An intermittently updated blog recounting Dan, Pete & friends' North America climbing mentoring trip to Yosemite, Squamish, and the Bugaboos
Canada Ice Climbing Blog - by Jaz Morris and Frazer Attrill
We have included a link to the best photos of the trip below. Even if you are not a Facebook user you can click on the photo selection and see all the photos. Scoll down the page to see both the FB album and a short video of 10 classic Canadian ice climbs. Scroll down to the bottom of the page if you want to see our tips for staying in the Rockies and a gear list we used for the trip.
Unfortunately it is with great sadness that we announce that the climber reported killed on Mt Aspiring yesterday was NZ Alpine Team member Ari Kingan, age 21 of Golden Bay. Ari was our good mate, and our thoughts are with his friends and family; our sincere condolences to his family Lea, Ross and Dan.
The first twinkle of hoar frost came just at the entrance to the Eglinton. The full moon lit the peaks with a silvery glow of snow on the tops and ice on the valley floor. Winter had come to the mountains, and a well-timed high-pressure system coincided with the annual Darrans Winter Climbing Meet at Homer Hut. However, I’d only managed to scrape three days off work, had left town late, and I was driving late in the night and was desperate to get some sleep before the next day’s climb.
Tears welled up in my eyes. With each step I choked them back. 50m from the summit several escaped and with no one nearby I simply let them go. The day was stunning, three sixty degree views, stretching out past Mt’s Hunter and Foraker over the tundra towards the sea. I had never cried upon reaching a summit before but something that day was unique and special.
Three of our other options for our biennial brothers’ trip had been abandoned due to weather or conditions. An idea which had been mooted, but remained on the back-burner due to the mystery and unknown nature of it, was an attempt at Lyttle Peak. Inspired by Rob Frost’s article in The Climber, we decided that regardless of what happened, it was sure to be an adventure, and as such, late one Thursday afternoon, we set out for South Westland.
A contender for the worst rock in the Alps would have to be Mt Huxley, which sits at head of the Ahuriri River with the Chosspile Peaks immediately south and Shingle Hill not far away. Funny then, that on an autumn 2012 trip to climb Huxley via the South Temple Stream, my eye was caught by Steeple Peak. Grovelling up henious scree slopes to V-Notch Pass we could look downvalley and see, inconceivably in the circumstances, some solid-looking rock. We knew some routes had been put up there by the likes of McLeod, Hersey et al. - and shelved the idea for the following summer.