Mitre Peak Ascent Daunting but Achieved

When Guardian photographer Murdo MacLeod and his 25-year-old daughter Lilidh attempt the rarely climbed 1700m spire in New Zealand’s Milford Sound the obstacles appear overwhelming.

The pair was beaten on their first attempt in 2018, “at our 1300m high point”. In April 2023, they try again.

“It’s so unrelenting, I find it hard to remain focused,” MacLeod writes.

“Yet somehow, despite all my fears, we make it to the summit and bask in the splendour – a clear blue sky pierced by jagged peaks, glaciers and an impenetrable wallpaper of deep green bush that is home to a chorus of fluting birds singing their hearts out. The soaring sense of space and altitude is awesome now that we are safely on this pedestal.

“So here we are standing on the summit of Mitre Peak together. Not so much a conclusion to anything, more a meeting at another surreal crossroads before fresh chapters and new journeys begin.”

Original article by Murdo MacLeod, The Guardian, May 28, 2023.

Photo by Murdo MacLeod.

Tags: Guardian (The)  Mitre Peak  mountaineering  

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