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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

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Mt Aspiring difficulty question

8:35:15 PM
Personally I think your time could better spent some place like fox or Tasman saddle. Where you can hit up a heap of routes and get a pile of experience. Climbing every good weather day. You will also likely be surrounded by other climbers and guides with good info.

My two cents anyway.

We went up the NW ridge via the XX glacier (can't remember the name). Then we came down the NW ridge proper. All very straight forward. Never had to use the ramp. All good fun.

epic steve
10:52:11 PM

The Therma Glacier route is to the left of the NW Ridge as you ascend...good way up in early season as need a lot of snow and ice on top of the steep rock slabs to ascend to the flat spot at 2500m height (where the Ramp also joins up from the other side). Can be a very risky route later in the season due to threat from serac and ice cliffs collapsing above you or even below you whilst you are climbing up them...!!! We climbed it in Jan 2006 with awesome crevasses and knife blade ice ridges to walk along followed by an easy pitch of rock climbing. Two days later we saw the whole of the Therma route smashed into a million tonnes of snow and ice at the base of the ridge!!! Timing is everything in the mountains...


10:13:11 AM
Another target that you might want to consider which would make a fantastic 2-3 day trip at the end of the year is Mt Brewster. We did it a few months ago and it was probably too dry (the summit ridge is particularly chossy for NZ standards) but in December is might still have a bit of ice to stick it together. There is a nice flat crevassed glacier, the summit west ridge has a couple of rock steps (one short pitch of grade 8-10) and you walk up from the road so you get to experience the full NZ backcountry beauty. There is also a very modern hut to stay in beneath Mt Armstrong if you get caught out with the weather, although we camped near the toe of the glacier which was glorious. Perhaps you could use it as a training trip to work out glacier technique with you buddy without significant exposure to the elements (Quarterdeck is quite steep and Bonar is prone to whiteout - trust me). The views from the summit are bloody good. I am sure there are people on this forum that would consider Brewster a doddle but I think it will provide a nice test of route finding and decision making.
11:46:42 AM
Another great one is Mt Barth up the Ahariri (spelling......) valley.

Amazing drive up through cantubury valley, then fantastic walk in though beech forest and wild apline valley - not a single bit of moraine, then a great biv rock before a wicked summit day, involving a choice of a wide variety of moderate routes to the summit - grade 2 or so. Fantasic 2 day trip

8:36:17 PM
Also if you go to do Aspiring - take a tent. The hut is small and gets very full. There were 19 people on the day we did it and heard that in January ther were 26 in and around the hut! An entertaining photo of the summit cap:

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