Trip Report – Shark Tooth Club Trip
By: Erin Noonan
Shark Tooth Peak is a prominent rock spire located in the Matukituki River West Branch. This grade 1 alpine climb (2096m) is easily assessable from the Mt Aspiring Raspberry carpark, with the route commencing as a direct ascent up the slippery grass slopes. At about 1000 metres we passed between two arête, then off to the right towards the col between Sharks Tooth and Craigroyston. At about 1500 metres we made camp for the night between two small intermittent streams.
The dinner cooking competition was in full swing with a healthy Japanese style noodle dish taking second place to lamb steaks with roasted balsamic vegetables and couscous, followed by ANZAC biscuit balls and chocolate fudge slice. After dinner, team leader Matt cooked up a ‘special’ brew spiced with the pans leftovers of pumpkin and lamb jus which helped many to have a good night sleep.
After a lazy sleep in till 8am, the team rustled out of our tents for the ascent towards Sharks Tooth. All expect Kath, who was up with the moonlight to take some amazing sunrise photos. We took the south-west ridge for the final summit ascent. The final 60 metre summit pyramid is steep and exposed but has some good rock holds. The entire team enjoyed the stunning 360 degree views from the summit, including Matt Humpries, Kent Andrews, Kathryn Roy, Ryan Walker, Julie Russell, Kate Hoogeveen, Libby Yeoman, and Erin Noonan.
On our descent, we were greeted by a family of Keas ready to take advantage of any missteps. One of the team, who shall remain nameless, attempted an alternative descent down the north-western face and found the broken slab rock more treacherous than expected; this is an ill-advised as a summer route alternative. Once back on the grassy slopes, the return trip was made easier by walking along the western ridge instead of trudging back through the lower lying grassy slopes. At a relaxed pace the return trip can be completed in 12 hours. To conclude the trip, the team made a detour via the Frankton Ale House to celebrate completing this spectacular summit climb.
Posted By: Narina Sutherland