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Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

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Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby Jake » Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:48 pm

Hi there,

Does anyone know what UIAA grade is the route up to the Aoraki / Mt. Cook via Summit Rocks? Any topos or high res photos? What protection would be the best to use?

Thanks!
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby jethro » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:48 am

Jake,

Check out the NZAC website and they have a Mt Cook guidebook for sale - It's quite helpful. Topos are available from DoC when you arrive in NZ for about $10-15.
The Linda Route is rated NZ grade 3
A better route (IMO) is Zurbriggen Ridge rated a 3+

The weather down in the Southern Alps is very unpredictable and it is quite common to spend many days in a hut watching it storm. Be prepared and fit. Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Jethro
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby dadndave » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:39 am

The Kiwis tend to classify the whole route in quite broad terms compared to other rating systems (at least that's the way it strikes me) and they address both objective and subjective factors so it's not terribly easy to compare to other systems. Probably best to describe the grades, so I found this:

Standard grading system for alpine routes in normal conditions:

New Zealand Grade 1: Easy scramble. Use of rope generally only for glacier travel.
New Zealand Grade 2: Steeper trickier sections may need a rope.
New Zealand Grade 3: Longer steeper sections generally. Use of technical equipment necessary. Ice climbs may require two tools.
New Zealand Grade 4: Technical climbing. Knowledge of how to place ice and rock gear quickly and efficiently a must. Involves a long day.
New Zealand Grade 5: Sustained technical climbing. May have vertical sections on ice.
New Zealand Grade 6: Multiple crux sections. Vertical ice may not have adequate protection. Good mental attitude and solid technique necessary. May require a bivvy on route and be a long way from civilization.
New Zealand Grade 7: Vertical ice/rock which may not have adequate protection. Rock grades in the high 20's (Ewbank). Climb may be in remote area. May require a bivvy on route.


(The reference to Ewbank is the Australian system which is much easier to find comparison tables for. They seem to often use Ewbank when they want to be specific about how hard the crux is, but I haven't been able to find a Ewbank Grade for the summit rocks - probably because Ewbank was never envisaged to describe mixed climbing). Hope that helps.

Scan down this page for some photos of that section:
http://climbforhope.wordpress.com/previous-climbs/
What is this "scientific method" you speak of?
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby Jake » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:53 pm

Thanks for your answers. I will try to get more info on the Zurbriggen Ridge.
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby Jake » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:50 am

I still haven't found too much info about the route and recommended gear... Anyone here climbed it before?

Anyway if you would like to share the helicopter ride from the Mount Cook Village on the 20th of January please drop me a message.
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby radson » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:25 am

Image

Fairly sure the grade for Linda glacier route is equivalent to AD.
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby ant morgan » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:34 am

Hi Jake,

If you're keen on Aoraki, definitely ascend Zubriggens. The Linda has some nasty stuff falling down quite frequently. Either way, you are in for a long day.

I've only gone up the summit rocks once, and it was great fun. In terms of difficulty, it could be described as low angled mixed climbing with a few small steps thrown it to keep you interested. We had cams from 0.5 to 3 and a set of wires. We simul-climbed, and using the fixed slings we only had to swap leads once.

We thought it would be easier to rap summit rocks using one 70m rope - two 60m got tangled a bit, and some raps were longer than 30m.
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby PeacefulWarrior » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:14 pm

Looking to attempt a summit there later this year. I will do a technical mountaineering course but have no previous experience in mountains.

A reputable guiding company believes this is very achievable, but to be honest some of the pics of summit rocks (like the one posted by Radson) leave me somewhat unsure.

Anyone got any feedback on the matter?
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby Mountain Bandit » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:40 am

Although I have never done any mountaineering courses nor climbed Mt Cook itself, I have spent a fair bit of time climbing mountains in that area and would not recommend attempting Mt Cook for a first mountain. It's a dangerous mountain, with a fair few hazardous variables, not to mention the weather. Guiding companies, however reputable, will be happy to tell you what they 'believe' as long as they get their cash. Yes it is possibly achievable - but I would not recomend it.

Not being aware of your situation (how long you are there, familiarity with mountain conditions, fitness etc) or reason for attempting such a mountain as a 'first', I'd suggest as a minimum getting out and tackling a few easier peaks to get familiar with safe glacier travel, the fairly poor alpine rock conditions and general NZ mountain conditions prior to attempting Mt Cook.

Just my 2 cents - I'm sure Radson, Damien and a few others highly experienced in the area will have perhaps better advice.

Paul.
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby PeacefulWarrior » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:34 am

Yeah I'm starting to agree with you MB, I think it will be very close to outside my limits.

Perhaps Mt Aspiring might be more geared to my level.
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Re: Summit Rocks on Aoraki / Mt. Cook

Postby rgg » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:08 pm

Hi Jai,

It's been a while since my visit to New Zealand, and it was absolutely marvelous. At the time, I hadn't done all that much mountaineering yet. I thought about hiring a guide to try and climb Mount Cook, but decided that I needed a bit more experience first, so instead I spent most my time tramping all over the place.

Later, as I joined SummitPost, I learned that only a small fraction of all the interesting mountains in New Zealand had a mountain page here. That means there is plenty of room for you to write mountain pages for other peaks that you've climbed. Just check out the FAQ, and have a look at other mountain pages to see how it's done. The mountains that are featured on the front page (on the left) are always good examples. And hopefully you get a better and faster connection soon...

Image
A kea near Cascade Saddle, with Mount Aspiring in the back

Cheers, Rob
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