Now in its fifth year running, the Remarkables Ice & Mixed Festival is becoming a must-attend event on the NZ climbing calendar! Climbers from all around the country and overseas gather in Queenstown for a long weekend to learn and practice basic mountaineering, ice climbing, mixed climbing and ski touring.
Events & Competitions
Highlights from the annual Darrans winter climbing meet which wrapped up over the weekend. Where some of the best ice conditions seen in recent years allowed for a number of great climbs to be completed.
I’ll never forget that feeling of irrepressible euphoria I felt late one evening in the middle of May 2013, when I received an e-mail from Steven Fortune offering me a place on the New Zealand Alpine Team. I’d always been a bit of a fan boy for top climbers; avidly reading about their exploits in the Climber and Alpine Journals, dreaming that one day, in some parallel universe, I too might be able to do something like them. Needless to say, when Steve noted that the other Christchurch mentors were Jamie, Kester and Reg, I was beyond ecstatic.
The BMC International meet is held every winter. It's a fantastic event bringing together climbers of all abilities from around the world to experience some of Scotland's finest Mixed and Ice climbing. When I found out about it in August 2013, I was particularly keen to attend on NZ's behalf as I was preparing to immigrate to the UK. I did hesitate, however, as I was effectively bed ridden at the time with a broken pelvis. Eventually, I reasoned it would be pretty much healed by then, so I should be able to climb 'something'. I downgraded my mixed and WI abilities accordingly and sent off my application.
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).