The BMC International meet is held every winter. It's a fantastic event bringing together climbers of all abilities from around the world to experience some of Scotland's finest Mixed and Ice climbing. When I found out about it in August 2013, I was particularly keen to attend on NZ's behalf as I was preparing to immigrate to the UK. I did hesitate, however, as I was effectively bed ridden at the time with a broken pelvis. Eventually, I reasoned it would be pretty much healed by then, so I should be able to climb 'something'. I downgraded my mixed and WI abilities accordingly and sent off my application.
Mater Dei, 1000m, 20, first ascent. Trip report and video from the ascent.
The spring of 2013 will not be remembered for its sustained periods of settled weather. Instead much like the winter that preceded it, it was dominated by warmer than normal temperatures and frequent squally frontal systems. What few clear spells that did come through were short lived and often directly followed heavy snow falls. This all coupled together to make for less than ideal climbing conditions.
Recovering from a big injury takes time, but with some patience and a bit of good old fashioned 'hard work' it can be a heartening and rewarding process. This catalogues my recovery from four breaks to my pelvis and my return to the mountains.
Youtube Videos & Expedition Report
I looked down, for the thousandth time, at the crampon points kicked in as far as I could tolerate, my toes aching and bruising with every step. It seemed funny at the time, wondering if Scarpa had this in mind when they designed the ‘Manta,’ a pair of boots usually sold for tramping and transalpine.
Last weekend the weather planet aligned and Jono Clarke, Graham Johnson and I made a trip to Cathedral Rocks (Matihao south face), Mt Ruapehu. I’d never been there before but had heard about it and was excited at the prospect. We left Wgtn at 2am Saturday bound for Whakapapa. After a rendezvous with Graham we strolled up to the summit plateau (+ 1000m) and meandered our way around to Cathy rocks. Despite being late spring with a high freezing level, we found ice with good hoon potential. Never mind that though - we had our eyes on the real prize i.e.
The term “For the LOLs” and its variations speak to the deeper reasons of what motivates us to climb. It is not infrequently that a climber’s asked “Why do you climb?” by one of the uninitiated.
The forecast was for one of those weak westerly flows that come in right after a clearing SW storm. Although the weather for the weekend itself was supposed to be alright, as we all made our plans to meet at Mt Cook it became increasingly apparent that the weather would be puking hard on Friday, increasing the avalanche risk to unacceptable levels. After a hasty change of plans, the Dasler Pinnacles became the logical destination for our various groups to meet, with cars coming from Queenstown, Dunedin, Greymouth and Christchurch.