/ Double-Single Cone Traverse NZ

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glaramara - on 14 Feb 2013
Anybody done this and prepared to fess a bit of beta? Semi-alpine type ridge, moving 2gether etc. Any ab's if so how long? Any pitching if so, what grade? Can you bail from inbetween the cones if weather craps out?
Any info welcome.
Cardi - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to glaramara: Depends how much snow there is. I soloed it in November in the afternoon with a pole, but no axe (not particularly advised). The rock was dry though, and there was a fair bit of grade 2-3 with significant exposure. Possibly a short less exposed crux of vdiff. Apparently there's a few ab stations off single cone, and there's a snow gully between the two, not sure how it is in summer though. It's only another 15 mins on rock to the summit of single cone, I remember the descent to the col from double cone taking longer.

So in summary, take moving together gear plus axe and crampons in winter/spring/early summer.

Great route. PD+? Guides say up to 8 hours, but has been done in about 1 and a half. I took a middling 4 and a half.
AlisonSmiles - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to glaramara:

I didn't do the traverse but I have done the ascent and descent of single cone. Lovely. We did it moving together but in honesty it felt more like a scramble with consequences than anything else, not hard from a climbing perspective. There was snow when we did it. We abbed off bolts, three abs, and the 60m rope wouldn't quite let you skip one of those. Not sure if that helps at all ...
RedFox - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to glaramara:
I did it solo a few years ago in March, mostly rock but some verglas on the shady side of the ridge and under the Telecom Tower made it tricky in places. There was enough snow in the gully below the abseil stations to make it possible to hop down into them, but there was a guided group below so I waited and abbed anyway - 2 I think, but the guided lot were slow and I was very well hydrated, so it was all a bit blurry...

Fairly sure you could walk/scramble/ab down from the col between Single and Double Cone, but it would probably be quicker to finish the route. Took about 2h from the Telecom Tower.

maria85 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to glaramara:
We did it in late Nov/early Dec (I don't remember which) and I wished I had something better than poles and approach shoes for the approach. Ridge was all rock though. We soloed most of it and pitched maybe 2 pitches? Easy, just consequences if you did slip.

We soloed down most of the descent, wasn't too bad at all. One abseil on a steeper slab part.

Don't remember how long it took, I remember it being harder and longer than I was expecting - but then we'd got down off Mt Cook 2 days beforehand, were all totally knackered, and I was expecting something more like a grade 1 (UK) ridge...
KiwiPrincess - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to glaramara:

We solo it, but it is exposed and if unsure carry a rope. Most people using the rope top rope a short section of grade 12-14 and are rope together Weaving through rocks on a couple of exposed sections only. Most tricky bits are avoidable by traversing a bit lower than the ridge itself.
At summer we use approach shoes. There is a snowy gully to descend normally( rope or axes), but with good shoes you can scramble down the east face slabs instead.
You can bail out down to lake Alta but there are some bluffs to weave around, and this may be difficult if clouded in. The veiws are amazing so a day without cloud would be best.
nz Cragrat on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to glaramara:

You can easily get away without a rope or just use it for a couple of short sections.

It's a great day out.

Best descent is down the ridge towards lake Alta (opp side to skifield)
AdrianC - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to glaramara: Conditions, conditions. When it's all dry rock it's a pleasant scramble in approach shoes or hiking boots. With a dusting of snow and a cold breeze chilling your pinkies it can take quite a bit more attention. With plenty of snow you can escape from the notch between the southern double cone summit and single cone down the Grand Couloir which leads directly to Lake Alto but it'd probably be bit rubbly if dry. Better to go over Single Cone and descend the south gully which, as has been noted, has ab stations. Just beware that at the bottom of south gully you're above a fairly big drop and you need to head right (facing out) without falling before descending.
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glaramara - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to glaramara: Thanks for all the posts> We'll try it 2morrow, weather stable. Not sure of descent route from single cone yet but hey ho.

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