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Ascent of Mount Cook on 1994-01-30

Climber: Iain Thow

Date:Sunday, January 30, 1994
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Cook
    Location:New Zealand
    Elevation:12218 ft / 3724 m

Ascent Trip Report

Up Zurbriggens Ridge, down the Linda Glacier. 18hrs hut to hut. Good conditions and weather. 6 easy ice pitches near bottom (in dark), then lots of good snow to top of Linda Shelf. Traversed small pinnacles the locals were avoiding (rubbish rock but definitely quicker) then 500 feet of better rock, snowed up and reminiscent of Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis (4 pitches). Plodded up softer snow to a 30 foot vertical ice pitch. This was scary, especially when one of my only 2 ice screws fell out. Liz's ice hammer pick broke, luckily just as she finished climbing the vertical bit. Final ridge narrow but easy on good snow. Summit still collapsing on east side after the 1991 rockfall, you could hear blocks falling off underneath you! In descent abseiled the ice cliff using an ice bollard cut by Marc and Max earlier in the day. A bit fell off when I weighted it but we had to use it anyway. Obviously it held or I wouldn't be writing this! Mostly pitched down the rock ridge (one ab) then ran down the bottom of the Linda Shelf to get out of range of the Gunbarrels Icefall. Only time I've ever run roped up wearing crampons. Neither of us fell over. Linda Glacier very crevassed and took time. Last uphill bit to hut seemed endless. We missed the evening radio call but the people in the hut could see us so reported we were ok. Fantastic day out.
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