Darrans Winter Meet. New routes in the Darrans sent by NZAT members

Tuesday 20 August 2013, 9:22am -- daniel.joll

Rose showing the boys how its done.

Creator: 
Jaz Morris

Several members of the NZAT made the most of average conditions at the recent Darrans Winter Meet, putting up three new routes in the Homer/Macpherson area. Saturday 13 July started clear and cold, promising a good start to the week.

However, finding only thin ice at lower altitudes, NZAT member Ben Dare (Queenstown) went searching for better material. With Danny Murphy and Steve Skelton, he put up a new ice route in the upper Macpherson Cirque 'The Elusive Leprechaun' (III, 5).

Meanwhile, Rose Pearson (Christchurch), Frazer Attrill (Dunedin) and Jaz Morris (Dunedin) of the NZAT teamed up with Al Walker and Anna Seybold to establish a three pitch mixed route on the Homer Tunnel Bluffs. They picked an obvious line promising plenty of turf, which (fortunately for them) had been ignored due to a guidebook error mistakenly labeling the route as the previously climbed 'Homer Sapiens' (the original Homer Tunnel route). In the end, their route, 'Double Vision' (II, 2+) was an enjoyable day out and a good way to introduce Rose and Frazer to the delights of frozen turf. Both teams ended up late back to camp that night, being chased back to Homer Hut by developing snow showers. These stuck around all day on Sunday and the only climbing to be found was on the thin verglas of The Pebble (Homer Hut).

2013_07 Frazer on the Pebble.jpg

Frazer doing a spot of bad weather bouldering near Homer Hut

Creator: 
Jaz Morris

Frazer doing a spot of bad weather bouldering near Homer Hut

Creator: 
Jaz Morris

The next day deep fresh snow shut down any bold climbing ambitions, but Rose and Jaz returned to the Tunnel Bluffs to send a new line, the mixed 'Grovelly Chimney of Joy' (II, 3), which they described as a perfect way to spend a short day with poor conditions. Further climbing during the Meet was curtailed by the unwelcome arrival of high temperatures and rain. The final hours of good weather were spent at the fantastic ice crags of upper Cirque Creek, training the calf muscles and improving ice technique. Despite its fearsome reputation, the Darrans is turning into an awesome training ground in ice and mixed climbing to rival Wye Creek and the Remakables. In safe avalanche conditions, easy access to areas like the Homer Tunnel Bluffs and Cirque Creek, combined with the proximity to major classic winter routes and virtually unlimited new lines, means the Darrans promise to be the venue of choice for many NZAT missions.

2013_07 Rose Cirque Creek.jpg

Rose leading on some good WI4 ice.

Creator: 
Jaz Morris

Rose leading on some good WI4 ice.

Creator: 
Jaz Morris

Comments

Submitted by Kieran Parsons on

Awesome to see a good write up of the meet. Cirque creek is a great venue for ice. Just putting it out there that I think that giving that line in the last photo WI4 might be a little over graded. I climbed this flow two days before and felt it was a solid WI3+... Although, bear in mind that I am basing this on North East Ice (NEI) grading which I am most familiar with. Cheers