Aoraki Mount Cook and Westland, summary. The west side of the Divide was relatively quiet this past year, with only two new routes reported. In the summer Craig Cardie and Allan Uren climbed an obvious and reportedly good-quality route to the right of Moonshine Buttress on Conway Peak (2,899m). Sunshine Buttress follows a direct line up a rock buttress, with a crux of 16.
In March 2006, Andrew Rennie and Graham Zimmerman climbed a new route on the southwest face of Mt. Matenga (2,665m) in the Franz Josef Névé. Mixed Blood is a four-pitch mixed route at 4 M5 WI3. The route is apparently “short and sweet” and provided “some very good, hard, and interesting climbing.”
The other side of the Divide has seen little more new route activity. In March 2005 Michael Madden and Tshering Pande Bhote (Nepal) climbed a direct and obvious new line on the south face of Aoraki Mt. Cook (3,754m). Sherpa-Kiwi is graded 5. In late October Marty Beare and Johnny Davison climbed the prominent right-hand ice fang on 3,070m Mt. Haid- inger’s east face headwall, high above the Tasman Valley. Stealing White Boys is graded 5. A parallel left-hand line was climbed during winter 2004.
Just down the road from Mt. Cook, Nina Conradi, Thomas Evans, Mal Haskins, and Jason Tweedie climbed three new ice routes up the Bush Stream Valley. January 2006 saw Nico Hudak and Mark Watson head into the Reay Valley, east of Tasman Valley, in search of quality red rock. The pair climbed a prominent stepped buttress dubbed Max Johnson (seven pitches, 17) on a 2,235m outlier of Mt. Johnson. Later the same day the pair climbed a classic, sharp arête, Tim Fin (15, pitched and simul-climbed).
Mark Watson, New Zealand Alpine Club