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Mt. Aspiring is surrounded by three spectacular glaciers (the Bonar, Therma and Volta) and therefore requires glacial travel for anyone attempting to climb it. The most common routes are the Southwest Ridge via the French Ridge or the Northwest Ridge via Shipowner Ridge and Bevan Col. The approaches for both routes are via the West Matukituki Valley and the Raspberry Flat carpark.
The Northwest/Bevan Col route is longer than the Southwest/French Ridge route but it's within reach of most people who have moderate mountaineering skills. Give yourself a day to a day and a half to reach Colin Todd Hut / basecamp located on Shipowner ridge.
Getting ThereStarting off at Raspberry Flat carpark, you follow a well used trail to Aspiring Hut and beyond to the upper reaches of the West Matukituki Valley. The track deteriorates towards the end of the forest and opens up into a bouldered meadow at the head of the valley. 1300 meter walls of rock and ice and countless streaming waterfalls stand at the end. The grueling climb out of the valley and up to Bevan Col can be difficult with a large pack and requires good navigational skills. Rock slabs are climbed towards Hector Col and finally along a snow 'rib' to Bevan Col. At many times, the 'rock slabs' require the use of ropes to raise or lower people and their packs as it's very steep, slippery and covered in flowing water. The slabs also provides no mercy if one were to slip, so rope up!
Once at Bevan Col you should rope up and cross the Bonar Glacier. From Bevan Col, you can see Colin Todd Hut, a red speck sitting on the far left end of the Northwest/Shipowner Ridge.