Taranaki, East Slope: Tedís Alley, Climb Grade 2
8/9 October 2011
After posting the trip on the clubís website and Yahoo news group TTC-Climbing, Pat and Sean got in touch to go for a climb. We took off from Welly on Friday night and reached the Manganui ski field at 11:00 at night. I put up tent and went to bed while Sean and Pat slept in the car on a very clear and cold night.
Saturday morning Sean woke me and I crawled out of a frozen tent, had a cold breakfast, threw the tent and sleeping bag into the back of the car and headed up the hill with the guys. It was a great morning, clear with great views and little wind. Halfway up the ski field we reached the snow which was firm. Up we weaved, higher and higher, heading for Tedís Alley, snacking at rest spots. As we entered the alley we had another rest and looked at the steep ice head-wall. Sean commented that we should climb there as itís never as steep as it looks...
So off we went, heading straight for that spot. As we got closer, out came the other ice tools to get us to the base of the truly steep part of the climb. Sean was right, it wasnít as steep as it looked, it was steeper, near-vertical ice in most places. Sean banged in a snow-stake.
After a short discussion on who was going to lead climb, I roped up and headed up the ice. The tools and crampons were gripping well as I headed up the slope. 10 metres up I wanted to put protection in but new no ice-screw would hold, as the ice wasnít solid enough, and I had to just keep going and get to the top. At 20 metres my calves were starting to scream. At 25 metres I could see the slope was going to start backing off enough for me to rest my calves. At 30 metres it had backed off enough for me to cut a step and knock in a snow-stake where I made myself safe.
Pat climbed up followed by Sean on belay Ė both had that look on their face. We had all climbed something at the edge of our ability and knew it. We were still on a very steep slope so we started pitching with 3 on one rope. As we climbed higher the slope didnít back off much and the snow got firmer and firmer. Finally we were standing in the crater with big grins on our faces.
We spent a pleasant time in the crater in the sun, eating our lunch and chatting but time was catching up with us and we decided to head off. Sean rushed to the summit as Pat and I headed down the Northern route. The snow was soft and we rushed down the hill as angry clouds rolled in. We got to Taharangi lodge in an hour and set off back to the ski field around the mountain. As we walked around the mountain, it started to snow, then rain, then snow again. The weather got worse and worse until we got to the car. We had snow building up on our packs as we walked and at the same time we got soaked to the skin. It was very cold and so were we.
We changed into dry clothes, threw our gear into the back of the car and headed off to a pub dinner in Stratford. After dinner we headed back to Welly and got there at 1:00 in the morning.
We had had a great day on Mt Taranaki.
- Party members
- Patrick Arnold, Sean Buchanan, Stuart Hutson (scribe).