Summits of the Southern Alps

Climb to summits high above New Zealand's most iconic glaciers, we'll look after everything else

The Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers on New Zealand's wild west coast are some of the most famous rivers of ice in the world. They also offer fantastic moderate alpine objectives with spectacular views over the Tasman Sea and Mt. Cook. Combine this with ideal climbing bases in the form of the New Zealand Alpine Club's Centennial and Pioneer huts and you have a fantastic destination for an ACC international camp. 

Camp Manager and ACC board member, Frank Spears and ACMG guide Andrew Rennie came up with the idea for this camp over a meeting in the GMC dining tent in the summer of 2017. Now we're making it happen!

Climbers on Lendenfeld, a potential objective from the Pioneer Hut

Where we'll be visiting

The nearest international airport is Queenstown, a picturesque mountain tourist hub below the majestic Remarkable Range on New Zealand's South Island. From there you'll travel to Wanaka, set on the southern end of its namesake lake to meet the group and camp staff over dinner as well as to perform last minute gear checks and purchases.

Following a night's stay in a hotel, your journey out into the Southern Alps will commence with a private shuttle to the Fox Glacier Township. From there, a spectacular helicopter flight will carry you to the upper Franz Joseph or Fox glaciers. Guests will have the opportunity to stay at either the Pioneer or Centennial huts, or even a combination of the two, over a solid week's climbing. 

If the weather doesn't play ball. There's no shortage of other great options in the region, including climbing on the Mt. Cook side of the range.

Climbing objectives

After running over glacier travel skills and techniques and assessing conditions, we will have a six day window to climb some spectacular, remote objectives which include Mt. Lendenfeld, Mt. Tasman, Grey Peak and Mt. Haast - some of which are pictured here. 

The objective of the camp is to reach technically moderate, but beautiful summits largely climbing on snow and ice. However, with 2 fully certified alpine guides on the camp staff there will be room to cater for individual abilities and preferences. 

Mt Tasman and Lendenfeld from the Pioneer Hut

Why Join Us?

1. Our guides and guiding ratios 

With a local guide on staff and our lead guide - Andrew Rennie - having spent significant time in the region, you know you'll be getting in-depth and expert knowledge of the local region and conditions. The camp capacity is also capped at 6, meaning a 3:1 ratio of guests to alpine guides and a 2:1 ratio of guests to rope leaders.

2. On staff ACC Camp Manager

Having long term Board member, Frank Spears, acting as Camp Manager for this adventure will provide a true ACC touch to proceedings. Frank's fantastic organization skills will also ensure your trip is taken care of - from transfers, food, accommodation and permits through to the small details.

3. Price 

Priced at under $5,500 per person, the ACC is seeking to make this as affordable camp as possible for our members. Your camp fee will cover all in-country transportation (including helicopters), hut and hotel accommodation, guiding and camp staff support, food, permit fees, group equipment (including satellite phone rental).

4. A unique and remote destination 

This really is one of the most stunning alpine regions of the world. Breathtaking views await you not only from alpine summits but even flying into Queenstown and driving to the island's west coast via Wanaka. Gigantic glaciers almost dropping down into the ocean, snow capped peaks reflecting in scenic lakes and temperate rainforest carpeting lower slopes; this region really has it all!

Grey Peak, Mt. Haast and the location of the Pioneer Hut

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

This camp is designed for people with some alpine climbing experience and basic rope-handling skills. You must have a good level of fitness, and be able to carry up to a 9 – 11kg (20 – 25lb) day pack for several hours. 


  •  Jan 5-14, 2019
  • $5,495 + Tax/ Person
Register Now Info Pack (Coming soon)

Camp Itinerary

  • Jan 5th - Everyone meets in Wanaka, pre-trip dinner/briefing with all guests and staff.
  • Jan 6th - Gear check, any last-minute shopping, travel to Fox Glacier. Fly in if conditions/time allows or stay at Porter Lodge for the night.
  • Jan 7th - Fly into Centennial or Pioneer hut. Snow school glacier travel day, assessing conditions and descent routes.
  • Jan 8th - Climbing out of Pioneer or Centennial huts.
  • Jan 9th - Climbing out of Pioneer or Centennial huts.
  • Jan 10th - Climbing out of Pioneer or Centennial huts.
  • Jan 11th - Climbing out of Pioneer or Centennial huts.
  • Jan 12th - Morning climb, walk down to chancellor hut or Almer hut.
  • Jan 13th - Fly out and drive back to Wanaka, group celebratory dinner/debrief.
  • Jan 14th - Guests travel home or continue exploring New Zealand independently.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, travel conditions and other factors.

Gear, Food & Lodging

  • All food at the huts and on helicopter flight days in/out
  • Guiding from certified ACMG guide Andrew Rennie and local New Zealand guide Paul Rogers
  • Services of an ACC camp manager including group permit application
  • Accommodation for duration of camp
  • Transportation to and from Wanaka, including private shuttle and helicopters
  • Airport shuttle going back to Queenstown from Wanaka on the last day
  • Ropes and group gear (satellite phones etc.)
  • Restaurant meals on inbound and outbound travel days
  • Personal gear (see info pack)
  • Flights to and from Queenstown Airport and transfer to Wanaka on arrival

Camp Staff