82 Photos - Dec 5, 2009
Photo: Aoraki/Mt Cook - 3754m. New Zealand's highest peak and the 'big challenge' for 2009!Photo: It's easy so far! An excited Bill Day amuses Gary Dickson while getting ready to fly in.Photo: All we need now is a helicopter. The weather is clearing and excitement is high.Photo: You meet the strangest people around helicopters. An English bride about to marry in the mountains compares footware and bouquets with Bill. Eat your heart out Jimmy Choo!Photo: How are they going to explain this when they get back home!Photo: The team, ready to go. Ace guides Gary Dickson and Sean Brooks, and old farts Bill Day and Phillip Melchior.Photo: Look at that grin!Photo: Plateau Hut, from the air, above Mt Cook's Grand Plateau.Photo: Unloading at Plateau.Photo: Plateau Hut, 2200m.Photo: Sean getting Bill set up for a 'reccy' up the Linda Glacier.Photo: About to head off from Plateau.Photo: Heading across the Grand Plateau towards the Linda Glacier. In just a few hours, all those crevasses will need to be negotiated in the dark!Photo: Sean checks the edge of a Bergschrund crevasse.Photo: Sussing out the route.Photo: Through a recent avalanche, up the Linda.Photo: Bill, above the clouds.Photo: Back at Plateau Hut for a rest and some dinner.Photo: 0100 - Friday, December 4, 2009. Gary checks Bill's set-up.Photo: High up the Linda, the first glimmer of dawn and time for a drink and a hard to chew 'power bar'.Photo: Dawn above the Linda.Photo: Photo: Gaining height and still smiling!Photo: Mt Tasman - New Zealand's second highest peak - bathed in the dawn sun.Photo: Mt Tasman, 3497m.Photo: Gary and Phil nearing 'the gully'.
]Photo: Bill and Mt Tasman.Photo: Wow, look how far we've come! The Linda's crevasses far below Sean and Bill.Photo: Steep and deep!Photo: Up, always up.Photo: Steeply up 'the gully' towards the feared Summit Rocks.Photo: Photo: Approaching the Summit Rocks.Photo: Photo: Gary gets on to the rocks.Photo: The Summit Rocks. Our route is roughly up the snow and ice - and it's much worse in reality than it looks here!Photo: Sean secures the first anchor. Not so much 'steep', as 'vertical'.Photo: 'Do I really have to follow Sean?' Bill goes next.Photo: Up goes Bill.Photo: One foot follows the other. Crampons on the rock.Photo: Maybe I should just stay here!Photo: Photo: Bill minds the rope.Photo: High on the rocks, the West Coast and the Tasman Sea seem incredibly close.Photo: Phil emerges from the Summit Rocks.Photo: A break, a regroup, and the first close up of the summit ridge.Photo: The team, just two black specks just below the summit ridge bergshrund.Photo: Sean and Bill, short-roping up the summit ridge.Photo: Photo: Almost at the bergschrund - photos taken from Robert Borius-Broek's jet trainer!Photo: Phil and Gary show they still have the energy to wave!Photo: Photo: One foot in front of the other - way, way above the Tasman Glacier.Photo: Made it! Phil celebrates his 60th year on the summit of Mt Cook, with a backdrop of Mt Tasman and the West Coast.Photo: Sitting on top. Bill and Sean approaching, the Linda's crevasses far below.Photo: Gary and Phil on the summit - the inspiration and the inspired!Photo: Photo: Sean and Bill take the last few steps until there's no "up" left in the country!Photo: What a team!Photo: Photo: Bill and SeanPhoto: A slightly ajar altimeter records the height and the time. 10 hours since we left Plateau Hut.Photo: The Tasman Glacier from the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook. The Grand Plateau is in the foreground.Photo: Mt Tasman and the West Coast.Photo: Time to head down. Bill abseils into the summit rocks.Photo: Photo: Followed by Phil.Photo: Bill above the Grand Plateau and the Tasman Glacier.Photo: Phil abseils down the summit rocks. It's easier going down than up!Photo: Photo: You don't want to fall into one of the Linda's crevasses.Photo: Bill on a narrow snow bridge coming down through the Linda's crevasses.Photo: A sheer-sided crevasse, about 50m deep.Photo: Looking back at Mt Cook. How did we manage it?Photo: Bill and Aoraki/Mt Cook - the morning after.Photo: Sean and Gary - the guys who made it possible, and made it safe.Photo: The sense of achievement is wonderful!Photo: Photo: Team 'Alpinism and Ski'.Photo: The summit rocks and the summit ridge, from below. It seems amazing that we got there!Photo: Photo: