Working as Ski Patrol at Porter Ski Field
February 8, 2016
Home at Gorge River January 2016
February 9, 2016

Climbing Mitre Peak, Milford Sound

View along to ridge tot he top.

View along to ridge tot he top.

View along the ridge to the top.

In 2010-11 when I was sea kayak-guiding for Rosco’s Miford Sea Kayaks I had the opportunity to climb Mitre Peak. At 1700m it is the highest mountain in the world rising straight out of the sea. It took me 9 hours round trip to climb up and return to the bottom. To get to the start of the climb it’s a 30 minute kayak and I started this at about 4am so as to get an early enough start. It’s not too hard to climb but the main factor is the exposure. For about 4 hours in the top section of the climb you are subject to extreme exposure.  You are climbing a very narrow tussocky ridge with a 1500m drop into Sinbad Gully on one side and a 1700m drop on the other side into the fiord below. One slip, one stuff up and your dead. The year before a person had actually fallen and died on this climb. She was using ropes to descend the crux part of the climb.

I decided not to use ropes and instead climb faster on the easy parts thus giving myself more time to go very slowly and carefully on the harder parts of the climb. And I decided to climb by myself; no one to slow you down, no one to knock down rocks.

I was very lucky to make it home alive that day. I passed someone on the hardest, most exposed part of the climb and as he crossed above me he dislodged a rock, about 10cm in diameter, which whistled past my head within arm’s reach. Had I been hit it wouldn’t have taken much to knock me off the very small ledge I was standing on.

I still remember this day as one of the best days of my life. Living on the edge in full concentration for 4 hours gives you such an intense thrill!!
Starting in the dark

Starting in the dark

The moon was up as I paddled from Deep Water Basin to Sinbad Gully, the start of the climb.

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On the Footstool, (600m up) at sunrise.

On the Foot Stool, (600m up) at sun rise.

View along to ridge tot he top.

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View along the ridge to the top.

Sterling falls

Stirling Falls

Looking back down tot he village

Looking back down to the village

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Looking into Sinbad Gully

looking into Sinbad Gully

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One of the hardest down climbs on the tussocks.

One of the hardest down-climbs on the tussocks.

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Loose rocks with a scary drop!

Loose rocks with a scary drop!

Extreme Exposure, 1700m into the ocean!

Extreme exposure! 1700m into the ocean!

1500m stright down into Sinbad Gully

1500m straight down into Sinbad Gully

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Small platform on the top of Mitre Peak

Small platform on the top of Mitre Peak

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On the top! 1700m

On the top! 1700m

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Sterling falls

Stirling Falls

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The hardest part of the climb

The hardest part of the climb

 

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Made it!! Back at the bottom.Made it!! Back at the bottom.

 

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