Queenstown region, summary. Queenstown’s Wye Creek became New Zealand’s focal point for sport-mixed climbing over the past winter. A number of climbers based themselves in the Wye valley cirque and developed mixed climbs up to grade M11. First to fall was an already bolted project, Greypower (M8), by Kester Brown. More bolting provided three more routes: The Rebirth of Cool (M7) by Brown, Pippi’s Polish Circus (M8) by Johnny Davison, and the area test-piece, Northern Exposure (M11), again by Brown. These routes point towards a shift in attitude and the opening of horizons in New Zealand mixed climbing. Hopefully the development will continue.
Reminding us that the mixed climbing scene isn’t all about bolts, Kester Brown and Jono Clarke ticked off an old two-pitch project with shaky protection on the Telecom Tower (Remarkables), naming it The Fastest Indian (rock crux 20). Also on the Telecom Tower Rupert Gardiner and Andrew Mills climbed a new five-pitch line at a grade of about 3+.
In the summer Dave Bolger, Rupert Gardiner, and Cris Prudden ventured into the Stoneburn, climbing a five-pitch rock route on an outlier to Stoney Peak: The Sentinel (17).
Mark Watson, New Zealand Alpine Club