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Unclimbed lines and faces close to Mt Cook Village

Updated: Jan 7

Rob Frost has provided me with some great inspiration in the last two months. Firstly at the Remarkables Ice and Mixed Climbing Festival with his talk on their expedition to White Wave and the unclimbed mountains surrounding the peak. Then again in the latest issue of Climber and all the info he shared on easy unclimbed alpine routes in NZ. So I thought that I would follow his lead it and share a bit of information on unclimbed lines we spotted last weekend.

Last weekend while climbing Pibrac with Steve Fortune we spotted a huge amount unclimbed lines including whole unclimbed faces on easy to reach peaks. We didn't have a copy of the Mt Cook guide with us on the weekend, and our climb on Pibrac was simply following the best looking line we could see in the area. We found out it was a new route when we got back to Guy's house on Sunday evening. I was really surprised at how these easy to reach peaks were so un developed. All of the climbs shown with the exception of the long ridges on Nazomi could be done by most teams in a fast long day from Mt Cook Village. Most have safe approaches and easy descents.

Firstly the South Faces of Pibrac and Mt Turner appear to have no recorded ascents. These look to be great introductory South Faces with grade 3-4 climbing. The descent down the North Face or North Ridge on Pibrac takes about 10 minutes and without pushing to hard we managed to be back at our car in four and a half hours from the summit of Pibrac. I think the descent from Turner would be of a similar time. We also spotted allot of potential West Facing ice lines on Pibrac. The photo below shows just some of the options. There are many more. In general the South Face of Nazomi is not climbed out. Some good hard variations are to be found and we also spotted some great ice lines linking to the main West Ridge lower down on the South Face.

The main ice line we thought looked in good condition can be accessed from the lower Mona Glacier. To claim the first ascent I believe you need to summit which will involve a long ridge traverse to the top of Nazomi. This line would make a great two day return trip from Cook Village. The final and harder ice line we snapped a shot of started right off the white ice on the Hooker Glacier. It looks to have two tiers to climb with the lower one being the crux. You would then follow another long ridge to the summit of Nazomi. A great two day weekend trip.

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