TTC climbers in the Southern Alps
The summer and autumn climbing season that has just passed has seen many club members out and about. Nina Sawicki and Rob Hawes kicked the season off in November with an ascent of Aoraki via the Linda Glacier. Lots of snow made for testing conditions. In fact the pair were the only people to summit the mountain that month. Around the same time David Grainger, Stu Hutson, Alison Davis, Piers Harris, and Andy Jones were unsuccessfully floundering in deep snow not far away on Eli de Beaumont.
Simon Bell, Lorraine Johns, and Rob Hawes, climbing together or with others, continued to stuff summits in the bag like there was no tomorrow: Climax Peak in the Olivines, Mounts Franklin, Carrington Peak, Rolleston (Otira Face) and Phipps-Temple in Arthurs Pass NP, North Peak in the Arrowsmith Range, and Mount Pibrac, La Perouse, Torres Peak and Mount Chudleigh at Mt Cook NP. After climbing Malcolm Peak and various smaller peaks in the Gardens of Allah and Eden, Simon headed for Mount Earnslaw where his incredible run of climbing came to a sudden and tragic end around January 15th. At the time of his death, Simon had climbed around 64 of the 100 Peaks List, an objective yet to be achieved.
It was a mark of the respect held within the club for Simon, plus support for Lorraine, that six club members made the trip to Wanaka to attend Simon’s memorial.
In the New Year, John Wild, Dave Bamford and Paul Maxim teamed up with various other club presidents (NZAC and CMC) to climb Mount Hamilton in Mt Cook. Hamilton was Dave’s final 3,000m peak. To celebrate he has now joined the TTC ranks! Paul and others went onto climb a line to the top of the West Ridge of Malte Brun. Mounts Johnstone and Rumdoodle also fell to the group’s enthusiasm.
In early February Karen Brown, with her professional guide and accompanying entourage of Tim Stern and Paul Maxim, enjoyed a day out on the full North West Ridge of Mt Aspiring. Later in February Nina, Helen Chapman, and Jenna Thoms climbed Marquee in the Arrowsmith range.
Marlborough’s mountains were also not ignored. Lorraine enjoyed an Easter solo traverse along the Seaward Kaikoura Range from Manakau to Te ao Whekere and during the Anzac break David Grainger, Stu Hutson, and Hayden Richards summited the small but lovely Pinnacle off the Wairau Valley.
Finally, in early May, Sean Buchanan and Piers Harris warmed up for winter by climbing the Rome Ridge of Rolleston before enduring a long descent down the Crow.
- Party members
- Paul Maxim (scribe).