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Trip Report – Southland Team Climb High Peak in Harper-Mannering Challenge

Source: Southland Section Newsletter (Nov 2016)

By Erin Noonan

As part of the 125 year New Zealand Alpine Club anniversary a team from the Southland Section took on the epic challenge of climbing Mt Mannering. Mt Mannering is a 2669m peak located in the north eastern section of Aoraki National Park. The adventure commenced on the Saturday of Labour Weekend. Our pilot Ross Anderson from Mt Cook Ski Planes generously offered to take us for a scenic flight around Mt Mannering before landing on the Murchinson glacier for the start of our expedition.

The mountain was impressively steep near the summit, leaving the team with a feeling of nervous exhilaration ahead of the climb. We landed on the glacier at 2pm, which on such a warm day meant a hard slog through soft snow to reach our campsite at Classen saddle.

Our ascent on Mannering started at 4am, to take advantage of the overnight snow consolidation. Conditions were almost perfect, with light winds and clear skies. The group ascended over Whataroa saddle to the south western side of the mountain. From here we ascended up the south western ridge and roped up in over a small section near the summit. The final push to the summit involved a precarious section of ice climbing which the more judicious half of the team decided not to attempt. However, 3 of the 6 team members pushed forward to reach the summit and soak in the glorious views. The trip was a great success, thanks to the organisation of team leader, Matt Humphries. The team also included Reese McKenzie, Kent Andrews, Sam Ruddenklau, Peter Young and Erin Noonan.

Posted: 17/11/16

Posted By: Narina Sutherland