The South Face of Mt Hutton (2820m) at the head of the Cass Valley in Tekapo received its first ascent on Sunday 26th August 2018 by three members of the New Zealand Alpine Team, Caleb Jennings, Rose Pearson and Alastair McDowell. Both the ascent and descent was illuminated by a full moon, casting a huge shadow across the face as they approached, and making headlamps unnecessary on the descent as the Southern Alps glowing around them, so they named the route 'Moonshadow' (MC 5+, 500m).
A multi-pitch ice climbing crag located at the head of Twenty Five Mile Creek – a tributary of the Rees River.
This was an area first spotted during a scenic flight in the winter of 2016, but wasn’t properly explored until June of 2018 when three routes were climbed. The cirque at the head of the Twenty Five Mile Creek catchment sits directly below Twenty Five Mile Saddle and contains at least ten separate ice lines. Including the main flow of Twenty Five Mile Falls - a 100m WI4 route. This is marked as the 98m waterfall on the topographic map.
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.
‘Elysium’ Grade VI, 6 (AI5), 750m.
On the South Face of Mt Suter (2094m) in the Darran Mountains, solo first ascent, Ben Dare, July 12, 2018.
Sometimes the best adventures are those that we don’t plan for. The ones where we set out on a whim. Without specific goals or objectives, and without the burden of expectation. These are the adventures where spontaneity is king and where we open ourselves up to possibilities not previously considered.
Yosemite Valley saw a true Kiwi invasion this spring season, swarming to the most famous big walls in the world. Our attention in this expedition was unequivocally focused on the greatest of them all, El Capitan. Over the course of the month, our group would go on to climb the Motherstone by six different routes, for a total of 15 El Cap ascents between them.
Yosemite was the second of the NZ Alpine Team’s official training trips, the first being Canadian Rockies. These two destinations are the most convenient for kiwi climbers looking to gain mileage & experience ice climbing and big wall climbing as a foundation for larger alpine objectives.
I have been using Jet Boil stoves for over 12 years. During this time, I have used most of the common models starting with the Zip, Flash, Mino Mo, Joule, Sol Ti and most recently the Micro Mo. As a member of the New Zealand Alpine Team I am lucky enough to get the latest models as part of our sponsorship agreement with Jet Boil. Jet Boil is the stove I have chosen to use long before we had any form of sponsorship from Jet Boil and it would still be my first choice of stove if I had to go and buy a new one in the future.
After our first exhausting failed effort on Punta Herron, our motivation for a second attempt was drained, none of us thought we would be returning anytime soon. This was our main objective, but the thought of repeating the twelve-pitch approach traverse beneath Standhardt only to find Punta Herron unclimbable again was a risk our sore bodies dreaded, now four weeks into the trip. But spotting the bone-dry north ridge of Punta Herron from Mermoz rejuvenated our psych, and after five days of Chalten extravagance we were rearing for a second attempt.
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