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Wim Coosemans, Nelson Lakes

Chair’s report: 

Great to see the trip reports in this edition of Vertigo.  Love the photos.  Makes me very grateful to be in a country where trips are possible. 

Back in Lockdown the club had to make some major decisions to ensure its survival.  The action taken, which included laying off national office staff and seeking contributions from sections and individuals, was brutal but necessary.  With the move back to Level 1, a successful Banff and some other income sources, the club is in a better position.  While the Board sees the need for continued cautious management the viability of the club has been addressed.

As the owner of a Pieps DPS transceiver I was concerned to find there is an issue with that model.  The switch can break.  Even unbroken it may switch from Send when you least want that to happen.  Pieps seem to be dragging their feet on addressing an issue where the product is not fit for purpose.  Andy has a link later in this edition for Pieps owners.  

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts have decided to give some pass holders additional priority to car park space for next winter.  The club is concerned climbers and others may have even more access issues than the winter just gone.  Too early to report on specifics but it is on the radar at national level.

Have a great summer and remember to pack the sunscreen.

Derek Cheng, morning brew, Lake Terror, Fiordland 

From the editor

Welcome to our new readers, this will be the first Vertigo for our Banff supporters, I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks to Carolyn and the Tappy trip team for the haiku and photos :) Peter has fabulous photos from his recent Nelson trip, thank you for the great content.

Last month we had Paul Maxim and Geoffroy Lamarche present their climbing trip in the European Alps, they gave an excellent presentation. It is always fun listening to people talk about the things they love. We recorded the presentation so you can watch it. Video link

Do you own a Pieps beacon? Here is a link to a recent update they posted

Enjoy your summer adventures, I'm off to explore the Five Passes in Aspiring National Park :)

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.


In this Vertigo
To view past Vertigo's click this link 
Derek Cheng, Double Rainbow, Sinbad, Fiordland

Section News

Gear Hire

Members will need to hire gear for the whole period 16 December to
5 January as there will be no gear hires during this period

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. To hire gear please fill in the form here. You can find out more from Manu. At least 1 week's notice is required (leading up to the Chrismas break we need more notice - 1 month to be safe). On receiving your request you will be advised when and where pickup will be. To return your gear liaise with Manu.

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 17 November, David Barnes, a Wellington-based member on the
Federated Mountain Clubs Exec team, will present an update on what’s happening in the backcountry world – which is plenty in these globally warming, covid-ridden times of changes. He will also field any questions from the audience. Not to be missed.

There are no section nights in December or January because we’re too busy climbing.

Tues 17 February, Les Molloy, Patron of the
Federated Mountain Clubs, will present mountain wilderness in NZ and the series of trips he did long ago in the Olivines. 

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

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.


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:

RAL parking restrictions at Ruapehu
Skiiers be aware. Find out more here.
NZAC Instruction
Due to COVID-19 and staffing restrictions, the NZAC instruction programme has been reduced for 2020. Any available NZAC instruction courses are being run by NZAC Sections. More details here.
MariePascale-Desjardins, Fierce Falcon at Mt Aspiring

Coming Trips, Courses, Events

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

High Alpine Skills Course
Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park
15th – 20th December | 4th – 9th January

Who is this course for?
The High Alpine Skills Course (HASC) is a six-day course designed for those who already have some alpine climbing experience in New Zealand, and have familiarity with lead climbing on rock or indoors. Ideally, they will have taken part in an Intermediate Snowcraft Course with the NZAC or similar organisation, and have embedded their knowledge with further alpine climbing trips in New Zealand.
The ability to carry a heavy pack for several days at a time is mandatory and all those who register for the course must have a suitable level of fitness.

Trip Reports

Martin reaching the summit of Mt Cupola, with the view north to Mt Hopeless at his back, Oct 2020, PETER LAURENSON OCCASIONALCLIMBER

The crusty couloir

A spring climb of Mount Cupola’s north face
Words and pictures Peter Laurenson

Met Service had granted my wish – a two day weather window and an avalanche risk deemed green – low. Having been rebuffed twice before by Mount Cupola (the second time, just a few weeks earlier) due to bad weather and snow conditions, I was now a man on a mission. click here to read the full story


Hodder Huts - Photo credit : Moses Fruean

Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku, Tappy Trip
After a couple of weather-induced postponements, eight intrepid Wellington section members headed to climb Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku. The team wrote up the trip report with each person writing a haiku for a section of the trip. click here to read

Katja Riedel, 3 St Jons Fjord, Svalbard

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
Manu Lange

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

Copyright © 2020 Vertigo: Wellington Section of the NZ Alpine Club, All rights reserved.

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