Now in its fifth year running, the Remarkables Ice & Mixed Festival is becoming a must-attend event on the NZ climbing calendar! Climbers from all around the country and overseas gather in Queenstown for a long weekend to learn and practice basic mountaineering, ice climbing, mixed climbing and ski touring.
“You should have a crack at Sabre if you want something tough. By god, there’s a mountain for you!” G Hall-Jones to M Gill, c.a. 1958
Aiguille Sans Nom Direct linking to Gabarrou Silvy
The Carrington Rouse (originally known as the Rebuffet Terray) is a classic ice and mixed climb on the Aiguille Des Pélerins in the European Alps. With 550m of technical climbing and a close proximity to the mid-station of the Midi lift it makes for a nice winter day-trip from town if you plan to sim-climb it or a 1-day climb if you pitch the cruxes with a bivy before or after at the mid-station. Dan, Kim, Rose and Peter climbed this in thin conditions in late January 2016. We found it to be fun and engaging with a crux just below the routes top-out at the Col des Pélerins. What follows is a quick route description and some gear beta.
From what is admittedly a very limited amount of experience, there’s one thing about first ascents which stands out to me. Perhaps I do have a shred of paternal instinct and it’s finally kicking in, but in many ways, I find a first ascent to be akin to having a child (again, limited experience).
It’s a fraught process, into which you invest a significant part of yourself. More than anything, a first ascent is a journey: a formative journey replete with angst, joy, relief and a small shred of pride.
In early December Reg Measures teamed up with visiting climber Tim Elson to link some classic face and ridge routes in a rapid traverse of New Zealand's two highest peaks. They found excellent conditions on White Dream (S Face of Aoraki/Mt.Cook) and the Syme and Silberhorn Ridges (Mt. Tasman/Horokoau) but slower blue ice conditions on the summit ridges.
The Eiger North Face is one of the classic alpine routes in the world. Long, steep, committing and a story made famous by books like The White Spider and Clint Eastwoods movie the Eiger Sanction, it is a must do climb for many alpinists. There is much written about the North Face of the Eiger and also some excellent topos available online. I thought however it might be good to share the climbing gear we took with us for a winter ascent.