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10th December 2011
Minarets via West Face (Geoff's 10th ascent)
W. Face, Minarets & de la Beche Minarets & Aoraki & Tas. Gl.
The steep west face provides straight forward early season access onto the visually central Minarets involving 4-5 pitches of steep ice.
Franz Josef to Fox Glacier Traverse - A Classic Alpine Journey
Pre-frontal dawn, Franz Gl. GW Chancellor Trough & Fox Icefall
Rannuculus Lyallii & Fox Icefall Chancellor hut, Fox & Tas. Sea
Two Wanaka day walks - Breast Peak & Corner Peak
Aspiring or Aoelus? Which did Surveyor Thompson name?
27/12/11: Valley to Peak ascent of SW Ridge Aspiring - 19/12/11
A well timed pre-Xmas High Pressure enabled Geoff & Dave S. to complete a 4 day exp. to Asp and complete the climb in "classic" style (a bit like a GT of Cook). We swung leads up to the couloir where the thin 10m. water-ice waterfall tested our trad. ice tools and Dave's nerves watching me demolish the glazed ribbon dripping with chandeliers and dinner-plating on each blow. The 16 pitches took us 7hrs and we summated at 1pm before descending the Ramp. Round trip from Bonar bivi - 13hrs. (Geoff's 15th ascent of the SW ridge)
Geoff climbed the SW ridge on 30/11 with two long-time clients, coaching them up easier pitches and leading a few of the more serious ones. The 14 pitch climb took 6hrs incl. 1 steep waterfall ice pitch and 4 in the final couloir to the summit.
The ascent used a rare 2-1/2 day fine weather window and involved two cold but spectacular bivis on Mt. French.
2011/12 Bonar Glacier Snow Cover: The low snowfall winter with strong SW winds is currently apparent on the glaciers and mtns of the Aspiring region. Expect firmer snow and more difficult access conditions from mid January onwards.
Geoff&Joe Asp Sum. 30/11/11 Image: chrismortonphotography
Escape from windy bivi Chris M clinging to the"SW Edge"
Technical Mountain Notes 14-11-11
Crampon Straps, Reflector Tape & camera straps
Crampon Straps: Modifying crampon bail straps for added security. Crampon security to the boot is a vital component to ice and snow climbing safety and many climbers have stories of detaching crampons from a variety of attachments.
The security of "toe bail" type crampons has has recently come to my attention following two fatal accidents. The climbers involved happened to have "toe bail" crampon attachments w/o an added stainless steel strap linking the toe bail to the ankle safety strap. If the bail was to become detached then the crampon would hang loosely on the safety strap. A steel strap adds some stability to the attachment. I have added steel straps to some bailed crampons along with additional diagonal straps to add stability. The exercise was not cheap ($180) but neither is the experience of discovering a crampon dangling from the ankle strap.
REFLECTING ON NIGHT RESCUE
GW's helmet and gloves reflector tape.
The latest NVG (night vision goggle) and powerful helicopter searchlight technology means missing persons can be found by highlighting reflector tape. NVG's have 6,000 times illumination and see a lighted match from several kilometres away. More importantly, a search team can locate a missing person without their imput if their clothing has reflector tape on it.
Combined with PLB's GPS's and even your Camera?
I don't know what use it's gps would be, but people have been located by their camera flash. I carry a Lumen light stick as well.
CAMERA PARA CORD FOR ACTION SHOTS
I carry my climbing camera clipped onto my pack strap in a GW-made soft case w/ spare battery in lid. It is secured by a parachute cord leash to the bag. A backup cord also attaches the bag and packstrap incase the karabiner opens.
ELASTIC CARRY STRAP FOR INCOGNITO CAMERA BAG
Carrying your camera in a bag ready for action gains the "capture the moment" shot but is hard on the neck. I've made a a bag strap from elastic horse bridle elastic and it moves with my movements. The square non-descript bag is good when in camera-shy locations. GW
Also see Trix, Tips, Topos
GW - Ski Guide to former PM!!! (for 2 runs in July08 at Cardrona Lift Opening)
Ed Hillary dies at the grand age of 88.
Geoff Wayatt completes 84th ascent of Mt. Aspiring w/Scots mate Mike Pappas via the SW Ridge in Jan. 2011
Summer meltdown continues on glaciers. NIWA reports glacial volume loss.
Geoff's Mountain Photos:
Other Useful Weather Sites
Global Satellite Photos (from NASA)
Victoria University (Wellington, NZ) Meteorological Site
University of Canterbury (NZ) Geography Department
National (NZ) Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA)
Glacier shrinkage reported: Most of New Zealand's glaciers are now the smallest they have been since records began - and they continue to shrink at a rapid rate.
Keep Fit (and dry), Geoff Wayatt