/ VIDEO: The Weatherspell First Ascent - Awesome New Alpine Route in NZ
That's how Alex Schweikhart, Christopher Igel, Claudia Kranabitter and Karl Schimanski ended up on the other side of the world in New Zealand. Their destination was a remote 300-metre granite wall located at the heart of the Darran Mountains, a wild range on the Southern Island with resemblance of Middle Earth.
Watch the video: http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=2037
Out of curiosity, is the crux pitch protected by bolts (it seems so in the video) or by pitons? From the video I understood that they only used bolts for anchors.
Great looking route. But 'alpine' is stretching it a bit, isn't it?
Agreed, great looking line, but not really alpine. 'Big' wall perhaps. Also, it's only a long day hike in, which isn't remote at all by NZ standards.
It is great to see more NZ development in any case though, there is a lifetife of extreme and cutting edge summer and winter climbing to go at in the Darrans - e.g. Psychopath wall which is 45mins easy approach from a hut which is 5min fro the road.
If only i could get there and back in a weekend...
Would be very pleased to pick you up from the airport James, we've done a lot of development in the past few years, but still much to do. Including our line!!
I'm not sure it's fair to describe ground up bolting and cleaning a multi-pitch route with a fairly tortuous approach (I speak with first hand experience of New Zealand bushwacking) and unstable weather as "kind of like sport climbing with a bit of a walk in". Fair enough, it's not really alpine climbing. But pretty adventurous all the same.
I'm pretty sure the bolting was done on abseil from watching the video, and some of the climbing was worked on a Grigri, which is hardly ground up! This seems to me to remove the element of adventure for me.
Still a good effort either way in an amazing setting, well done to the climbers.
In NZ that style of climbing is called "Alpine" rock, to distinguish it from local cragging. It doesn't mean alpine conditions as per Europe.
How come the word sandfly wasn't mentioned once? I itch watching that.
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