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TheNumberNine

Mt. Cook & Mt. Aspiring

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Don't limit yourself to German girls - the Dutch, French and Spanish women are well worth a detour as well. If that fails theres always an Aussie.

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What about super-hot American girls that can shred tough routes faster than you can? I seem to be hooked on those at the moment... :)

 

So is an ascent of Cook or Aspiring a 15 hour jaunt out of a hut and back? Sounds kind of quick... I guess planning this Denali expedition in June has me thinking that every climb should take at least 2-3 weeks :o

 

What kind of protection are you placing on the way up (if any)? Pickets+running belays, ice screws+quick draws? Is there any protection already put in?

 

I'm assuming the standard routes don't require vertical ice skills.

 

Edited by TheNumberNine

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the NW ridge of aspiring is mostly a ridge walk, much of it rock. What time of year are you going? Yes, it's about a 10 hour round trip from Colin Todd hut, but it's about 10-12 hours to get there from the car, including crossing some big glaciers if you go up French Ridge, and some smaller ones if you go up Bevin Col (not recommended). I think in north american grading schemes it'd get maybe a 5.2 with 60 degree snow? Pretty mellow. I've walked down it.

 

Why don't you sign up to www.mountainz.co.nz? It's like cc.com for NZ, except much much less active.

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I was thinking about going in early December-early January. I'm thinking of pursuing the classic Linda Glacier walk (is that the NW ridge?)

 

How much money should I have saved for a Cook+Aspiring twofer in one trip to NZ out of California?

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The Linda goes up the N glacier then cuts back to the upper part of Zurbriggens Ridge. It is not a walk.

 

You have to climb this ice cliff to summit

324534849_f75724bd91.jpg

 

Although most guides turn their clients around below this, and short of the summit.

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When was that Dru? I don't seem to remember it looking quite that vertical. . . .

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Dru's picture is out of date - that was definitely the situation for a while after 10 metres fell off the summit in December 1991. However due to the fairly active erosion processes that happen in the NZ mountains, the overhanging ice dagger which was what the summit turned into has slowly returned to something more "normal". However the very top is still unstable and the final approaches up the summit ice-cap can vary significantly in steepness and difficulty depending on the time of season, amount of snowfall over the previous winter etc.

 

However as Dru mentioned, it is definitely no easy walk.

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I seem to remember stopping maybe 10-15 vertical feet from the tippy top as it looked to be a blade of ice only a few feet wide and ready to fall off. That was in December of 2002, after a pretty decent winter. It wasn't too hard (relatively) to get close to the summit. After topping out on Zurbriggen's ridge and joining the Linda Gl. route at the summit rocks, I still remember the sinking feeling watching a house-sized chunk of ice come off the bigger gun barrel, sweep across the ice shelf, and rumble down the glacier towards the hut (very nearly killing a team on the ice shelf).

 

My new wife (we were on our honeymoon) turned to me and said "Isn't that the way we have to go down?"

 

"Ummmm. Yeah."

 

At that point I am pretty sure she would have rather been bouldering at Castle Hill. Some day I will have to go back for the Grand Traverse (not with my wife), and keep my weather fingers crossed.

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