Southern Alps Guiding Ltd pioneered Heli-Hiking at Aoraki Mt Cook. Chief guide Charlie Hobbs with over 30 years of guiding experience, has explored every inch of the Tasman Glacier, and knows the best areas to visit on this incredible journey. Our trips involve small groups and personalised service.
Our guides are the “legends” of Tasman Glacier Guiding and have vast amounts of experience and knowledge of the area.
This fly-in, fly-out heli-hike combines the excitement of walking on the mighty Tasman Glacier and the excitement of two helicopter flights. By flying in, you are able to access and explore the white ice of the Tasman Glacier where it runs beside the biggest mountains in New Zealand and where the glacier's forces work hard often creating spectacular ice formations.
Equipped with sturdy boots and other equipment, you board your helicopter or skiplane for your flight over the icebergs of the Tasman Glacier Lake. Then you will fly past the famous Hochstetter Ice Fall and the east face of the mighty Aoraki Mount Cook.
We then land on the Tasman Glacier where we begin our adventure and exploration on the ice. Your landing site is a remote and exceptionally beautiful part of the glacier. At this stage, your guide outfits you with crampons, specially designed for these ice conditions. You will follow the ice steps cut by your guide as you explore the impressive ice formations and possibly ice caves. Yes, ice caves! We’ll explain the workings of the Tasman Glacier, how it flows, and what makes the crevasses and sink holes appear.
We start at 9:00AM. There are so many exciting features on the Tasman Glacier! The scenery of the Southern Alps will impress you beyond expectations. Weather permitting, ice walking time is about 2 hours. Please note that this is a natural and ever changing environment. New ice features evolve constantly, therefore, no guarantee can be given that specific features will be seen.
Fitness level required: Low to Moderate
Trip Duration: 3-4 hours
$708.00 per person with direct bookings. From 1 October 2023 $745 per person
Includes: Two aircraft flights, guide, boots, crampons, and ice-axe/ski pole.
Join us on a beautiful one-day expedition to our remarkable destinations. Fly with your guide to either the famous Tasman Glacier, or the Grand Plateau. At over 7000ft or 2200 metres, enjoy spectacular views of the east faces of Aoraki Mount Cook and the vast expanse of glacial terrain of Aoraki Mount Cook and Westland National Parks.
The guide will teach you some basic skills, then it is off on the adventure of a lifetime, trekking and hiking down the easy gradient of one of these mighty glaciers. Along the way, we'll visit ice caves, view some very large crevasses and thundering ice-falls and even the occasional avalanche – all from a safe distance. We'll be trekking close to spectacular ice-falls. It is stunning scenery and an unforgettable day out.
At the end of the day it's another spectacular scenic flight back to Aoraki Mount Cook airport and then we return to The Old Mountaineers' Café, Restaurant & Bar (and Historic Photographic Gallery), for some well-earned refreshments.
Our glacier destination will be decided on the day after weather and snow conditions have been checked by your guide.
Fitness level required: Good level of fitness
Trip Duration: 5-6 hours
These trips operate as private charters for private groups or families.
Ask us for a price to do an exclusive tour.
Includes: Two aircraft flights, guide, boots, crampons, and ice-axe/ski pole - and Lunch!
Our guides are members of The New Zealand Mountain Guides Association
There is a long history of glacier hiking here. We do our best to maintain this tradition and look forward to sharing the experience with you.
We close for the month of June, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
“Southern Alps Guiding Ltd works with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to ensure that our impact on New Zealand's National Parks and reserves is minimal. We are an approved concession holder, ensuring that your visit with us to conservation lands adheres to best practice and contributes to the management of these protected areas.”
We reserve the right to cancel or change any part of any trip. This could be due to adverse snow, avalanche, mountain or weather conditions, or any other mountain-related scenario. We have a strict 36-hour cancellation policy, which means that if WE cancel the trip due to any of the above conditions we will give you a full refund.
If you decide not to do the trip within 36-hours of the trip start time for any reason (you sleep in, have a vehicle breakdown, an unexpected illness, or injury etc.) or we cancel your booking because of client unsuitability due to poor fitness or health; there will be no refund. Please ensure you have travel insurance to cover all potential cancellation scenarios.
HAZARD RISK DISCLOSURE FORM
UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS – HAZARD DISCLOSURE FORM
I am aware that participating in the mountain, alpine, sub alpine and skiing activities offered by Southern Alps Guiding Limited (SAG) or Aoraki Mt Cook Guiding Limited (AMCG) can be hazardous if they are not conducted with care, control and responsibility. I acknowledge that these risks could result in my injury (physical or mental) or even death.
I accept that this activity inherently involves risks and potential hazards. The risks and hazards include, but are not limited to
1 Aircraft malfunction
2 Snow and/or ice or rock avalanches
4 Mixed snow conditions (crust, powder, ice, wet)
5 Shallow snowpack with hidden rocks
6 Burial by avalanche
7 Crevasse fall due to snow bridge failure
8 Crevasse fall due to skiing outside the guides safety directions
9 Suffocation due to burial in an avalanche
10 Trauma due to avalanche involvement
11 Trauma due to impact with rocks above or below the snow
12 Trauma due to poor skiing technique by myself
I have informed the staff of SAG and AMCG (or will, prior to undertaking the activity) of any medical conditions, previous injuries and any medication I am currently taking which may affect my ability to undertake the activity.
I confirm I am physically fit and able to participate in the activities and I have not been advised otherwise by a qualified medical person.
I consent to receive any medical treatment that may be deemed necessary by SAG or AMCG in the event of injury, accident or illness while undertaking the activities.
I understand it is my responsibility to disclose any conditions (health or otherwise) that may affect the safety and enjoyment of myself and those around me.
Conditions of participating in activity
• I agree to participate in activities with care, and obey the rules set out by and instructions given by the guide (or a representative of SAG or AMCG), at all times.
• I accept that if I do not adhere to the instructions and rules, or if I act dangerously, recklessly or in a way that might endanger myself or others, SAG or AMCG may remove me from the activity. If this occurs, I acknowledge I will not receive a refund.
• I accept that SAG or AMCG reserves the right to cancel this activity if it becomes concerned for my safety, or the safety of another person.
• I agree to wear appropriate clothing and use/wear all safety clothing and equipment (as required by the guide) at all times when participating.
Limited Liability of SAG or AMCG
• I understand that if I act recklessly or intentionally, and don’t follow the rules or instructions set out by SAG or AMCG and the guide, which I have been made aware of, SAG or AMCG will not be held responsible for any injury, damage or loss I cause to myself/my property, or another person/their property, resulting from my action (or lack of action).
This Risk Disclosure has been developed by Southern Alps Guiding Limited and Aoraki Mt Cook Guiding Limited.
Liability of landowner
• I agree that the owner(s) of the land on which the activity is conducted will not be held responsible for any death, injury, misadventure, damage to or loss of property caused in whole or part by these activities.
Damage to property or equipment
• In the event that I damage any of the clothing or equipment, or other property owned by SAG or AMCG or a landowner, I agree to pay to SAG or AMCG (or the landowner) all costs associated with repairing the damage.
• I confirm I am not under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or drugs (be they legal or illegal) which may in any way impair my ability to undertake the activity.
• I give SAG or AMCG permission to send me emails and/or post relating to ABC Adventures Limited events and promotions, as well as the right to use all photos and videos of me taken during the activity for promotional and social media purposes.
I agree that by signing this ‘Understanding the Risks form’:
1. I accept there are inherent risks and hazards associated with participating in the activity and I understand what these risks are (including serious harm and death);
2. I am physically and mentally fit to participate and there is nothing I am aware of that will affect my ability to safely participate, or impact the safety of other participants.
3. I wish to proceed with the activity at my own risk.
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Full name Signature Date