Douglas Peak - South Face - Beta

Tuesday 5 October 2021, 11:49am -- alastair.mcdowell

Pat (31) (2).jpg

South Face of Douglas

Pat Gray

The guidebook raves that the South Face of Douglas Peak is one of New Zealand’s great ice climbs. We too can attest this is a classic ice route on a beautiful peak. Based out of Pioneer Hut, you'll see that Douglas Peak is the second most commanding peak in the Fox Glacier area besides the mighty Tasman-Horokoau. As you approach the face the structure of the mountain emerges and it is clear this is a perfect peak for alpine climbing.


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Avalanche Risk Management L5 - practical, applicable, and a load of fun

Wednesday 29 September 2021, 9:20pm -- sooji.clarkson


Snowpits and sunny days


I’ve heard it often joked that the most important thing learnt since March 2020 in these pandemic times, is to just not make any plans. Perhaps more accurately, we should say; be prepared to change them as the conditions change. In the mountains it’s perhaps not a good idea to make NO plans, but changing them to suit conditions... now that's not a bad idea is it? Humans are not actually good at changing plans once committed. Just as we get overly committed to plans, we get overly committed to beliefs.

Accident Analysis: Ankle agony at Arapiles

Sunday 19 September 2021, 5:59pm -- Pete Harris

Pete's swollen ankle at Arapiles

Pete's swollen ankle in the Gums campgrounds at Arapiles

The Cankle, a day or two post-injury

Pete Harris

Everyone enjoys a little voyeurism from time to time, and if it can be combined with a spot of education, then we all come away a little better off – regardless of your proclivities. As such, here goes a brief accident analysis of a climbing fall – replete with (mildly) gory details, some photos, and some lessons from the trenches.

The Dreamliner Airport Wall Milford Sound

Saturday 8 May 2021, 9:49am -- daniel.joll

Daniel on pitch 7 (26) .JPG

Daniel on pitch 7 (26)

Llewellyn Murdoch

Free at last, free at last. I could sense James summoning the words of Martin Luther king as he dreamed of finally leaving the hanging belay at the base of pitch 8.  After six days potentially waiting, belaying, climbing, camping on the wall and enduring some wet cold suffer bivies he could finally return to the ground.  The free ascent was now complete and we could say goodbye to the Sky Couch bivy our home for the past week.   


Big Wall Training Trip 2021

Sunday 11 April 2021, 9:14pm -- James.Hobson

Big Wall 2021

Big Wall 2021

Camp set up for three.

James Hobson

Yosemite here we come.
Yosemite was the second of the NZ Alpine Team’s training trips, the first being Canadian Rockies in 2020. Well, not according to COVID-19, bummer what should we do now? Lucky enough we have our very own version of The Chief or Half Dome right in our back yard.
The Airport Wall, in the Milford Sound, just out the plane window under Barren Peak. With the recent establishment of ‘The Mile High Club’ perfect for our big wall training trip, we wouldn’t even have to book plane tickets.

Evolution of the Arthurs Pass to Mount Cook Traverse

Sunday 17 January 2021, 7:21pm -- alastair.mcdowell


Heading up the Waimakariri River to begin the traverse

S. Spector

"Many Canterbury men know that a tough trans-alpine crossing can be a harder test of competence in unorthodox travel and stubborn endurance than a deal of high climbing" - John Pascoe, one of the fore-fathers of early Southern Alps exploration, in Unclimbed New Zealand, 1939.

Mile High Club 700m, 22 pitches,26-27 , Airport Wall, Milford Sound

Sunday 8 November 2020, 4:19pm -- daniel.joll


Steve Fortune on pitch 21 during the first one day free ascent of the Mile High Club. Nov 2020.

Daniel Joll

Short approach, many pitches, interesting and challenging climbing.  Personally when it came to climbing in NZ I had always hoped I could either climb or develop a true big wall style route.  While we have many nice granite cliffs in NZ most of them require a long approach and many do not have sustained climbing throughout.  Being a bit lazy in terms of walking 6-10 hours for 300-500m of climbing I often found myself lacking inspiration as I searched through guide books and maps looking for a new climbing challenge.  When it comes to rock climbing I love long climbs with short approaches, t

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Variations on a Theme: alternate versions of classic routes on Aoraki and Mt Dixon

Sunday 1 November 2020, 6:56am -- sooji.clarkson

Anzac Peaks, Cinerama Col and Aoraki from below the West Face of Mt Dixon

Anzac Peaks, Cinerama Col and Aoraki from below the West Face of Mt Dixon

Anzac Peaks, Cinerama Col and Aoraki from below the West Face of Mt Dixon


It seemed like the first reasonable break in the weather for weeks. I'd like to call the response an orderly mobilisation of the troops, or maybe it was more like the first week out of COVID-19 lockdown; a rush to line up at burger joints and takeaways, a line headed up the Hooker to Empress Hut, and Gavin and I joining in line with three other skiers up to Plateau Hut. We had an excess of cabin fever to sweat out, solid looking snow conditions, and weather up our sleeves to look at more than a few possibilities.



Mt Hicks South Face - The Curver

Monday 26 October 2020, 4:33pm -- James.Hobson


The author approaching the summit of Mt Hicks

Lionel Clay

More like the Learning Curver ! Lighter packs and a better looking weather window had myself and Lionel walking up the Hooker for the second time in a couple of months with the South face of Hicks on our minds. After seeing the epic trip Al and Ben had we just wanted to go and check it out for ourselves!


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