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Kea, Routeburn. Andy Carruthers

Chair’s report: 

Clubs such as ours grow strong or whither away depending on the contributions volunteers are prepared to make.  We have been super fortunate for the huge contribution Scott Taylor has made over so many years  to Summer Rock. Please join us at May's section night when Scott will be presented with the NZAC volunteer of the year award.

It will be a double billing with Derek presenting on his adventures.  You'll gain inspiration I'm sure as the night will rock.  More detail further on in Vertigo.

See you at a Section Night!
Cheers, Keith
Morning sun kissed tops of the Cordillera Huayhuash,
the infamous Siula Grande to the left. Sam Brown

From the editor

Thanks to Eva, Keith, Peter, Guy and Sam for photos from trips.

Last week Les Molloy presented “Searching for Wilderness …. because they’re not making any more of it!” is an illustrated account of his past involvement in wilderness conservation in the mountains of New Zealand.
A big thank you to Les and for those who were able to come along.

We have information about the upcoming Snow craft courses below, thank you for all the enquires so far.

Banff tickets are on sale here

Guy shared this interesting article,

We received this letter from Greater Wellington

Hutt WCA Possum Control Project
I am writing to inform you that Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington Water Ltd are proposing an aerial operation to target possums in the Hutt Water Collection Area (HWCA). The operation is proposed for winter 2021, but exact timing will be weather dependent.
We must reduce the possum populations in this area in order to protect the important native ecosystems and water quality. The HWCA has a diverse range of ecosystems, with eight different forest types, four wetlands, numerous major and minor watercourses, and sub-alpine and alpine flora present. Healthy ecosystems have a positive impact on water quality, which means that managing the threats to our biodiversity also manages those associated with our water quality. If the health of the forest is allowed to degrade, it will eventually impact the catchment’s ability to provide healthy fresh water for our communities.
Enclosed is a fact sheet which includes a map of the operational area, which can also be found online

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 
Enjoying a summer evening in the Ruahines and looking forward to the distant snowline dropping in coming months. Keith Munro

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 18th May , One of the highlights for the year, presenting Scott Taylor with his NZAC Volunteer of the Year Award 2020, please join us to recognise an individual who has contributed to the section's rock instruction over so many years.  
After the presentation 
Derek Cheng
, New Zealand-born journalist, photographer, videographer and climber will be giving his talk  'The Darran mountain range in Fiordland National Park is the country's most awe-inspiring destination'. Derek will take you on a photo-journey along a Hollyford-Pyke packrafting trip, the steep bolt-clipping at the country's best crags, and mountain adventures in the most epic and remote landscapes - from Sinbad Gully and Terror Peak to the Central Darrans to first ascents in the Tutoko Valley.

Dates for the rest of the year
June 22nd
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 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.

NZAC Wellington Snowcraft Course Information 2021

These are the alpine instruction courses for you if you are interested in becoming an alpinist. It is a progressive course program consisting of three levels to allow you to gain skills and experience to your level of interest. The full program can be completed over three years. Between the courses you will be expected to gain experience in the skills and techniques taught. The minimum prerequisites are detailed for each course below.

2021 Dates
Level 1 Courses
Theory evening Thurs 22nd July. 
Practical weekend Fri 30th July - Sun 1st Aug. 

Theory evening Thurs 29th July. 
Practical weekend Fri 6th - Sun 8th Aug.

Theory evening Thurs 5th Aug. 
Practical weekend Fri 13th - Sun 15th Aug.

Level 2 and 3 Courses
Theory evening Thurs 5th Aug. 
Practical weekend Fri 13th - Sun 15th Aug

Please note that each course starts with a theory night on Thursday night followed by a practical weekend at Mt Ruapehu from Friday to Sunday a week later. You will be required to leave Wellington by mid-day (this is a course requirement). Course content is subject to change based on weather and other factors.

To register for the courses use this link 

Whangaehu Hut (on Mt Ruapehu) hanging on to the cliffs over the plains of Tongariro National Park. Guy Dubuis


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:
Adventure Consultants 
Alpine Guides

Outdoor Education NZ 
Peak Safety

Queenstown Mountain Guides 
Aspiring Guides

Snowy Mountains Climbing School 
Alpine Recreation

Independent Mountain Guides Queenstown
New Zealand Snow Safety Institute

RAL parking restrictions at Ruapehu
Skiiers be aware. Find out more here.

NZAC Instruction
The section is seeking an expression of interest from members who are interested in becoming a volunteer instructor.  We are looking to put an instructor development programme together.  As part of this programme we have snow craft instructor training coming up next year (see below).  By letting Keith know at we can include you in our planning.
Basic Instructor Training Courses - North Island
Dates: Evening Friday 25 th – Sunday 27 th June
Location: Ruapehu - Tukino Alpine Sports Club
12 participants per course
2 day course (Saturday-Sunday) for new instructors who haven’t attended past NZAC Instructor Training Courses.
Cost: Instruction delivered by NZMGA Guides, overnight accommodation and catering will be provided for all participants from the National budget.

Basic Instructor Refresher Course – North Island
Dates: Evening Friday 25 th – Sunday 27 th June
Location: Ruapehu - Tukino Alpine Sports Club
8 participants per course
1 day course (Saturday) for existing instructors (encouraged to attend not mandatory).
Cost: Instruction delivered by NZMGA Guides, overnight accommodation and catering will be provided for all participants from the National budget.

Backcountry Avalanche Course – North Island
Location: Ruapehu - Tukino Alpine Sports Club
Dates: Evening Monday 21 st – Friday 25 th June
6 participants per course
Designed by the Mountain Safety Council, for climbers and mountaineers to further develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of avalanches and how to avoid them. This will be organised for Volunteer instructors to attend but will be opened to the public if needed to meet numbers to cover costs.
Cost: Amount TBC (likely around $650). Costs will need to be covered by the individual with potential for financial support from the section if the committee agrees. Cost will cover instruction delivered by NZMGA Guides, overnight accommodation and catering.
All smiles at the start of the Routeburn track, running it in under 5 hours with lots of scenic breaks along the way. 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 looing for members to help with organising these trips. If you would like to go on a trip and are able to help out, please email

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.

Leading on Techincal Ice Course - Wye Creek, Remarkables
This course is designed for intermediate mountaineers who are looking to take on more challenging technical ice climbs. It is a good progression from the NZAC Intermediate Snowcraft Course or a High Alpine Skills Course.

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing - Cragieburn.
Designed for confident and competent skiers, this course gives you the skills necessary to enjoy New Zealand's non-glaciated backcountry skiing. 

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.

Women's Backcountry Ski Skills Course - Cragieburn - Coming Soon
Join other like-minded women to learn the skills necessary to enjoy backcountry skiing in non-glaciated terrain. Lead by a team of female NZMGA Guides this is a great social course to meet likeminded women and learn new skills.

Backcountry Avalanche Course - Arthurs Pass | Tukino Ski Area - Coming Soon
Develop a deeper understanding of the avalanche phenomenon. This is a must-do course for anyone serious about spending time in the alpine environment. 


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. 

Looking northeast from Scott Basin at dawn, to Mt Earnslaw/Pikirakatahi. Our campsite on the first night on a trip heading south along Kay Creek, Steele Creek and out via the Greenstone. Peter Laurenson

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  Jurgen 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.

Keith Munro Member and Chair

Who is your hero?

I'm very fortunate to know so many special people.  Parents who got me into the hills.  Mates who challenged me to push my limits.  Better than a hero!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I enjoy travelling and hopefully can travel overseas to work on my bucket list - skiing Alaska, Japan, the Haute Route.  However, New Zealand will always be the base.  Maybe a campervan with storage for all the gear and a towball for the boat!  Certainly needs insulation and heating for parking up close to the mountains in winter. 

What is your biggest fear?
Heights!  In recent years I am trusting myself less.  I'm currently going through an evaluation of how to best manage this.  Current thinking is I need to keep getting into the mountains while acknowledging the aging process. 

What is your favourite mountain?
Learned to ski on Coronet Peak (back when ski boots were leather and a day pass cost $2).  Patrolled on Treble Cone (skiing powder on skinny skis).  Enjoying getting to know Ruapahu.

What really makes you angry?
Road rage.  Impatient drivers really piss me off.

What motivates you to spend time in the mountains?
A while ago I was above Tukino.  I could have been the only one left on the planet.  The snow glistened.  The sun shone.  The wind didn't blow.  The sheer space and grandeur and silence and ... you all know what I am on about. 

What is your proudest accomplishment?
I have had a number of small victories along life's rich path - not sufficiently worthy to share.

What is your favourite book to read?
I like a good historical novel.  However the book that has been pulled off the shelf most often in recent times is Backcountry ski touring in New Zealand.

What makes you laugh the most?
My granddaughter.  I feel such joy at seeing 18 month old Sophie starting to make her way in the world.  I look forward to spending time with her on alpine adventures.  


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