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.
A few weeks out from that event, we take a look at the nominees, and the climbs that earned them a nod.
For 2020, the nominees include:
For first ascents (team nominations):
Ben Dare - South Face Pyramid Peak - 'Frost Flower' grade 6-, VI, (1200 m), solo, July 2020
Ruari Macfarlane and George Loomes - 'Shooting Tahr' grade 5+, IV (500m), South Face Mt Aspiring, July 2020
Ruari Macfarlane, Maddy Whittaker, Jaz Morris - 'Antics' grade 5, III (500m), South Face Mt Joffre, July 2020
Gavin Lang and Ruari Macfarlane - first Torres-Tasman traverse in winter, June 2020
Petrouchka Steiner-Grierson, Bia Boucinhas, Owen Lee, Chris Tipper - 'Nota14lol' grade 5, II (300m), Mt Humdinger, June 2020
Gavin Lang and Sooji Clarkson - new route on South Face Mt Aspiring
Ruari Macfarlane - solo new route on south face Vampire
Gavin Lang and Ruari Macfarlane - new route on Malte Brun
For first ascents (individual nominations):
Gavin Lang - for the efforts above
Ruari Macfarlane - for the efforts above
Ben Dare - for 'Frost Flower' on Pyramid
For significant repeats:
Alastair McDowell and Ben Mangan - Curver Neo Classic, South Face Mt Hicks, July 2020
Rose Pearson and Alastair McDowell - Aoraki GT in sub-24 hours, Mt Aspiring NW Ridge in sub-12 hours, summer 2020
Reg Measures and Rose Pearson - 'Pilgrim' Shiela Face Aoraki / Mt Cook first repeat, September 2019
Other notable climbs considered but not nominated:
Merry Schimanski, Daniel Joll, and others - 'Mile High Club' 700m, 20p, 24 C2, Milford Sound Airport Wall, and another ground-up new route at Copper Point. Copper Point has also seen a string of good new routes developed by Bruce Dowick, Jon Seddon, Steve Fortune and Llewellyn Murdoch.
If you completed a first ascent in NZ or worldwide since August 2019 (or want to nominate a mate who did), get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org