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Australasia, New Zealand, Autumn 2005-Autumn 2006, Rock Climbing, Brief Summary

Rock climbing, brief summary. Working from south to north, this report mentions only sample highlights of New Zealand crag climbing. Starting with the Darrans, where a lot of activity focused on Babylon and Chasm Crag, Derek Thatcher made the first ascent of Hammurabi (32) at Babylon, while Mayan Smith-Gobat made the first ascent Akathesia (28), a line previously bolted by Paul Rogers at Chasm Crag.

The Queenstown area has seen a lot of activity, both up high on the Remarkables and at Wye Creek, with the most notable event being Derek Thatcher's ascent of a long-time project named Homage (32) at Wye Creek.

In Wanaka, Guy Cotter and Ed Nepia finished a long-time project, to produce Taniwha (220m, 9 pitches, 24/25), a great-looking route that has already seen one onsight repeat, by Bruce Dowrick and Jon Sedon. There has been lots of other local cragging activity in Wanaka, as well as the release of a new, larger edition of the local guidebook

In Christchurch, Derek Thatcher ticked off a project linking terrain between Hung Like Elvis (26) and Bogus Machismo (29). This currently unnamed line weighs in at around 32. Kaz Pucia made the prestigious second ascent of Ivan Vostinar's testpiece, Centrifuge (32), while Mayan Smith-Gobat has been impressing everyone with some staunch sends, most notably Trogolodyte (30), the hardest grade yet climbed by a Kiwi woman.

Mark Watson, New Zealand Alpine Club