The AC Adventure Calendar
By AC Editor
The view from high on Ama Dablam. Image: Lydia Brady
Planning your next high altitude adventure, but not sure where and when the best time to travel is? Look no further than our Go Big, Go High Calendar, outlining adventures you can take to explore the world’s biggest and highest mountains year round!
January – Aconcagua
Dawn across the Andes from high on Aconcagua is a spectacular sight, and there is no better time to see it than January, the height of the Southern summer season. They don’t come much bigger, or higher than Aconcagua, which at 6,962m/22,840ft is the highest peak outside of the Himalaya, and subsequently the highest in South America. Despite its lofty height, Aconcagua is an achievable peak to climb and is recommended as preparation for climbing more challenging Himalayan objectives. Climb it as a stand-alone expedition or a course and ascent program for those new to mountaineering.
Dawn over the Andes. Photo: Mark Austin
February – New Zealand Ascents
Playground to some of mountaineering’s most iconic personalities, and of course home to the AC Headquarters, the New Zealand Alps presents an endless array of climbing opportunities. From introductory forays into the mountains to intense technical climbs that rival the best in the world, there is something for everyone. Our ascents options stretch the length of the Southern Alps, including classic climbs on Mount Aspiring and Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, through to the lesser climbed peaks such as Mitre Peak in Fiordland. February is an ideal time to join one of our New Zealand Ascents as the weather is generally more settled and temperatures warm.
Pausing for a photo in the Fox Glacier Neve. Photo Guy Cotter.
March – Carstensz Pyramid
Looking for good old fashioned adventure in a modern day timeframe? Then look no further than Carstensz Pyramid (4,884m/16,024ft), located deep in the heart of Western Papua and often described as the most exotic mountaineering location on earth. Our March departures fly in and out of basecamp, taking you directly from the hot, sticky coastal lowlands directly to the base of the climb, allowing the expedition to be completed in a short 11 day timeframe. A limestone escarpment jutting out from the rainforest makes the climbing on Carstensz unlike any of the other Seven Summits, and it remains truly unique in the remoteness of its location.
Topping out on the Carstensz Head Wall. Photo Mike Roberts.
April – Everest
It is a feeling unlike any other to stand upon Everest, the tallest peak in the world, to see the surrounding mountains below your feet and the curvature of the earth across the horizon. Everest remains the ultimate mountaineering adventure, and to stand on the summit is to reach the pinnacle of high altitude mountaineering. It’s no easy task to get there, but if Everest is on your ‘to do list’ and you’re serious about being successful then Adventure Consultants is the perfect choice to help fulfil your dreams.
Lydia Brady on the Summit of Everest 2016. Photo: Mike Roberts
May – Mera Peak
Mera Peak is Nepal’s highest trekking peak, it is accessed by a week long trek through the remote jungle and rhododendron forests for which Nepal is renowned. Our May expedition coincides with the pre-monsoon season, where you will see the rhododendrons in flower, as well as a carpet of spring flowers in the higher alpine areas. The trek passes through small villages that make their living off the land, far removed from the tourist hubs of other more popular areas of the Himalaya. An ideal introductory expedition, the Mera Peak climb includes some instruction on basic high altitude mountaineering techniques and appeals to those looking for adventure away from the crowds.
Trekking into Mera Peak. Photo Dean Staples.
June – Denali
Denali means ‘the high one’ in the local Koyukon language – an appropriate name for North America’s highest peak. It’s a challenging climb, made no less by its location close to the Arctic Circle which often brings extreme weather conditions, and cold, even in the summer months. But this challenge is what makes a summit on Denali so sweet! It’s an achievement in itself and great preparation for some of the higher 8,000m Himalayan objectives.
High on Denali. Photo Mountain Trip.
July – Kilimanjaro
A climb of Kilimanjaro features a smorgasbord of African culture and scenery, providing a fabulous excuse to visit this wild continent. Kilimanjaro is the world’s highest free-standing mountain, towering above the hot dry African plains of Tanzania. The climb itself takes you on a journey through wild volcanic landscapes and unique vegetation as it winds up to the crater rim and high glaciers. Of course, no trip to Africa is complete without a safari and our four-day tour takes in some of the world’s most unique game reserves such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro National Parks. It’s an experience not to be missed!
A team summits in cold, clear conditions on Kilimanjaro. Photo Suze Kelly 2017
August – Elbrus
The giant, dormant volcano of Elbrus in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia is the highest mountain in Europe and one of the coveted Seven Summits. A ski field located on the slopes of Elbrus allows easy access to the upper mountain, but at 5,642m/18,510ft careful acclimatisation is still needed and teams enjoy hikes around the surrounding area prior to attempting the climb. A relatively easy climb, suitable for beginners, Elbrus is best climbed in the peak summer months of July and August. For those wishing to incorporate a cultural experience into the journey, we offer a departure that tours the historical cities of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, as well as a shorter departure from Moscow only.
Summit Day on Elbrus. Photo Dean Staples.
September – Cho Oyu
Cho Oyu is the world’s sixth highest mountain and one of only fourteen peaks greater than 8000m. It’s straightforward climbing makes it an ideal first foray above 8000m and it’s often climbed in preparation for Everest. Like any high altitude peak, acclimatisation is crucial to a climber’s success and we climb Cho Oyu over a six week period. The mountain is accessed via the ancient city of Lhasa in Tibet, where the team has the opportunity to explore this culturally vibrant city while acclimatising. The overland journey continues to base camp where the focus turns to climbing and the challenge of climbing to the thin air above 8000m begins.
Climbing towards the summit on Cho Oyu. Photo Steve Moffat.
October – Ama Dablam
A true alpinist’s mountain, Ama Dablam has been described as one of the world’s most aesthetic climbs. The peak stands omnipotent as trekkers ascend into the Khumbu Valley, it’s steep and exposed ridges framing the horizon, it’s no wonder Ama Dablam allures committed alpinists as a ‘must-do’ climb. Technically difficult, but never extreme, Ama Dablam is accentuated with outrageous exposure, varied climbing and unbelievable panoramas of the Everest Massif from the summit. Suitable for those with good mountaineering skills, some previous high altitude climbing experience and an adventurous attitude, Ama Dablam runs annually each October making the most of the settled post-monsoon weather conditions.
High on Ama Dablam’s South West Ridge. Photo Lydia Bradey.
November – Three Peaks Nepal
We’ve selected three of Nepal’s outstanding introductory climbs and combined them to make the Three Peaks Nepal expedition. Three Peaks takes you on a journey through the heartland of the Sherpa people, combining a culturally stimulating trek through into the upper reaches of the Khumbu Valley where you’ll discover some of the most outstanding views in the Himalayas. You’ll summit Island Peak, Pokalde and Lobuche East. An ideal time of year for visiting the Himalaya, November is the post-monsoon season and visitors can expect clear skies, outstanding vistas, warm days and cool nights.
Smiles all round on the Three Peaks Expedition. Photo Mark Morrison.
December – Vinson Massif
End the year with a trip to our southernmost continent, Antarctica. The most remote and pristine of the Seven Summits, Vinson rewards climbers with endless vistas across the vast Antarctic interior. While technically not a difficult climb, the venue itself is incredibly remote and conditions can be extreme. Adventure Consultants pioneered expeditions to climb Vinson Massif, and we maintain a flawless ascent record through our well-established ascent methodology. For many, an ascent of Vinson Massif fulfils a life-long dream of visiting the Antarctic, and further exploration of the area can also be included through our Climb Antarctica and South Pole Ski the Last Degree programs.
Nearing the summit of Vinson Massif. Photo Lydia Bradey.