Alpine ad­ven­tures

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

The Re­mark­ables is home to New Zealand’s most ac­ces­si­ble mul­ti­p­itch mixed and ice climb­ing, and this year hosts the sec­ond Ice and Mixed Fes­ti­val. The fes­ti­val, or­gan­ised by high­pro­file Wakatipu and Wanaka climbers Ben Dare, Daniel Joll and Craig Jef­feries aims to pro­mote win­ter alpine climb­ing, show­case new and ex­ist­ing climb­ing routes in The Re­mark­ables and Wye Creek, plus shar­ing lo­cal knowl­edge . Funds raised from the fes­ti­val go to the New Zealand Alpine Club’s ex­pe­di­tion fund, which helps New Zealand alpine climbers prove them­selves on the world’s tallest peaks. In May Ben Dare made global head­lines af­ter a 36-hour mis­sion to save a climb­ing buddy who fell 90m when they were 6450m up Anidesha Chuli in one of the most re­mote re­gions of the Hi­malayas. Dare said the fes­ti­val was a cel­e­bra­tion of the ter­rain ly­ing on Queen­stown’s doorstep and de­signed to get more peo­ple tak­ing ad­van­tage of it. ‘‘The Re­mark­ables, as a climb­ing area, is an­other one of Queen­stown’s world class ad­ven­ture play­grounds that’s right on our doorstep. ‘‘It’s so ac­ces­si­ble – you can do an amaz­ing day’s climb­ing, all within an hour or two walk from the ski­field carpark. Es­sen­tially you can go out and climb some re­ally hard pitches then be back in town for a beer af­ter­wards. ‘‘In the Mt Cook and Mt As­pir­ing ar­eas you ba­si­cally get a day’s walk in min­i­mum, then you’ll do your climb­ing and have to walk out again, which is a big com­mit­ment time­wise.’’ The fes­ti­val’s pro­gramme was split be­tween in­struc­tion and clin­ics cater­ing to com­plete novices, spe­cial­ist in­struc­tion for women climbers by fe­male climb­ing guides and con­fi­dent climbers look­ing to step up their skill level. It cul­mi­nates in a tra­verse race from Dou­ble Cone to Sin­gle Cone.

Climbers in ac­tion on The Re­mark­ables at last year’s Ice and Mixed Fes­ti­val. From left are, Steven For­tune , Mat­tias Kerkman and one of the fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers, Queen­stown’s Daniel Jol.

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