Patagonia 2018

Thursday 22 February 2018, 7:16am -- alastair.mcdowell

Torre Group sunruse (Medium).jpg

The Torre Group at sunrise

Dan Joll

After forty hours of transit, the Fitzroy skyline finally appeared in view through the minivan windscreen at the head of Lago Viedma. We felt strangely at home – in our minds we were cruising alongside Lake Pukaki en route to Mt Cook, the cloud piercer smouldering in another northwest storm.

But we had arrived at the end of a gorgeous multi-day clearance and were condemned to several days of world-class bouldering and trail running to shake off the jet-lag while hearing of the town’s latest serving of splitter cracks.

North Face of Cholatse - Equipment , Clothing and Route Beta

Monday 29 January 2018, 2:41am -- daniel.joll

Cholatse, view towards the NE and NF on the approach trek

Cholatse, view towards the NE and NF on the approach trek

Daniel Joll

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

Monday 15 January 2018, 1:04pm -- daniel.joll

Belay NF Cholatse .jpg

Belay North Face Cholatse

Matt at another cold belay on the North Face of Cholatse

Daniel Joll

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.

The Salathe Wall

Tuesday 12 December 2017, 6:32pm -- gemmawilson

top of enduro.JPG

Gemma at the top of the Enduro Corner

Dan Joll

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

Tuesday 5 December 2017, 12:01pm -- Anonymous (not verified)


The ice hammock in use on an ascent of the North Face of Cholatse, Nepal

Matthew Scholes

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.

West Ridge Mt Sefton (3151m)

Friday 24 November 2017, 3:36pm -- jazmorris

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.

Bugaboos Alpine Rock: The Beckey-Chouinard

Thursday 10 August 2017, 8:20pm -- alastair.mcdowell


The West Buttress of South Howser Tower at dawn

A. McDowell

Eyeing the next thin slot above, I jammed my fingers in deep and wedged them into the constriction. Far above my last piece of protection, I reached for the silver cam on my harness that would fit inside the crack, before suddenly noticing a rusted piton in the granite to my right. Hammered to the hilt and likely fifty years old. I tried to imagine myself in the footsteps of Fred Beckey, and Yvon Chouinard, questing up the 2000 foot west buttress of the South Howser tower, way back in 1961.

Half Dome - Regular Northwest Face

Wednesday 12 July 2017, 1:16am -- alastair.mcdowell


Gemma Wilson on Thank God Ledge

A McDowell

"Alastair! Come help me!"

I spun around and sprinted down a slope of broken granite, when a whiff of something toxic temporarily blinded me. Confused, rushing, I tripped down the scree to find Gemma doubled over, screaming, a quivering hand held up covered in orange oil. "What's happened to you!" Strolling down from the summit of Half Dome an hour earlier, our tallest big wall climb to date, we thought all the difficulties were over. Who would have known the last two hours to the valley floor would prove to be the crux.

About the NZAT

Monday 22 May 2017, 10:17am -- jazmorris

Taulliraju south peak

Taulliraju south peak

Steve, Rose and Al on the south peak of Taulliraju

Al McDowell

What is the New Zealand Alpine Team?

The New Zealand Alpine Team is an initiative of the Expedition Climbers Club Inc. that represents a new concept for climbing in this country. It is born of a desire to support and encourage aspiring young Kiwi alpinists looking to improve their mountain skills. Some of New Zealand's best alpine climbers have volunteered their time to mentor a future generation of alpinists. In doing so, we are hoping to help a group of young climbers to learn valuable skills and knowledge that might have otherwise taken them many more years to acquire.

Subscribe to RSS