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Sunset from Fohn Lakes, Andy Carruthers

Chair’s report: 

The new committee has been busy on further developing systems, upgrading equipment and putting thought into ongoing instructor development.  With Covid likely to be a disrupting factor for sometime, spending is going to have to be undertaken cautiously.  

With summer rock underway and planning for snowcraft underway, we should have another year in which members develop their skills and spend quality time in the outdoors.

We say farewell to Manu.  While on the committee for a very short time, Manu has made a significant contribution.  We now seek a gear custodian so don't hesitate to put your hand up if you think you could contribute to the club in this way.

My own activity has been restricted to a sub-alpine ramble in the Ruahines.  I have to say, many of the contour lines were close together!  

Good on Pieps for stepping up regarding their DPS transceivers.  I am aware a number of members have their replacement and mine is waiting for me.

See you at a Section Night!
Cheers, Keith
Derek Cheng, Evening brew, Mitre Peak, Fiordland

From the editor

Welcome to our first edition of the year.

Thanks to Eva for the photos of her summer adventure :) Peter has fabulous photos from his recent Northern Crossing, thank you for the great content.

In November we had David Barnes and Jamie Stewart from FMC give an update on what’s happening in the backcountry world – which is plenty in these globally warming, covid-ridden times of changes. Jamie raised the question about what we can do to reduce our carbon foot print. Inspired by this I found one of the carbon calculators and worked out our family foot print. I was pleased it was lower than the NZ average but still room for improvement and with a benchmark set I can measure progress.

In November I rented the section Garmin InReach for our Aspiring Five Passes adventure. It was fantastic to be able to let my wife know we were safe and sound each day and provide our location. The pre-set message sends a location link to an email address of your choice so it can be clicked on to see where you are. It takes a lot of worry away. I recommend trying it out.

Great to see Summer Rock being so well supported, thank you to the team for making it happen.

For those of use who love a good movie Reel Rock is coming to town in March, see the details below.

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 and notices click this link 
Derek Cheng, Barringhead

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. 

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. 


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.

Wed March 3rd, 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. 

Tues 23rd March,
New interactive program, look out for the invitation early March. 

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.

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



Deep Roots 

35 min

Lonnie Kauk’s personal journey to honor his indigenous Yosemite roots, and to connect with his legendary father by repeating his iconic climbs.

Action Directe

16 min

French powerhouse Melissa Le Nevé spends seven years battling insane moves, inner doubt, and the burden of history to climb the most revered sport route on earth.


25 min

Best friends Hazel Findlay and Maddy Cope journey to the rocky outer reaches of Mongolia, on a quixotic search for new trad routes.


45 min

A crew of aspiring ice climbers from the Memphis Rox gym travels to the frozen wilds of Montana, where mentors Manoah Ainuu, Conrad Anker and Fred Campbell share their love of winter adventure in the mountains.

The Penthouse10th March

Tickets and trailer

Capturing the greatest stories and sends from the year in climbing, the four new films of REEL ROCK 15 deliver a joyful dose of inspiration, heart and humor. Witness an unimaginable triumph of determination, an epic journey of self-discovery, a magical adventure across the world and a bond-building expedition that forever changes lives.


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.
Katja Riedel, Icicles, Kepler Track

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

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. 

Basic Snowcraft - Various Locations
This course is delivered by NZAC Sections. The Basic Snowcraft course is perfect for those looking to develop the skills needed to enjoy simple alpine terrain. The courses introduce the use of crampons and an ice axe. This is a great way to meet other NZAC members and start to enjoy New Zealand's alpine terrain. 

Intermediate Snowcraft - Various Locations
Having consolidated the skills learnt on a NZAC Basic Snowcraft course the Intermediate Snowcraft may be the perfect next step. Develop an understanding of moving in more complex non-glaciated terrain.

The NZAC Basic and Intermediate Snowcraft courses are delivered by NZAC Sections these courses will be be announced via the Section newsletters, webpages and/or Facebook pages generally in Autumn. If you are an experienced climber interested in volunteering to instruct on section courses get in touch with your local section committee for more details. 

Trip Reports

The Broken Axe Pinnacles, viewed from just above Tarn Ridge Hut, PETER LAURENSON OCCASIONALCLIMBER

Tararua tops feast

An extended version of the northern crossing of the Tararua Ranges
Words and pictures Peter Laurenson

Ssssuck. The sound of my boot extracting from another micro-swamp, as Simon Williamson and I slithered our way up Gable End Ridge. After four or so hours we’d reached the highest section of the ridge. At 900 metres the trees were stunted, permitting glimpses of Waiopehu Hut, nestled a little beneath the apex of the adjacent ridge to the west. It was drissling, adding to the muddy conditions. ‘Worst mud I’ve seen in the Tararuas I reckon’ cursed Simon. ‘Sure hope this doesn’t persist higher up’, I replied. ‘Hopefully once we pass the Te Araroa Trail branch this mud-fest will relent.’ click here to read the full story


Shaz appreciates the sheer drop on Cascade Saddle with Islington Dome and Mt Aspiring in the background

Cascade Saddle, trip

Eva had a fabulous trip to Cascade Saddle and climbed Single Cone on the Grand Traverse click here to see the photos 

Derek Cheng, shadows and light, Mitre Peak

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

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