The Road to Changabang

Saturday 26 March 2022, 8:38pm -- daniel.joll


The North face and West Ridge of Changabang. Pic stolen from the internet.


The road to Changabang has been rather long and winding. It all began over 3 years ago and came to an abrupt end as the COVID pandemic closed international borders and stopping most plans for overseas climbing. However, the mountain was still waiting and we were still thinking of the unrepeated West Ridge. As part of our build up for this expedition our five strong expedition team has headed to Chamonix for one month prior to leaving for India.

Wild Dykes – Ground up adventure climbing on the Charismatic Wall Fiordland

Saturday 26 February 2022, 11:58am -- daniel.joll

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Llew sets off on a new pitch, blowing dust from a freshly drilled bolt hole.

Daniel Joll

Falling backwards head first. Never a good situation to find yourself in. My helmet splits as my head slams into solid granite. My shoulder and elbow softening the blow. A worried voice asks from the belay

“are you hurt ?”

“yes” I reply but “ill be ok, nothing broken”

New Zealand 3000m Peaks Expedition

Wednesday 29 December 2021, 2:18pm -- alastair.mcdowell

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Hamish and Alastair on the summit of Tititea/Mt Aspiring, the final peak.

A. McDowell

Every mountainous region has its list of highest peaks. The British Munros. The 4000m peaks of the European Alps. The Himalayan 8000ers. In New Zealand, we have the 3000m peaks.

There are 24 named peaks over 3000m in New Zealand, considering only the highest point of each mountain. Although the 3000m mark is arbitrary, the list of resulting peaks represent the highest and most classical of our mountains, embedded in the history of the Southern Alps.

Soulfly - the First Winter Ascent of the East Face of Flat Top Peak

Sunday 7 November 2021, 4:49pm -- bendare


The line of Soulfly, East Face Flat Top Peak, Fiordland

Ben Dare

I could sense rather than see the face above me as I stumbled through the snow-covered moraine. A presence that loomed out beyond the edge of my vision as a darker shade of black on black in the inky pre-dawn darkness. Flickering glimpses in the beam of my headtorch the only real hint of what lay ahead. Alpine starts can be both a blessing and a curse in that respect. You don’t have to deal with the intimidation of a large face hanging over you on the final approach. But the uncertainty can be equally as daunting. Not knowing what lies ahead and what the coming day will bring.

Douglas Peak - South Face - Beta

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

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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.


sooji.clarkson's picture

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.


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