THE CLIMBERNEW ZEALANDS CLIMBING MAGAZINE
QUARTERLY MAGAZINE OF THE NEW ZEALAND ALPINE CLUB 88 WINT
W H I T E S A I L P E A K , I N D I A
M A R C H 1 3 , 2 0 1 3
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EXPLORING UNCLIMBED 6000M SUMMITS OF THE HIMACHAL PRADESH MOUNTAINS IN THE THUNDER MICRO JACKET THENORTHFACE.CO.NZ
CALL FOR STOCKISTS: 0800 805 806PHOTO: Chris Figenshau
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E X P L O R I N GSUMMITSERIES FUELS PROGRESS IN THE UNKNOWN
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24 MALTE BRUN: ADVENTURE CLIMBING ON THE MATTERHORN OF THE SOUTH BY KEITH SCOTT
34 CLIMBER PROFILE: CRAIG HOUSTON BY DANIEL KRIPPNER
42 ON SIGHT: CLIMBING PHOTOGRAPHER PROFILE PETER LAURENSON
46 GENDER EXPECTATIONS A study of the normative gender expectations that mediate female climbers relationship decisions
BY ESTHER PACKARD-HILL
10 The Sharp End Comment and opinion
20 Climbing News and Events
48 Books and Films
51 Stuff You Need
56 The Last Pitch
C O N T E N T SI S S U E 8 8
ON THE COVER Mark Dewsbery between Double Cone and Single Cone on the Remarkables after the first snowfall of winter, 2014. GUILLAUME CHARTON
Bivouac staff members Dave Laffan & Silvia Horniakova Mount AdamsPhoto: Jeremy Herbert
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4 THE CLIMBER ISSUE 88, WINTER 2014
John Yu climbing at Margarets Leap, Tukino, Mt Ruapehu. Tukino Skifield area, on the wild east side of Mt Ruapehu, offers a good variety of ice and mixed cragging options. The Auckland, Central North Island and Wellington sections of NZAC run an annual ice climbing meet based at the superb Tukino Alpine Sports Lodge. This year the meet will happen on 1213 July.
PHOTO: FRASER CRICHTON
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An economic system which can only expand or expire must be false to all that is human. Edward Abbey, from his book Desert Solitaire, a memoir and reflection on wilderness and human values, written during his time liv-ing in the Utah Desert.
Kiwi climber Dave Hood was in Yosemite when the US Federal Government announced its budget deficit solution, which included closing all federally operated parks. The date was 1 October 2013. Camp 4 was shut down and approximately 100 dirtbag residents were evicted. Dave joined the mass exodus heading east towards the Interstate and Indian Creek. Fortunately, Indian Creek is state-operated, so it remained open throughout the shutdown. Dave takes up the story: I had been climbing with a Polish crack specialist (Slawomir Cyndecki). No one could pronounce his name, so we called him Swav. Together Swav and I rented a car and drove through Death Valley and on to Indian Creek. When we arrived, we found that most of the Camp 4 dirtbags were already there. In no time we were reunited with our friends and drinking beer around a campfire. The next morning we awoke to a desert sunrise over the red sandstone columns and Supercrack Buttress waiting silently in the distance.
As Dave started up Coyne Crack (5.11d/24), on Supercrack Buttress, photographer Julie-Anne Davis happened to walk past and stopped to take a few shots. One of the first things you learn as a climbing magazine editor is to embrace the bumshot. This image of Dave doing battle with the thin hands section of Coyne Crack is a magnificent example of the genre.
PHOTO: JULIE-ANNE DAVIS
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Canadian skier Pierre-Yves Leblanc below Pioneer Hut, Fox Glacier.
New Zealands high alpine huts like Pioneer, Chancellor and Kelman provide bases for some exceptionally good ski touring and ski mountaineering. But while these huts are easily accessible, thanks to helicopter
charters, it pays to keep in mind that the high nvs are not slack-country, theyre more like tiger country. Its essential to arm yourself with good preparation and experience before visiting these areas. Mountain Safety
Council offers excellent avalanche awareness courses, NZAC runs an introduction to backcountry skiing course (see page 14 for details) and professional ski guiding services are available through local companies
Alpine Guides, Alpine Recreation, Adventure Consultants and Queenstown Mountain Holidays.
PHOTO: STEVE EASTWOOD
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THE SHARP END
NZAC RESOURCESThe letter from Daniel Joll in the last issue of The Climber has set me thinking again about NZACs resources and priorities, especially on huts.
Unwin was the big problem when I was president, since it was very apparent that the club could not afford to put it right, but it was a problem affecting all accommodation.
There had been no effective plan to put enough funding aside for this purpose, and the Accommodation Fund that did exist was more or less used to meet cashflow shortfalls as they arose. This was partly because of a failure to appreciate just how much the world had changed. In the past, huts had been built largely through the efforts of members in the sections. But as compliance requirements and costs grew, and the number of competent volunteers went down, the business of repair-ing huts and building new ones could not be done in the old way. Huts were also reaching the age when extensive repairs or replace-ment was necessary.
Faced with fixing Unwin or pulling it down, the club had only one option, but the money wasnt there (in the view of some, because it had been hijacked by Homer). In the end the work had to be financed by borrowing, which puts into the future problems which should at least in good part have been dealt to in the past. This more expensive spending now needs to be met by income.
Should this income be raised by higher hut fees? Daniel is right that the clubs huts should always have space for members who are going climbingthey are what the club is about. Huts are also places where climbers meet and learn. But the money has to come from somewhere. Other club activities have a better chance of breaking evenpublica-tions for instance have advertising revenue, and more flexibility to increase prices. But for members, hut fees need at least to stay below the backpacker market. And the club should not be taking better-paying clients to the exclusion of members.
So, should other activities subside huts? Its true that the club is not a business, but it should be run in a businesslike way. A reason-able profit on all its activities is an acceptable objective in my view, and I guess (though Im not entirely convinced) that money made by the sections should also be raided for the greater good. Huts are a justifiable way to spend this income.
Government grants are helpful, but not guaranteed. A group of some 3000 people who indulge in an activity that many think is elitist or crazy may not always be seen by everyone as deserving of taxpayers money.
Whats left is subscription income. In the past there has been a great resistance to increasing subscriptions. This is understand-able, but while there may be members who find paying hardthe very young and the very old for examplemost climbers are able to pay, even after they have bought all their gear and many cups of coffee. They are also the ones who are using the clubs huts. A long-term plan for regular increases
to match increasing costs is necessary, but also an immediate increase to help shift debt as soon as possible. I believe members can be persuaded to understand all this, provided that we continue to look after the young and the old. Although its sometimes feared that increased subs will mean decreased member-ship, this doesnt seem to have happened to any significant or permanent extent in the past.
All members want the things that allow and encourage them to go climbing, and NZAC makes a very good job of providing these. We wont do members a service if we cant con-tinue with this because we havent thought clearly about how to pay for it.
THE STATUS QUO MY ASSOCIATION with the New Zealand Alpine Journal and The Climber magazine began in the 1950s. In those days the annual NZAJ could be bought in shops by the general public and the quarterly New Zealand Alpine Club Bullet