American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, New Zealand, Crosscut Peak, South Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

Crosscut Peak, South Face. The Darren Range in southwest New Zealand is known as the best rock climbing in the country and for the rainfall it receives. It rains on 250 or more days a year. The south face of Crosscut Peak is about 3000 feet high. On March 20 Chuck Schaap of Wyoming and Athol Abrahams of Sydney, Australia and I set out for the most prominent rib on the face, somewhat left of center. The first 500 feet are wet and slightly overhanging bluffs. We bypassed these by going right to the least steep and driest part of the bluff and climbing to a large hanging glacier. This glacier was a broken, continuous icefall. After crossing the ice, we worked our way up another 500 feet on the right side of the rib on good rock. At the second step we started up on the crest of the rib proper and climbed 1000 feet up beautiful, solid rock. On the last pitch before setting up our bivouac, Athol made the climb really interesting by dislocating his shoulder in a layback. In the morning, contrary to expectations, the weather was still clear. A few pitches higher the angle of the ridge eased and Athol could climb on a tight rope and a few pulls. We watched the weather pack in from the summit and the 5000 feet down the back side of the mountain to the hut was hastened by the impending rain. After some 30 hours we got Athol to a doctor who put his shoulder back in. For descriptive and historical reasons, we call this route “Dislocation Arête.” NCCS IV, F7.

Jonathan Hough

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