22 Jul 2014

Mountaineer conquers peak alone

2:20 pm on 22 July 2014

A mountain climber has completed what is being described as one of the most important accomplishments in New Zealand alpine history.

Mount Aspiring

Mount Aspiring Photo: RNZ / Steve Wilde

Guy McKinnon has completed the first solo climb, in winter, of the east face of Mount Aspiring's Pope's Nose - a feat only managed only once before, and then by a team of four climbers.

While the team who made that climb 24 years ago needed a helicopter, Mr McKinnon was able to climb the near vertical wall of rock and ice by himself.

The Climber magazine editor Kester Brown called Mr McKinnon's effort one of the finest achievements of the modern alpine era in this country.

He started his climb just after 9am last Friday morning and reached the summit five hours later.

He described his ascent as long and arduous and requiring a mental effort in excesses of anything he had previously done.