over the Ball Pass in November while still plenty of snow around was fantastic. Very professional guides with excellent gear provided and nice warm well provisioned hut. Awesome views of Mt Cook and Tasman/Hooker valleys. I would recommend this trip to any seasoned "tramper" who wants a genuine alpine experience.

Reviewed about 10 years ago

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vince616

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

Great crew, great mountain, great mates and a fantastic few days. Get fit....you'll need it!

Reviewed about 10 years ago

gedeon's avatar

gedeon

United States

Ranking: 10/10

I went on a 3 day alpine tour in August 2010. The original plan was to go either to Caroline Hut or to another remote hut, but the weather was not stable. The replacement tour to Rex Simpson Hut was excellent. Great organization, great and friendly guide and an excellent company for evening discussions. I want to come back for more.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

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paddy

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

I went on a 5 day Nordic Skiing trip at Lake Tekapo with alpine recreation in august 2010. I have used this company before and as usual the experience was excellent. I was and still am a novice skier but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well organised, excellent guide ( Dave Crow) who was very patient and great company from my fellow skiers.

Reviewed over 10 years ago