The Macpac New Zealand Alpinist of the Year awards are judged over the 12-month period that follows the previous year’s Remarkables Ice and Mixed Festival. The awards recognise the best alpine climbs during a one year period, taking into account style, difficulty and creativity of the ascent. The award is open to all New Zealand citizens and Expedition Climbers Club members for climbs completed in New Zealand or overseas. This year's awards ceremony will take place in August at the Ice and Mixed Festival in Queenstown, NZ.
‘Elysium’ Grade VI, 6 (AI5), 750m.
On the South Face of Mt Suter (2094m) in the Darran Mountains, solo first ascent, Ben Dare, July 12, 2018.
Sometimes the best adventures are those that we don’t plan for. The ones where we set out on a whim. Without specific goals or objectives, and without the burden of expectation. These are the adventures where spontaneity is king and where we open ourselves up to possibilities not previously considered.
Yosemite Valley saw a true Kiwi invasion this spring season, swarming to the most famous big walls in the world. Our attention in this expedition was unequivocally focused on the greatest of them all, El Capitan. Over the course of the month, our group would go on to climb the Motherstone by six different routes, for a total of 15 El Cap ascents between them.
Yosemite was the second of the NZ Alpine Team’s official training trips, the first being Canadian Rockies. These two destinations are the most convenient for kiwi climbers looking to gain mileage & experience ice climbing and big wall climbing as a foundation for larger alpine objectives.
I have been using Jet Boil stoves for over 12 years. During this time, I have used most of the common models starting with the Zip, Flash, Mino Mo, Joule, Sol Ti and most recently the Micro Mo. As a member of the New Zealand Alpine Team I am lucky enough to get the latest models as part of our sponsorship agreement with Jet Boil. Jet Boil is the stove I have chosen to use long before we had any form of sponsorship from Jet Boil and it would still be my first choice of stove if I had to go and buy a new one in the future.
After our first exhausting failed effort on Punta Herron, our motivation for a second attempt was drained, none of us thought we would be returning anytime soon. This was our main objective, but the thought of repeating the twelve-pitch approach traverse beneath Standhardt only to find Punta Herron unclimbable again was a risk our sore bodies dreaded, now four weeks into the trip. But spotting the bone-dry north ridge of Punta Herron from Mermoz rejuvenated our psych, and after five days of Chalten extravagance we were rearing for a second attempt.
The following outlines our acclimatization schedule, climbing equipment and clothing used for an ascent of the North Face of Cholatse. You can find a video of the ascent here
12 ice screws , various sizes but with two stubby screws
Single set of cams, green C3 - #2 Camalot
Single set of wires #1 – 7
4 x pins , 2 knife blades and two angles
Macpac Pulsar Plus concept by – Daniel Joll , review by Matthew Scholes
I was sitting in El Chalten, Patagonia, with Kim Ladiges after a successful but particularly wet and cold ascent of the Ragni route on Cerro Torre. In total we were out for six cold and wet days. Often sleeping in our tent on top of a bed of water. We were talking over our ideas for the perfect synthetic belay jacket. Something that would perform well in cold, damp environments and also had a technical cut allowing you to easily climb while wearing it. We used the Pulsar, but felt we wanted something a bit beefier for cold conditions. The concept for the Pulsar Plus was born from this conversation.
Salathe Baby! There were people everywhere! Coming up underneath us, rapping down on top of us, jugging fixed ropes and haul bags from every angle. Freerider is a 3 pitch variant of the famous Salathe Wall on the south-west face of El Capitan. It has become an incredibly popular route, and after climbing it you can see why!
The ice hammock is a relatively new invention and although it's a great idea and works well, it's unlikely that any outdoor company is going to start making them commercially anytime soon, so we thought its worth writing an article for anyone who has an interest in making and using them for alpine climbing.
I recently snuck off from a social tramping trip to the Copland Hot Pools to make a solo ascent of the West Ridge of Mt Sefton. The easiest route on Mt Sefton (MC 2+), the West Ridge provides a straightforward snow climb from Welcome Pass. The route either follows the reasonably level Douglas Neve to where a final snowslope leads to the summit, or else a much more interesting and crevasse free option involves gaining the ridge crest shortly after Welcome Pass and sidling a beautiful sharp snow ridgeline until the final summit slope.