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).
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.
What is the New Zealand Alpine Team?
The New Zealand Alpine Team is an initiative of the Expedition Climbers Club Inc. that represents a new concept for climbing in this country. It is born of a desire to support and encourage aspiring young Kiwi alpinists looking to improve their mountain skills. Some of New Zealand's best alpine climbers have volunteered their time to mentor a future generation of alpinists. In doing so, we are hoping to help a group of young climbers to learn valuable skills and knowledge that might have otherwise taken them many more years to acquire.
The Expedition Climbers Club Inc., as administrators of the New Zealand Alpine Team, wish to announce the commencement of an independent review into the Marian Peak accident that sadly resulted in the deaths of our teammates Sarwan Chand and Conor Smith late last month.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of two team members Conor Smith and Sarwan Chand. Over ANZAC Weekend Conor and Sarwan were climbing in the Darran Mountains (Fiordland). They had been attempting a route on the South Face of Marian Peak. Based on an examination of the scene we believe that while climbing the leader fell before being able to place gear after the belay. This resulted in a factor 2 lead fall, pulling the team off the wall.
Last summer, David Chen and Tony Burnell headed into the South Temple and climbed a 480-metre long new route on the SW buttress of the impressive Bruce Peak, involving rock climbing up to grade 17 on long run-out slabs that had barely dried from a storm.
A trip up the Hooker Glacier to Empress Hut is one of the must do Kiwi alpine experiences for any visiting or local mountaineer.
Departing on the 27th May, the Expedition Climbers’ Club (ECC) 2016 Peru Expedition will be the largest international climbing trip to leave New Zealand in the last 40 years. The expedition will be based in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca mountain range, with members of the 12 person group attempting to climb a variety of unclimbed routes on the many 5000 and 6000m peaks in the area. The expedition is also the pinnacle of the ECC’s 3-year elite youth development program; the New Zealand Alpine Team.