Remarkables Ice Climbing Coolest Way to See NZ
Ice climbing is an exhilarating way to break up a New Zealand ski trip and a natural progression for Australian rock climbers, says Perth Now reporter Matt Kitchin who together with Tim Steward from Aspiring Guides spent a week ice climbing in The Remarkables.
“We start on the pillars and curtains of ice that encase Single Cone, the highest peak of The Remarkables at 2319m,” Kitchin writes. “Access is on foot through the groomed runs, where skiers carve past, and then dropping into a valley where the winter sun barely shines.
“It’s a freezing and unforgiving classroom for the basic skills and tools required to climb steep ice and rock – ice axe placement, front-pointing and other crampon techniques, threading ice screws, rope work, ice safety, route selection and avalanche awareness.
“There are no short cuts in this environment.
“There’s also a stunning natural beauty about mountains up close and Tim and I dig out a platform halfway up Friday’s Fool to pause and refuel. The vertical view to the farmland below is amazing and the tourist steamer Earnslaw can be seen docked at the Queenstown wharves across the lake.
“It’s surreal to climb in the alpine wilds within view of the buzzing tourist hub Queenstown – and where an ice-cold Speights beer shared with ski bums is the perfect aprés climb.”
Original article by Matt Kitchin, Perth Now, May 10, 2014.