View this email in your browser
Scott Taylor NZAC volunteer of the year award

Chair’s report: 

It was a record turnout at this month's section night to recognise Scott Taylor and his award of Volunteer of the Year, be inspired by Derek's Darrans adventures and learn from Andy's map app presentation.  We are keen to have multiple reasons to come to each section night so please contact Juergen with your ideas.

With Scott's award it is fitting to hear great feedback on this year's Summer Rock.  National Office is moving to standardise courses as one way of managing risk associated with club courses run by the various sections.  The challenge for the club is to ensure a high standard of instruction, while not compromising courses such as Summer Rock that have been developed to best meet the needs of a particular section.  I am hopeful this can be achieved.

We have committed the section to fit the new Snowcraft course structure.  This means moving from an entry level snowcraft course to 3 entry level courses covering snowcraft, avalanche awareness and navigation.  For this year we are only providing the snowcraft course at basic and intermediate levels.  Over summer we will look to set up the avalanche awareness and navigation courses for 2022.  This will put more demands on our instructors.  Maybe you have the skills, experience and time to contribute to, for example, the navigation course.  Click here for the new Snowcraft pathwaynavigation and avalanche awareness courses   

Thanks to Adam, Andy, Eva and others the section is moving to offer more trips and, in particular, trips for those who have recently undertaken a course and wish to consolidate their learning.  Let's keep the momentum going.  You may be able to contribute through leadership on the mountain or organising a trip off the mountain.

See you at a Section Night!
Cheers, Keith
Summer Rock at the Main Cliff, Froggatt, at Wharepapa South (photo by Nick Pannu)

From the editor

Thanks to Eva, Ena and Henry for photos and write ups from Summer Rock.

Last week we had a fabulous section night to celebrate Scott's volunteer of the year award and a wonderful talk from Derek about his adventures in the Darran's. Thank you to everyone who was able to come along. For those that were unable to make it we recorded Derek's talk video link

Thank you to Emma and the Banff team for bringing another excellent event to Wellington :)

This month we have reports from Summer Rock and information about planned snow trips. 

Please email any photos from your recent adventures, tag @nzacwellington on Instagram or share to our facebook page we love to share what members have been up to.

Do you have a blog / website where you write about your trips? I'm planning to put together a feed of members blogs to share with members. If you would like your blog to be included please reply to this newsletter with your blog / website details.


In this Vertigo
To view past Vertigo's and notices click this link 
Eva sending Send a Gorilla (23) at Payne's Ford over ANZAC weekend

Section News

Gear Hire

We are looking for a new gear custodian, if you would like to find out more please reply to this email.

Thank you for the replies, we hope to have this up and running soon.

No gear can be hired until we have a new gear custodian.

The Section has gear for hire: avalanche transceivers, ice axes, shovels, stakes, hammers, helmets, crampons, probes, PLBs, ice hammers (entry level). Each item costs $5 per week with the exception of PLBs – PLBs are free but require a deposit of $50 refundable on return. 

InReach for hire
We suggest that all climbing parties carry a PLB as well as the InReach. If there is demand the section will purchase another one or two. The benefit of the InReach is that you can send and receive text messages, receive weather forecasts, and send an SOS in an emergency.
The InReach comes with 3 preset messages: 1. Delayed but everything is ok; 2. Starting our trip now; 3. This is where we are. Messages received from the InReach include a link that can be used to see the location. When hiring the InReach you need to provide an email address that will receive the messages and also advise if you’d like to adjust the preset messages.
The InReach can be paired using bluetooth to a Smartphone which has the Earthmate app loaded. This makes it much easier to type in messages. We recommend that you take a powerpack to keep the device charged and also only turn the InReach on when you need to use it to save battery power.
There’s a $50 deposit for hiring the InReach and a hire charge of $20 / weekend.
Additional charges will be incurred if you request weather forecasts or
use non-preset messaging. 

Discounted PLBs offers a 5% discount to all NZAC members for NZ purchases of PLBs. Two brands are on offer - KTI SA2G and McMurdo Fast Find 220 (not always in stock). To use the discount, the coupon code on the website is NZAC05 and the owner, Peter, asks you to send a copy of your membership card to


Section nights
All scheduling is subject to Covid Level status, but at time of writing it is as below. Remember, our venue is now the Guest Room at the Southern Cross Tavern,
39 Abel Smith Street, from 6pm.

Tues 22nd June, Aviette Musin will be presenting the Avalanche 
Awareness Seminar.

Aviette, is highly knowledgeable on this subject and does a great job of passing on her skills and experience. I encourage all members to refresh their knowledge.

Cost: Free for NZAC members. $5 for non-members.

We encourage you to invite others that you know that frequent the alpine regions too as the information presented is an essential part of safe travel.

Dates for the rest of the year
July 20th
August 24th
September 21st
October 19th
November 16th

If you would like to make a presentation at a future Section night, or have a suggestion about someone else to present, please let Juergen know

Video recording of May Section night , Derek Cheng 'The Darran mountain range in Fiordland National Park is the country's most awe-inspiring destination' video link

Mapping app View Ranger demo slides 

Video recording of October Section night , Paul Maxim and Geoffroy Lamarche presenting climbing in the
European Alps, including Mont Blanc. video link

Accommodation on Mt Ruapehu
Our snowcraft courses for the past few years have been run out of the
Manawatu Tramping and Skiing Club lodge on Whakapapa. We’re always
made to feel welcome and the lodge is well situated a short walk from the top of the Bruce Road. Membership to the club is extremely reasonable - $35 per year or $50 for a family membership. Members stay at the lodge for $36 a night including food. If you’re looking for somewhere to base yourself for your winter pursuits or rock-climbing over the summer months go to to find out more about joining the club.

Summer Rock 2021
NZAC Wellington Section Report – Student Perspective

By Ena Conway

A couple of years ago I went along to Henry’s talk on climbing outdoors at the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club. In the talk Henry went over all the places climbing can take you and he also gave a big plug for the Summer Rock climbing course.  As someone who loves adventuring outdoors in Aotearoa and bouldering in the gym, climbing outdoors was the natural next step but there was always something holding me back, such as the hassle of ‘gear’, the lack of fluro holds marking out routes, and wanting to learn how to climb safely with good technique.  When I saw an advertisement for Summer Rock at the start of the year (thanks FB algorithm), I decided it was time to give it a go.

The first evening session at Fergs was a crash course on gear with instructors sharing their extensive knowledge of prussics, harnesses, ropes, biners, slings and climbing technique. The evening classes were great for practicing how use the gear, but more importantly how keep yourself and others safe, and what to do if things go wrong. The indoor sessions were also great for building up our confidence on the wall. 

The first field trip to Tītahi Bay was memorable: the weather was stunning, the rock was rocky, and the day was a steep intro into climbing outdoors. There was a great buzz at the end of the day with people celebrating their first assents outdoors. Shout out to Meisha for taking Katie and myself through how to set up an abseil a bunch of times.

Image: Working out a tricky start to a climb (Photo: Katie Sargisson).

The K1 crag at Kinloch is great for beginners with awesome views at the anchors and a hard day’s climbing ending with a swim in Lake Taupō. Thanks, Robin, for a truly amazing meal! The accommodation was rustic, with the particularly memorable Spanish dream villa. We began the transition to lead the next day with circular leading, and my first lead climb.

Image: Laurence, Michael and Gaayathri climbing under the close supervision of Scott and Meisha (Photo: Stacey Wong)

Climbing LOTS was just one of the great aspects of the course, with the long drives to the crags providing ample opportunities for everyone to get to know each other. This is the course for you if you like to chat about climbing for hours on end, find awesome people to climb with, and push yourself.

The next two evening sessions at Fergs focused on the skills need for lead climbing, including clipping, abseiling, building safe anchors and falling – sorry Ruby!

Wharepapa South was worth the drive. Starting the day by attempting to top rope Terror Incognito at Froggatt on the encouragement of Richard was a good reminder about the importance of warming up... but toping it by the end of the day was very satisfying. By now everyone was well versed in the routine of climbing, belaying, and lunching. Sitting back to support others to reach the top was equally enjoyable, and/or entertaining in the case of Henry and his first ascent in gumboots. 

Images from left to right: Scott waiting patiently for me to climb up to him (Photo: Tamara Jenkin). If it weren't for your gumboots, where would ya be? – Anastasia belaying Henry at Froggatt (Photo: Katie Sargisson).

Our confidence on the wall had come such a long way since the start of the course, with everyone leading on the second day at the Shawthing crag. As much as we all hate to hear it, everyone is right - trust your feet and getting your feet higher make such a difference. Suddenly we were climbing with the instructors, but it was also the end of Summer Rock. 

Thanks to all those involved in organising the course, particularly Henry and Scott for all your input. Also, thanks to the instructors for all their support and encouragement, and for spending hours up the wall waiting for us to climb up to you. This was my first introduction to the NZAC club and hands down (or up?) the best thing I have done so far this year.

NZAC Wellington Section Report – Instructor Perspective

by henry fisher


Introduction :

The Summer Rock climbing course has been a consistent and successful feature in the NZAC Wellington Section’s calendar for many years now. 

Every February, 12 new students step up to take the plunge towards becoming single-pitch lead sport-climbers, learning the skills to go from ‘zero’ through to climbing autonomously outside, on a range of rock types. 


This course – as it was for me when I took it back in 2015 – is also often the start of becoming an active NZAC member, and a great way to make new (and safe) climbing buddies. 


Summer Rock at the Main Cliff, Froggatt, at Wharepapa South.

(photo by Nick Pannu)

Course set-up : 

Scott Taylor has run Summer Rock now for many years, and is constantly looking for ways to improve the structure of the course, as well as to keep abreast of current best practice. 

Most of the instructors and helpers have been a SR student at one time or another, and enjoy the chance to give back both to the NZAC, and to support Scott. 


We currently run a 6-week course, which includes six week-day evenings at Fergs indoor climbing wall, and 3 weekend trips – one local, one to Lake Taupo, and the final trip to Wharepapa South. 

We start with basic movement skills and talking through the benefits and downsides of different gear, then move through top-rope belaying, lead-belaying, lead-climbing, falling, catching, anchor-building, ‘cleaning’, and abseiling. 


One particular highlight for me is seeing students progress through their nervousness and confusion over knots, through to clear-thinking, big smiles and an understanding that they no longer need our oversight. 

Another highlight is the outrageously delicious weekend feed, that Robin has skilfully conjured up again and again – magic stuff! 


Gaayathri emerges from the trees at Kinloch, to reach the abseil station.

(photo by henry fisher)


This year’s students : 

Every year the students present a range of skills and experience, which we need to be able to manage so that every student can complete the course as best as they can, and without leaving anyone behind. 

This year, while the age range of the students was larger than typical, the level of experience was strikingly similar in that most climbers were frequent indoor boulderers, who had very little or no outdoor climbing experience at all. 


Students warming up on the sharp rock at the newly-bolted Shawthing Rocks.

(photo by henry fisher)


Some of the advantages of this – for the students – included that they were quick to understand a lot of the balancy movement techniques, and had pre-strengthened fingers! Once outdoors, though, we soon noticed that the powerful bouldering-type moves really impacted on climbing stamina throughout the day, and suddenly having to think beyond just climbing - about clipping, anchors and the like - was quite mentally tiring. 


This was, however, mostly just an interesting difference for the instructors to see, and as typical of every year the students worked through it all, and were showing great all-round improvement – and most importantly great safety protocol – by the end of the course. 


It’s also been really encouraging to see the students form a close group and that a lot of them have continued to enjoy climbing together on several post-course trips, two of which have been run by NZAC members. 


Ruby and Tamara became firm climbing buddies. 

(photo by Stacey Wong)


What we did differently this year : 

The first weekend away would usually be a trip to Baring Head for some bouldering on slick sea-worn greywhacke. This year, though, we could se that most of the students were experienced boulderers – at least indoors – and so made the call for more of a focus on rope-skills. So a trip to nice-n-cosy and well-climbed Slab at Titahi Bay made a fine day out in glorious sunshine, and swims to finish things off. For those that haven’t been to Titahi Bay for a while, beautiful new anchor points have been installed and are weathering in nicely. 


Nick tests his balance while Greg gets belaying tips … just before the swim at Titahi Bay.

(photo by henry fisher)


We kept the middle weekend to the riolite crags at Kinloch the same, and with the recent clean-up of and addition of routes to K1, we had more than enough to keep the students occupied for a weekend. The big advantages here are that the routes are not too long, so communication and oversight is easier, and that in poorer changeable weather you can often still climb, with a large area of the crag being under the tree canopy. 


Richard and Robert very happy with the students’ progress at Kinloch.

(photo by Anastasia Gorbatenko)


For the last weekend away, we generally head to Wharepapa South to experience the pocketed ignimbrite and hone the all-round sport-leading skillset. As usual we visited the Main Cliff at Froggatt Edge to test everyone’s mettle on the 3-star Terror Incognita. 

For the second and final day, though, we took advantage of the relatively newly accessible crag at Shawthing Rocks. On an earlier recce trip, we felt that this would be an exciting and rare chance for the students to climb on ‘fresh’ routes, relatively un-climbed and with the entirety of the crag still being fleshed out. 


Steven Shaw on his land at Wharepapa South, demonstrating alternative crag-approach techniques. (photo by Anastasia Gorbatenko)


Shawthing is very much a working farm and the owners are keen climbers. They ask that visitors obtain permission, and time arrivals to best suit the operations of the farm. They’ll often then come along and join in for some great climbing, pointing out some real highlights along the way.  


Ena’s confident smile matched her excellent anchor-building skills.

(photo by henry fisher)


All in all, from the perspective of the instructors, this year’s Summer Rock course went very well. It was a real treat to see how supportive the students were of each other and how passionate many of them are to keep climbing, and a curious delight that once again the instructors have become redundant as the rope and safety skills have been passed on.


Member Discounts – Instruction courses
Some of NZ’s quality training providers have come on board to offer some excellent NZAC member discounts on their Instruction Courses. Support
NZAC and support local businesses,

check out the member discounts below:
Spotted a Weta in Zelandia during a community day. Eva Duncan

Coming Trips, Courses, Events

NZAC Ski Touring Meet

The NZAC Ski Touring Meet is a fun sociable weekend, and a great opportunity to get out and do some ski touring. 

The meet is based at Tukino Lodge on Mt Ruapehu and is also a chance to find like minded people of similar experience and to enjoy some spring touring adventures. 

Please note this is not a led trip, so you will need to start or join a group, and once your group leaves the lodge you will need to be able to look after yourselves.  To help keep safe, you will need to record your intentions on each day in the lodge intentions book when you arrive and leave the lodge.

Friday, 8 October 2021  1:30 pm 
Sunday, 10 October 2021  6:00 pm
Tukino Alpine Sports Club
Info pack and registration form

Snow Trips

We are planning to run Snow Trips this winter for members who have attended Snow Craft courses.
We are looking for members to help with organising these trips. If you are able to help out, please email

We want to run three trips
A Nelson Lakes trip Sept 24-26th
A Tapi trip Aug 20-22nd
A Tukino trip Oct 1-3rd

If you want to go on one of these trips please go to
and click interested on the trip event you want to attend. We will be in touch once we are able to get an organising group together. 

We are also looking for experienced leaders to lead trips, please email if you are interested.


Covid 19 impact
In Level 1 trips can run and scheduling new trips is possible. In Level 2, not.
With the most recent developments we are not even trying to guess what
happens next. All club actiuvity is a case of ‘watch this space’!
NZAC Central Office has provided some guidance on what’s appropriate,
including being mindful not to take risks that could require a rescue; keeping
track of who you are with on a trip (tracking); following Government
requirements regarding personal spacing, washing hands, etc.
As new trips are proposed we will brief the trip leader on protocols
appropriate at the time.
If you’re uncertain about the skill level required with any of the trips, would
like to register your interest or to find out more, email us at
Also, please contact us if you’re keen to run a trip yourself – the Committee
can help with advertising and logistics.

NZAC instruction courses
Click for more details Ice Climbing Ski Touring High Alpine Skills

The NZAC's nationally delivered winter instruction courses are now open for registrations. These courses are very popular and so early registration is advised.

Glacier Ski Course - Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park
Looking to take your skiing into the high mountains? This course is for competent backcountry skiers who are looking to ski tour on glaciated terrain. Spaces on the Glacier Ski Course are of high interest this year. Confirm your place now to not be disappointed. 

Course dates are Wednesday 8th to Sunday 12th September and Wednesday 22 to Sunday 26 September. 


Save the Date - FMC’s 90th Anniversary

29 - 31 October 2021, Queenstown 

The Federated Mountain Clubs of NZ warmly invite you to celebrate our 90th Anniversary, with a weekend of activities, discussions and debates.

Our event is the weekend after Labour Weekend, so it is the perfect opportunity to take some leave, go on an adventure down south and then join us for our celebration!

During Friday and Saturday evenings, join us for Taonga Lands and Waters: Conservation and Recreation for the Future.  Experts in conservation law, ecology, Maori issues, recreation, and wild rivers will present and debate.  Politicians will present their perspectives on priorities for conservation legislation’s future. Respected outdoors people will discuss sustainable recreation, alongside inspiring presentations from the young rising stars of our outdoor community.

Prior to the evenings' activities, local FMC clubs will be organising day and half-day tramps, paddles, climbs and visits to some of the nearby recreation opportunities. A chance to mix and mingle with other like-minded folk from around NZ, whilst enjoying Queenstown’s backyard and discussing the future of conservation and recreation.

Watch for reminders and announcements via our Backcountry magazine, monthly newsletter and social media channels. 

Lake Terror Fiordland. Derek Cheng

Section Contacts

Powered by volunteers
We’re always thankful for volunteers and members stepping forward to help the section run smoothly. A lot goes on to keep our club going, virtually all powered by volunteers.
On the back page is our ‘Club on a page’ summary. It gives an at a glance description of all the things we do, how and why. Feel free to print a copy and pass it on to anyone who might be interested in becoming a member or volunteer. And if you’d like to learn more about how you could get involved, please email us at

Role Name Contact

Acting Chair,
Keith Munro 
Treasurer  Eva Duncan 

Keith Munro 

Gear custodian

Trip coordinator 
Adam Power 
Vertigo   Andy Carruthers 
Section nights  Juergen Oesterle 
Banff  Emma Hayward 
Photo comp   Guy Dubuis 
Social media   Sam Brown  
Patron  John Nankervis  
General Committee Carolyn OShaughnessy
Richard Graham
Stephen Hunt
Peter Laurenson

Getting to know the members

Here are a few questions to answer and share with the club, email your answers for future newsletters.

Eva Duncan,
 Treasurer, Member
Who is your hero? Helen Clark, she's a boss.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Wanaka.
What is your biggest fear? Deep water, freaks me out!
What is your favourite mountain? 
There are so many beautiful mountains. I recently enjoyed all the amazing mountains that can be viewed from the short walk up the Tutuko Valley in Fiordland. 
What really makes you angry? Being hungry and bad drivers.
What motivates you to spend time in the mountains?
Stoke from the people around me, sharing stories and discussing future missions. Looking at maps and planning routes.
What is your proudest accomplishment? I'm quite proud of where I've got to in my career. I am also proud of the camper van my partner and I built last summer and the 3 grade 24s I sent over the summer.
What is your favourite book to read? Ken Follet - World without End
What makes you laugh the most? My friends. Party dances before bed.
What was the last movie you went to? What did you think? Land, was absolute garbage, would not recommend. 


Copyright © 2021 Vertigo: Wellington Section of the NZ Alpine Club, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp