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|NZ Rock Climbing Road Trip
1/1/05 – Antartic World and Wanaka
Met up with Rob at the airport in Christchurch and had a few hours to kill before Guy’s flight was due in, so we visited Antarctic World. I recommend visiting it if you have time; they have a cold room attraction full of snow, ice and an ice slippery slide! Every 20 mins or so, the fans generate icy cold strong winds in the room to simulate the weather on Antarctica, below 0 degrees. It was brrr cccoooolllldd!!
We then headed back to the airport, met up with Guy, hired a car then we drove 6 hours to Wanaka, and set up camp (sleeping bag under a tree!) on the lake, luckily it didn’t rain!
2/1/05 – Climbing around Wanaka and Queenstown
At brekky at the Kai Wacha Pai (plug!)– climbers hang out in Wanaka, we decided to visit Roadside Attraction outside Wanaka past the Aspiring Views. During brekky we also peopled watched, with me picking out over weight chicks for Rob to ask out!
At Roadside, Guy led Strawberry 15*, Aratuathai 16*, and Aspiring Arseholes 16* an awesome crack. It was pretty funny watching Guy climb, swear and swear some more as he hadn’t climbed in quite a while.
At Roadside Attraction, I was surprised at how easy Schist rock is to climb. We were then joined by climbers from the Chez Republic, NZ and some Pommy folk; it was nice to chat to them.
I led Elvis Trashed His Car 14, a nice face climb, Rob led (I think the term is ‘flashed’) it after me. Rob and I had an understanding… I called him a lard arse, old man with a gut, and he would try and tickle me until I pee’d my pants!! Didn’t work!
We then drove along the road to Queenstown with 500m of bra’s on the fence, I was going to add to it, but I only brought one with me and I was wearing it…honest! We stopped along the way for lunch, music blaring in the car, Guy and Rob playing and singing that really annoying song over and over the whole way. I’m not sure what the name is, but it goes ‘I love Jack White like a little brother…’ not sure who sings it…it’s the kinda song that would stick in your head for ages and ages!!
In Queenstown, Guy decided that he needed a wash, so dipped into the freezing cold lake. The expression on his face was pretty funny. Then we visited some outdoor shops in the main streets (R&R Outdoors – plug!) for some local crag information.
We then drove to Coronet Crag; it’s on a main road – between Arrow Town and Arthur’s Point Road. You can literally drive up to it, park then belay out of the car!! I led Ladder in my Stocking 12, was ok… a bit dirty and dusty. We could tell that not many climbed there.
We then drove to Shotgun to take a look at the speed boat attractions, and then Guy and Rob tossed the idea of throwing me off a bungee bridge, selling all my gear, and spending the money on beer!! They put the idea of bungee in my head…
We then headed back into town for some pizza and wine for dinner, where Guy and Rob ‘formulated a plan’ to scam and trick the waiter into giving us some free wine… it involved some invisible string and a spoon under the half full bottle of wine… I’m sure you could use your imagination!!
After dinner we drove up the Remarkables Ranges, passed some sheep, passed some more sheep and slept on the porch of the Lodge about 1500m up, what an awesome view it was!!
3/1/05 – The Remarkables Ranges
We got up early at 7:30am so we could trek and climb the whole day….brrrr it was cold! After eating our honey puffs (yum!) and packing up, we started the 3 hour zig-zag trek up the mountain, to the half frozen lake, then around it to the back walls at Lower Alta Buttress, kinda below and to the side of the communications tower.
With me being the ONLY rational one amongst us, I suggested that we wear our gaiters before starting the walk…. ‘nah, we don’t need them’ said both Rob and Guy…. How wrong they were…typical males!
After trekking through the snow and ice, Guy mentioned that we should have listened to him and worn our gaiters!! They gave me shite about it all day, sure mates…. Apparently, it was all entirely MY fault!!
We then climbed The Fat Lady Sings at the Circus, 3 pitch 15** 120m - what an awesome climb!! The trek up the mountain was soooo worth it, along with the spectacular view from the top at 1800m!! What a great and fun experience.
The first pitch is a grade 10 a scramble, Guy led, I seconded and Rob soloed it. The second pitch is a 15 with a slightly scary pumpy overlap overhang move! The third pitch is graded at 12, face climbing and the most fun out of all 3 of them.
We then rapped down, packed up and started the 2 and a half our trek down the mountain to the lodge. Rob suggested that I try crossing the half frozen lake to see if we could walk across the mountain quicker and save some time….not likely!!
Back to Queenstown for dinner; saw heaps of wild sheep along the way, back up to the Remarkables Lodge porch for the night, as we thought it was going to rain.
4/1/05 – Climbing around Wanaka again
We had arranged to meet up with Garreth, Scott, Martin and Jeff (all Brisvegas climbers/ mountaineers) for a leisurely breakfast in Wanaka, so there we drove again past the fence of bra’s.
During brekky, the boys told us about their ascent of Mt Aspiring, being stuck in the hut for a week waiting for the crap weather to clear, and bumping into and chatting to the dude whose climbing partner fell off The Ramp and died, pretty sad.
After the bloody HUGE breakfast (value for meals in Wanaka – plug!), we then decided to visit Tombstone and The Engine Block for the rest of the day.
At the Engine Block, we climbed at the Main Cliff first. Guy led The Big Corner 14** a nice corner crack, traverse up to a flake with awesome pro, with an awesome weird move at the crux.
Garreth, Scott and Rob led After Burner 18, a nice wall using a layback style, I thought it was a bit weird… Garreth and Scott also led other climbs at the same wall, including a 21 crack…eeewww! Lotsa lotsa swearing!
We then packed and walked to the Tombstone, my favorite crag in NZ so far!! Awesome Schist rock, with really nice climbs that flowed really well. I led Radiator 12** a cute face climb, Garreth then soloed it….grumble…
Guy then led The Crack 17*, it’s the most obvious climb to see while driving past the crag. This climb was my favorite there!! It had nice moves, face climbing, crack climbing, and nice small knobby bits to stand on!
I then called it quits due to a sudden pick up of icy cold strong wind at about 5 o’clock, which made it difficult to climb; I was also still stuffed from the trek up the Remarkables the day before. The others pushed on with Garreth doing a total of 8 climbs at the crag!!
Other climbs that were climbed were Disco Inferno 21 Arete, Rusty Pins 18, Lincoln Blondes Have More Fun and more, these were arête, face and crack climbs.
After watching some para gliders, a heard of cows crossing the road, and the clouds roll in, we retired to the Wanaka motor cabins for the night……a warm shower was just what I needed!!
Subway for dinner then being social, playing cards (haven’t played snap in ages!) and drinking red wine! Actually…was a bit of a ‘boys’ club…
5/1/05 – Bungee and climbing
We left camp at 10am and Garreth joined us for the next couple of days…actually I think he wanted me to see shit my pants on top of a bridge before I jump off of it!! We drove past the fence of bra’s back to Queenstown, and to Kawaru Bridge. Being the only girl amongst 3 other guys, I was the only chick to jump!! Guy was scarred, Rob had bungeed before and Garreth was broke!
I almost wussed out, but after some coaching by the staff and cheers from the built up crowd watching, and Rob and Guy waving their arms at me telling me how to jump, I jumped!! It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment, together with a sense of un-controlled helplessnes, I bounced a few times then it was all over in 5 seconds, they brought me down into the boat, I walked up the ramp full of adrenalin and an un-wipeable HUGE smile on my face, it was hugs all around with absolute excitement!!
We watched a few more jumps then went and collected my t-shirt and professional photos. The only words I could describe the jump was ‘BLOODY AWESOME’!!
We then drove into Queenstown for some touristy stuff and the most important part of the trip (besides climbing), SHOPPING!!
By this time it was 4pm, I still had a HUGE smile on my face, and we decided to head back to Wanaka past the fence of bra’s again to climb at Riverside.
Given there were only 4 of us now, we climbed in pairs. Garreth led Right Ascension 15 a slab hand crack, I then led (flashed!) it. Garreth led Generation X 16…much nicer than the 15, I top roped it. He then led Occupational Therepy 15, I led (flashed!) it also cos it had a nice diagonal crack. Garreth then led Infinite Inveigegling 16, I top roped it, then both Garreth and I led Valsala Manouver 16. Guy and Rob also did these climbs.
We then walked to the lower wall where Rob, Garreth and Guy led Terrain Spotting 17* and Garreth led Te Whanau 18* and Get Kerfuffled 17. My fingers were trashed by this stage so I didn’t climb anymore.
6/1/05 – Puzzle World, Twizle and Hanging Rock
We checked out of the motor park at 9am, had brekky then drove to Twizle in the hope of viewing Mt Cook. The weather was looking iffy, it looked like it was gunna rain.
We stopped at Puzzle World to buy puzzle rings and to play with puzzles for a while…we could have been there for hours…We then continued to Twizle were unfortunately Mt Cook was clouded over, we only saw the base.
We headed to Hanging Rock situated on private land. We climbed at White Wall first off with Rob on-sigting Nothing Too Serious 20**!! He was soooo stoked after leading this, on a high for the rest of the day!!
Garreth led Sunset Strip 19**. It started spitting, so I quickly led Nursery Crimes 10** nice and pockety, and Garreth then led Broken Head 17**. The weather then crapped out so we headed to Christchurch for some pizza, then drove to Castle Hill were we slept in a smelly road side shelter….heaps of sand flies…
7/1/05 – Castle Hill and Two-Handed Dyno’s
Such interesting limestone rock with really weird formations, and was quite fun to boulder on. We spent the day on various boulders in various areas. It was quite hot, stinking hot actually…
Some of the boulder problems we tried were quite hard V6 upwards. In Quantum Fields (me thinks) we met up with Scott and Jeff again (Martin had flown back to Brisbane). They had been mountaineering up the Hooker for the past couple of days.
The guys were working on a really reachy problem, Garreth decided to try and two hand dyno it!! He had several attemps not sticking it, falling and ending up with blood blisters on his fingers. He was about to give up when he decided to give it ‘one more go’, yeah sure… but stuck!! The move looked awesome, lots of ‘ooohhh’ and ‘hah!’ and ‘come on mate’ all around!!
By now it was about 3:30ish, Me, Guy and Rob said our good-byes to Scott (really funny dude!), Jeff and Garreth then headed back to Christchurch. Guy dropped us off at X Base back packers (plug!) and Rob and I made friends with some English chicks, did touristy stuff and went to a Karaoke bar with them!
The end was drawing near, I was sad… We had a very productive week, packed sooo much in! There was never a dull moment on this trip, music, playing jokes on each other, chatting, sleeping on the side of the road and just having heaps of fun!! Rob stayed on to meet with Mike Groom to do some mountaineering, while Guy went to visit some friends up north.
The next day (8/1/05) I flew home then headed to a 25th birthday party; was soooo trashed and tired the next day…back to work on Monday.
Cool. Good to hear the old brisvegas crew having a good time!
Nice trip report.
I remember Castle Hill well...slippery dip rock on lots of routes but the bouldering was 1st rate!
You kids are Baaaaaaaaad!
Sounds like not all the rock over there is choss, only some!
Nice trip report Neats!
How was it travelling around wif all those lads?
J'a reckon NZ would be a good place to live?
I didn't mind being the 'TG' (token girl!), they are a great bunch of lads. NZ is absolutely beautiful, soo many places to visit, not sure about living there though...
Nice trip report. Brought back some good memories.
Coronet Crag has got to be the worst crag I've ever climbed at. Ugh!
On 14/01/2005 Kris wrote:
>You kids are Baaaaaaaaad!
Yeah neats, now I know why your mum is relectant to let you have your passport !!
Still can't recall scott's surname, but pretty sure it's the same one on the TMC course I did. Last I heard he was training to fly helicopters.
yep, that's right
On 16/01/2005 Richard wrote:
>Still can't recall scott's surname, but pretty sure it's the same one
>on the TMC course I did. Last I heard he was training to fly helicopters.
His name is Scott Feilding.
On 14/01/2005 cameron wrote:
>Nice trip report Neats!
>How was it travelling around wif all those lads?
>J'a reckon NZ would be a good place to live?
Cool trip, sounds like fun, thanks!
Is that Cameron O'Neill of inside front cover ACT Granite photo fame, caught sieging a project? Thought you finished climbing years ago. By the way I found some mistakes in your Geology writeup in the guidebook!
dat's ok, don't let it happen again!!
There are 11 messages in this topic.
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