Aim to fill mountaineering gap

A new Queenstown company offering professional mountain guiding services is promising to fill ''a huge gap'' in the market.

Queenstown Mountain Holidays owner and founder Mike Madden said there were no other major professional mountain guiding operations based in the resort, with the main guiding companies based in Wanaka and Mt Cook.

''For most overseas visitors coming to New Zealand for mountaineering and back-country skiing Queenstown is the gateway, so we're providing a service which means they stay in Queenstown longer and can appreciate all the town has to offer.''

The company offered guided ascents of New Zealand's highest mountains - Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring and Mt Tasman - as well as back-country skiing and helicopter-accessed hiking trips in remote areas of the Southern Alps.

''New Zealand's Southern Alps are a world-class climbing destination with climbers coming from all over the world to attempt climbing our highest mountains.

''Our goal is to provide our guests with world-class mountain guiding services and unique mountain experiences that only a professionally qualified mountain guide can offer.''

Mr Madden had more than seven years' experience as a professional mountain guide and was New Zealand's youngest International Federation of Mountain Guiding qualified mountain and ski guide.

He said the company was working with accommodation providers to offer comprehensive and inclusive accommodation and guiding packages, providing visitors a ''personalised and bespoke'' experience by hosting clients during their stay.

''There's so much on offer in Queenstown ... We want to show our guests from overseas the best of Queenstown.''