For three decades, world-renowned Wanaka mountaineer Guy Cotter has been scaling the globe’s most challenging peaks, from the backyard playgrounds of New Zealand’s Mount Aspiring and Mount Cook to the ultimate conquest of Mount Everest.
His innate passion spearheaded the Wanaka mountain guiding company Adventure Consultants and for more than 20 years the company has specialised in providing extraordinary experiences for keen skiers, snowboarders and explorers offering mountain expeditions, wilderness adventures and treks in the most remote corners of the world. Guy, his wife Suze Kelly and their team of mountaineers and ski guides, offer 72 different experiences in far flung places including the Arctic, Antarctica, the Himalayas, South America and the Seven Summits. Multi-day backcountry skiing tours – in which advanced skiers or boarders glide through remote areas – are particularly popular. Guy says the tours are a remarkable way to explore New Zealand’s backcountry, as well as Adventure Consultants’ international destinations.The Southern Lakes is Adventure Consultants’ main stamping ground. The team knows where the snow is best on any given day and a favourite is the picturesque McKerrow Range, with hundreds of kilometres of free terrain. Other New Zealand tours include a helicopter flight to the head of the Tasman Glacier at Mount Cook or to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Guy says guides are highly skilled and qualified and they’re experts not only in how to enjoy the best snow and terrain but how to do it safely. This mantra is also adopted by the guides who lead their backcountry skiing tours in other parts of the world such as Antarctica, India and the European Alps. “We also operate trips on the famous Haute Route in the French and Swiss Alps as well as week-long, hotel-based ski touring packages. Our most exotic trip is a yacht-based ski-touring expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula, where it’s not unusual to ski past penguins and sea lions before heading back to the yacht to watch humpback whales. We also run ski touring packages from the remote village of Gulmarg in India. The scope of where we go ski touring is expanding all the time.”