Outdoor climbing at it's finest

Next up on the Adventure Guide Program itinerary is a week in the legendary NZ adventure region, Mt Cook. Home of the highest mountain in the country, this area is synonomous with rock and ice climbing, hiking, mountaineering, ski touring and general outdoor bad-assness. Not for the faint-hearted, you need solid training and systems in place to explore this area, which is subject to strong winds, sub-zero temperatures, avalanches and rockfall. 

For those who have the right skills however, this place is adventure nirvana! Check out Ken's update on their time at Mt Cook below...

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Climbing in Mt. Cook and Wye Creek this week was epic! We started our week with a new instructor and climbed at a crag called Wye creek. It over looks Lake Wakatipu in queenstown and offers some pretty epic views of the surrounding mountains. Our instructor Rich split the group and worked on commercial rigging with us while the others climbed some new routes to get warmed up for the week ahead of us.

 

On tuesday we drove out to Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park. I have been frothing to get here since I landed in New Zealand and was overwhelmed with excitement to get the team up for some multi pitch sport climbing. So far multi pitch was a culmination of everything the team had learned on the course and the opportunity to put it all to the test. The views on the way out were amazing and only further built the hype for the week ahead.

 

What does your class room look like?

I partnered with Rosie from my team up a 4 pitch climb called Mako in the Mt. Cook valley, in the shadow of the massive Mt. Sefton behind us.  

The legendary Paul Rogers was our head instructor this week. He is know world wide for his work in the greater ranges as a guide, putting up new routes and all around experience. He was a wealth of knowledge and someone to call a future mentor for myself. He has a really relaxed teaching style, peppered with constant jokes and stories from his past expeditions in the mountains.

Paul keeping a watchful eye as Jocelyn builds an anchor 3 pitches off the ground.

We had beautiful weather all week and packed it full of climbing and some solid time on the wall together. Here is a shot of me perched from a hanging belay station about 150 meters off the ground, waiting for some other team members to come back down the wall.

Some of the crew really came into their own this week, pushed new  boundaries and are really putting their training to the test. 

The focus of the week was multi pitch change overs. One pitch being anywhere from 30 to 60 meters of the rope length, switching between a belayer and a leader as we climbed up. We focused on a lot of technical knowledge as well. Safety systems, belaying techniques and anchor building. There is generally a little more stress to get things right when you are dangling a few hundred meters off the deck, and that is where the training comes in, and keeping a cool head

I think the whole group really came together this week, forming a new level of trust in each other in multi pitch and really becoming more confident on the wall. I really enjoy sharing in all that excitement and the development and journey together.

 

We rocked up at the Mt. Cook airport for a quick safety briefing and were so lucky to get a free flight from In Flight  Mt. Cook Heli and Ski tours. They flew us up along the Tasman Glacier and gave us an incredible view of Mt. Cook. The summit was beaming with sunlight. A true inspiration for me as I will be training to be a mountaineer as well. I'll never forget that view.



Pure Ex has done sure an amazing job at facilitating the crews and providing them with a real and in depth experience with some of the most qualified and experienced instructors in the game. We learn by doing not by sitting in a classroom being told.

We finished off the week by watching the sunrise over Aoraki / Mt. Cook as a team. Paul sat behind us and told stories and fun facts about the Southern Alps.

 

 

One of my favorite things about this course is the bond and relationships that I have built with my teammates. Everyone brings something different to the table and everyone has a unique background that all comes together, forming our goofy, misfit family. The friendships that I have built with my crew will without a doubt last a lifetime.

 

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If climbing is your thing, then you'll know how amazing this looks. If climbing isn't your thing, you'll be surprised by how much you enjoy learning new skills and overcoming any fears you have of heights etc, as our careful instructors take you through safety measures and make sure you are 100% confident in what you are doing. If you are keen to take on a challenge in the outdoors, feel free to get in touch (below) and we can chat you through some options we think might suit you. 


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2019-11-27

We'd love to share another great blog from our AGP participant, Liz! Hiking can be hard, something mother nature doesn't provide pristine weather conditions and sometimes we feel our motivation levels drop abruptly as a result. Do these challenges mean you can't or shouldn't continue? Absolutely not. Are you the first person ever to feel these frustrations and feelings of defeat? We guarantee you aren't. Are the feelings of accomplishment, perseverance and adaptability heightened once you succeed? You know it. We are true believers of "the view is always worth the climb". Liz speaks to this as she eloquently tells her story, hiking through the 'wet and soggy' in New Zealand, whilst on our Adventure Guide Program. Enjoy!

2019-11-24

*Last shoutout in 2019, promise!* Living in Queenstown and keen to experience some of the best climbing and hiking that New Zealand has to offer? Do you have a spare day over the next couple of weeks and keen to get involved in an epic day mission? Flick us a message, we have our last 2019 AGP undertaking their client and assessment days and need awesome human beings to join them! Please email the team here: instructors@pureexploration.com. Cheers!

2019-11-24

Fairly new to hiking and looking for some great tips as to how you can prepare to tackle some of the more challenging trails? Check out this brilliant blog from Guided Walks New Zealand!

2019-11-22

Did you know we tend to internally recruit graduates from our Adventure Guide Program and Expedition Leader Program, placing them as Program Instructors with our sister company? We currently have three Pure Exploration graduates leading gap year semester programs overseas in Nepal and Tibet, South East Asia and New Zealand and Australia! Nothing makes us prouder than seeing our Pure Ex family grow and succeed!

2019-11-21

We are thrilled to have 5 of our recent Adventure Guide Program graduates join the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. based up in Waitomo as Adventure Cave Guides for this summer season! They'll be joining Shannon, pictured below, from Canada who joined the team earlier this year upon graduating! Are you interested in the AGP and keen to hear more about employment opportunities post program? Flick us a message, we'd love to tell you more!

2019-11-20

Heard about our Adventure Guide Program in Patagonia but wasn't sure what to expect? Welcome to our AGP team, joining us from all around the world! Sweden, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Germany, France and Mexico!

2019-11-13

Living in Queenstown and keen to experience some of the best climbing and hiking that New Zealand has to offer? Do you have a spare day over the next couple of weeks and want to come join us on an epic day mission? Flick us through a message to instructors@pureexploration.com! See info attached 😆🤙

2019-10-24

We love that our program participants join us from all different walks of life (no punn intended), and really enjoy hearing about the experiences that have been had - both mental and physical - on program! It's our pleasure to share Liz's story with you all, her journey from a "complete beginner" at climbing, to the end goal of being an NZOIA qualified climbing guide! Thank you for the inspiration, Liz Lucas Coaching!

2019-10-21

"I heard the captain announce our approach into Queenstown, into this place I had only dreamt of. I looked out the window and there she was, the glorious island that is New Zealand, at the opposite end of the world to where I am from and I just thought to myself "Bring it on baby"" Hear more about Cathal's journey as he participates on the Adventure Guide Program via the link below. It's absolutely worth a read, every word is dripping in his Irish charm and you can't help but smile as you digest his story!

2019-10-18

EXCITING NEWS! Are you interested in our Adventure Guide Program in Queenstown, NZ but you've not been able to commit for financial or timing reasons? What if we told you that we now have a 6 WEEK ADVENTURE GUIDE PROGRAM AVAILABLE? This 6 week program offers rock and hiking adventures, plus participants will still get the opportunity to undertake their pre hospital emergency care (PHEC) and SWIFT water rescue training and qualifications! We're so happy to be able to offer this awesome condensed program to you all from January 2020, if you're interested in finding out more, flick us a message!

2019-09-24

If you're interested in our Adventure Guide Program (AGP) in Queenstown, let us introduce you to "PHEC". Pre Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC) is an intense five day, crucial part of the AGP which trains participants to deal with a myriad of emergency situations. Please note the photos are not real life and are the result of great acting skills in order to recreate real life scenarios. If you'd like more information about the Adventure Guide Program or PHEC, feel free to reach out. Thank you to Peak Safety Ltd for your ongoing support!

2019-09-19

Check out the video below to hear Program Leader Keri share her experiences from the Expedition Leader Program with us. The three month immersive program wrapped at the end of August and we were lucky enough to steal 4 minutes of Keri's time to get a sweet snapshot of what the 90 days in Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru, China, Laos, Thailand and Nepal was really like!

2019-09-16

We loved having our Adventure Guide Program participants volunteer with the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust last week on some important projects in Arrowtown! Thank you for having us, and we're looking to joining you again next time 😀

2019-09-12

Goodbyes have been said, reunions have been made, photos have been uploaded and time has been spent reflecting. We are thrilled to hear how much our Expedition Leader Program crew enjoyed their 12 week experience and we're so proud of what each individual achieved! We wanted to share with you one last blog from program participant Chloe, summarising the key things she has taken away from the Expedition Leader Program. Whatever you're doing in your life, we feel as though it's an important and powerful read. Enjoy, and feel free to check out the teams awesome photos in our recent album we've uploaded. We're warning you now - every photo is envy worthy!

2019-09-08

EXCITING NEWS!!!! Pure Exploration are SO excited to share our latest offering for our 2020 Adventure Guide Programs - CANYONING! Keen to sign up for one of our 12 week programs, but don't think that rock climbing is really for you? No drama! The canyoning option is now available for you to do instead of the rock climbing strand, enabling you to spend time in the water (splashing around, slipping and sliding between canyons) as well as your hiking, pre hospital emergency care and swift water rescue training. We are offering the NZOIA Canyon Leader qualification alongside the NZOIA Bush you'll also undertake over the 12 weeks. Panicking that we've dropped rock climbing? Don't be, we're still offering the rock module (which proves to be increasingly popular), we're just introducing canyoning as a further option! If you're keen to hear more just flick us a message!

2019-08-28

What is this PHEC you might hear us mentioning from time to time? PHEC stands for Pre Hospital Emergency Care, and there's a reason we keep banging on about it - if you're heading out to the back country it's vital knowledge to have. You could save a life. Regardless of whether you're heading out bush, there's actually never a bad time to undertake Pre Hospital Emergency Care and that's why we incorporate it in each of our Queenstown Adventure Guide programs. Our Patagonia Adventure Guide Program and Expedition Leader Program also feature a wilderness first aid qualification. Check out this article to find out more about PHEC and how it teaches you the skills needed to become an asset in an emergency.

2019-08-27

For those of you who are interested in our Adventure Guide Program as you'd like to get your foot in the tourism industry, look no further. Dana, an alumni from our Adventure Guide Program in 2017, was kind enough to give us a life update at the end of last year. Since graduating from the AGP the wonderful Dana has been a Director of Operations, Lead Guide and a Naturalist in the US. We'll be checking in with her shortly for another life update. Until then, have a read and join us in celebrating the successes of Dana!

2019-08-22

The Adventure Guide Program in Queenstown was always a tough one to name. The word adventure summons up thoughts of gripping journeys discovering untouched lands, undertaking challenges that your dreams haven’t even dared explore and of course, an envy worthy Instagram feed. But of course, it's so much more than that! So, in reality, what is the Adventure Guide Program? What should participants expect from it? Check out our latest blog on our website for the "6 things you should know about the Adventure Guide Program in Queenstown, NZ".