Aspiring and Bonar conditions 24/25Feb 2017
Postcard from the ledge by new NZAC Life Member/Geoff Wayatt
When the going gets tough….out comes the deep heat!
Extract of pics from 90th ascent last Fri with Richard Thorp
A rare fine day for this summer!
Left bivi site under NW Buttress at 2200m at 6am.
Reached Shoulder at 8.30 and summited at 11am after 400m of pleasant cramponing on compacted snow. Back at bivi by 2.30 for trudge across Bonar to Mt French bivi rocks. Richard was nice to plug the steps while I kept the rope taut.
Relieved to have a wide flat expanse of rock ledges in spectacular setting to re-hydrate.
Next morning, sunup in Mt. French followed by a descent into the unknown – the crevasse slashed ¼ deck. A steep roll above the 1400m gloomy gorge to 2m wide slab and cavernous crawl enabled an exit to upper French ridge (after 1 steepist ice pitch – better safe than sorry) The descent down the dreadful route to the valley required more tiger balm and a few orangutan moves on limbs and blank slabs. Clouds scudded into the Matuki but cleared by daylight for a splendid walk out and a bit of pack/shoulder ache.
Places and people change. GW
Posted By: Margaret McMahon