Festival to honour dead alpinist
Despite a tragedy last year that claimed the life of an elite New Zealand alpinist, this year’s Remarkables Ice and Mixed Climbing Festival has attracted record entries.
Tinged with sadness, but coloured by hope, the three-day event, which starts tomorrow will honour the memory of fallen climber Jamie VintonBoot, with between 140–160 climbers expected.
In only its second year, the annual festival was overshadowed by the former New Zealand Alpine Team member’s death on August 12, 2013, when he plunged into a crevasse, after being hit by a small avalanche on the Remarkables, just three days into the event.
An experienced climber, the former Christchurch 30-year-old left behind awife Jessica, and baby boy, Mahe.
However, mother and son will be recipients of proceeds from a painting by well-known Auckland artist and climber Dean Buchanan, which will be auctioned during the festival.
The festival’s Facebook page said, ‘‘We miss you a lot Jamie, and our thoughts are with Jess and all your other friends and family.’’
Climber and festival organiser Daniel Joll said Vinton-Boot had supported the event since it began in 2012. It brought together a cross-section of climbers from around New Zealand and the world.
‘‘In general we are seeing a really good increase in the amount of people interested in winter alpine climbing which is very positive for the sport in general. There are also a lot of women climbers registered this year which is another positive sign.’’
Three new clinics would be introduced this year, including a mountain safety council ‘‘avalanche awareness’’ clinic, Earth Sea Sky ‘‘introduction to back country ski touring’’, and the Bivouac ‘‘learning to lead’’.
A ski touring race, the Movement Ski’s Back Country Ski Touring Race, organised by ski touring legend Erik Bradshaw, was making its debut.