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Climbing in New Zealand?

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.

Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby KyleS » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:14 pm

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby Billy the Kid » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:12 am

I actually just returned from New Zealand last week...VERY beautiful country. We did the Milford Track and Routeburn Track while we were there. The Milford Track probaby will not be an option, as reservations need to be made well in advance. However, you could probably find a way to hike the Routeburn Track (which we enjoyed more anyway). I pasted a link below with some pics I took.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200689587185365.1073741825.1331714969&type=3&l=77a4f85925

Whatever you decide, you wil have an awesome time!!

Billy
"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So, be on your way."- Dr. Seuss
"I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious."- Michael Scott

Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby KyleS » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:28 am

Is there anything a little harder than Mt. Luxmore or Avalanche Peak that someone could point us toward? We're extremely comfortable climbing snow and even WI2 and would prefer some class 3 scrambling to class 1 or 2 trail walking. Also, we'll be there into Spring - Are there any glacier routes that will become safer once snow fills in the crevasses? Although we don't have glacier experience, we have studied and practiced glacier skills and may be capable on glaciers with lesser objective danger.

Thanks again for suggestions!

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Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby desertdog » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:10 am

KyleS wrote:Is there anything a little harder than Mt. Luxmore or Avalanche Peak that someone could point us toward? We're extremely comfortable climbing snow and even WI2 and would prefer some class 3 scrambling to class 1 or 2 trail walking. Also, we'll be there into Spring - Are there any glacier routes that will become safer once snow fills in the crevasses? Although we don't have glacier experience, we have studied and practiced glacier skills and may be capable on glaciers with lesser objective danger.

Thanks again for suggestions!


I just got back from NZ last week. Weather was great! Also, I lived in Auckland a couple years ago. I did some great walks hiking on may last trip, but didn't climb. A couple places you could check though...

Mt Aspiring NP Area - A summit attempt on Mt. Aspiring may be a little too technical and tough (especially this time of year), but there is a hut / track system going to the summit that is great and still would get you up into the mountains.

Arthur's Pass NP Area - lot's of options.

Also, these guys are the go to guide service in the in Aspiring NP www.aspiringguides.com . Maybe they have some suggestions.

Enjoy your trip.

Richard

R

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Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby Scott P » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:48 pm

Is there anything a little harder than Mt. Luxmore or Avalanche Peak that someone could point us toward? We're extremely comfortable climbing snow and even WI2 and would prefer some class 3 scrambling to class 1 or 2 trail walking. Also, we'll be there into Spring - Are there any glacier routes that will become safer once snow fills in the crevasses? Although we don't have glacier experience, we have studied and practiced glacier skills and may be capable on glaciers with lesser objective danger.


See if you can get your hands on the book Classic Peaks of New Zealand.

It looks like Chessler Books has it, but it isn't that cheap:

http://www.chesslerbooks.com/item/251-classic-peaks-of-new-zealand-hugh-logan-2002-large-format-.asp

It isn't a book you take up the mountain with you, but more of a combination coffee table/guidebook. The book has beautiful photographs, route drawings, route descriptions and history.

Mt Aspiring, mentioned above is considered the "easiest" 3000 meter peak in New Zealand, but it's no walkup. It's a spectacular looking mountain, but has claimed many lives.

Some peaks matching your skill level/desire for difficulty might be Mt D'Archaic or Mt Whitecombe, but in spring they might be quite hard(?). Taranki/Egmont (North Island) would be a good warm up peak.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby KyleS » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:47 pm

Thanks again for the suggestions! These look more like what I was hoping for. Hopefully the weather and conditions will line up for us.

Is it just me, or is the New Zealand rating system incredibly vague? Does NZ grade 1 really cover everything from a class 1 walk-up to 5.easy? It's making it tough to plan.

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Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby Scott P » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:05 am

Is it just me, or is the New Zealand rating system incredibly vague?


No, it's just that the standard routes on the big New Zealand Peaks are much more difficult than say, the standard routes on the Colorado 14ers (for example). That's why easy 5th class still has a 1 (easy) rating.

The New Zealand scale is closer to the Alaska or Russian grading systems.
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Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby Ron McFarland » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:51 pm

The mountain experience is much different to Colorado and you will be best advised by locals wherever you end up. Weather will change quickly, rivers rise and become unpassable for a day or two, carry extra food. Many are bridged but you will want to pay attention to this. Get used to being wet, having your feet in and out of rivers is part of the experience. Only tourists hike in long rain pants, locals will always wear shorts - they dry out faster and better suited to crossing rivers.

There is tremendous pressure on many of the hut and camping areas - be prepared to share the space. I have dragged a tent on a few trips only to find there is nowhere but the hut to stay - ask the locals.

If you wish to have a mountain backcountry experience you will have many options to choose from. Climbing will absolutely require much more information than you will find here.

One interesting twist would be to use a Jet boat service for either a one way pick up or in and out ferry service - very cool way to access the back country. Check out the Reese - Dart loop near Queenstown or the Makorora area west of Wanaka.

New Zealand is an awesome place - they make great wine for you to celebrate at end of your trip.

One more detail to pay attention to is the cleanliness of your gear - especially boots and tent - they will be inspected by the Agriculture dept and if any soil is evident they will make you clean before entering the country. If you want to use a tent you might consider renting one to save the hassle of cleaning etc.

Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby KyleS » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:11 pm

Thanks for the advice.

Ron McFarland wrote:There is tremendous pressure on many of the hut and camping areas - be prepared to share the space. I have dragged a tent on a few trips only to find there is nowhere but the hut to stay
Will this hold true in the off-season (5/24-6/18 & 7/18-8/24)? Also, what is the situation with wild camping? I was under the impression that it was allowed as long as it's not expressly restricted (near the huts, some entire tracks, high traffic spots), provided you follow LNT. For instance, is wild camping allowed between Shovel Flat and Pearl Flat in the Aspiring NP?

Ron McFarland wrote:Only tourists hike in long rain pants, locals will always wear shorts
Again, even in winter?


Scott P wrote:the standard routes on the big New Zealand Peaks are much more difficult than say, the standard routes on the Colorado 14ers (for example). That's why easy 5th class still has a 1 (easy) rating.
Yeah, I see your point. It would just make my life easier if there was a 0 rating so I could tell the bike trail from the 5.easy. I'm kinda spoiled from the abundance of beta around here.

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Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby Ron McFarland » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:53 pm

Kyle

Tenting in and around the Aspiring Hut is a reasonable option, we have been there a couple of times and just beyond the hut it is somewhat open and flat, as you go higher it will become more difficult as you will be in the forest. If the weather turns, the hut will be a good place to wait it out. Here is a link for an online map that might help. http://www.topomap.co.nz/

In Colorado we have the summer afternoon lightning and rain pattern, in New Zealand it is a front that moves in and might take several days to pass by, many of the huts have an onsite ranger who will have the daily weather report posted - seems odd but handy to have.

On the tourist comment, just something I observed, this time of year you will want to have the option and dress comfortable - I do not believe you will have to deal with any large river crossings, which will make it easier for you.

This is a great area and if you only get up on the ridges and saddles you will have memories to last a lifetime.

You will find plenty of information available in Wanaka and begin your Tramp with the right information. Mt Aspiring is a National Park which means it is a special place and a good choice.

If you get up on the Tyndall Ridge and find a cannister of film it might be the one I last back in the 90's.

Re: Climbing in New Zealand?

Postby KyleS » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:48 pm

Thanks for the info, Ron.

For Aspiring, we're planning on the French Ridge approach, then climbing the Northwest Ridge route via the ramp if possible. Anyone have info on this route in Winter? I haven't found much out there on winter ascents...

Also, we're taking ScottP's advice and warming up on Taranaki's East Ridge when we first arrive. One question: Is there a way to circumvent the Sharks Tooth so as to avoid the 5th class downclimb into the crater? It doesn't look like we'd need the rope for any other part of the climb.

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