South Island Gallery / Climbing / 2014-01 Mt Aspiring SW ridge  

Climbing Mt Aspiring SW ridge with Ben. Awesome 3 days' climbing with bivis on the Quarterdeck and on the NW ridge (didn't make it down to the hut in the light). Hard climbing all 3 days, with loads of long pitches on steep frozen snow (snow stakes and ice screws), including on French ridge (the easier routes were too crevassed). Even the descent from Bevan col had a series of 20m waterfalls to downclimb!
 P1040538 Blowing a gale in Wanaka but weather window forecast for tomorrow
 P1040542 Stopping for a break on the way up French Ridge
 P1040546 French Ridge Hut
 P1040552 Top of French Ridge--crevasses L and R so took the middle line, probably steeper and harder than the SW ridge, especially in the dark
 P1040562 Dinner stop at 11pm in a bergschrund somewhere near the top, only one 70 degree frozen snow pitch to go from here
 P1040564 Leaving the Quarterdeck at 2am
 P1040566 At the bivi site at 2.30am--now converted to climbing on snow stakes
 P1040569 Ben above the crux ice section of the SW ridge
 P1040574 6pm summit photo
 P1040576 Descending the NW ridge
 P1040579 Cool cloud inversions
 P1040582 Final crux section downclimbing waterfalls below Bevan col
 Crux section of ice on the SW ridge
 Descending NW ridge just below our bivi site

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