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Mt Hopkins

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POINT (169.96258763 -43.79088568)
BY15 556 469
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Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
 East Ridge, 3 3

The route of the first, and almost all subsequent ascents. From Faith Col
traverse around onto the Hourglass Glacier and then follow the original route
on the narrowing ridge to the summit. The climb is most frequently commenced
from the Richardson Glacier but parties have also ascended the route
beginning from the Dobson, and the Le Blanc Valleys.

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 3

South East Face South East FaceFarther from the Maddening Crowd, 5,IV 5,IV

4wd up the Dobson to Kennedy Hut. Approach via Tragedy Col to a bivvy site at Faith Col.
Motivated by the numerous parties climbing the nearby Vampire, we thought this face could be in condition.
A good ice climb, though difficult to protect at times, was found.

  • P1
  • Alpine (Technical) 5
  • Alpine (Commitment) IV

 South Ridge, 4,M4 4,M4

Mt Hopkins rises steeply from the Richardson Glacier. The climb has been
described as a real test piece. Follow the obvious spur upwards toward the
east ridge. Crux section is near three-quarter height. The rock strata
provides very little assistance to climbers hence the route is best tackled
when iced-up.

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 4
  • Mixed M4

for the record we described it as a test piece beacuse the crux was so steep for a ridge, even compared to face routes such as the Shiela face. All the technical difficulties involved mixed climbing and scraping soft snow off rocks to look for protection

 Gormenghast, 5 5

The South West face of Mt Hopkins is an awesome 900m high wall frowning down
on the head of the Richardson Glacier. The stunning face which can be seen in
profile from as far away as Dog Kennel corner east of Lake Tekapo, has long
been on some climbers minds.
Started walking early Wednesday morning. Thursday bivvied beneath the face
but didn't look up much. Except once or twice, and had to marvel at my own
audacity. This must be the mountain of mountains. And this must be the face
of faces. Even that sighting as you come through the MacKenzie country. This
distant tower with cloud banner, a sight to captivate any mountain enthusiast
Bill McLeod, personal communication 1993.
From the Richardson Glacier ascend the rib just right of the ice cliffs to
gain the snow shelf. Head left, and up two snow shelves. From the top shelf
climb the narrow gully which takes a straight line to the skyline and exit
thirty metres west of the summit. Close to the summit the gully fades out
then reforms and continues in an appealing thread to the very top.

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 5

 North West Face, 3 3

An obvious but exposed route on steep snow slopes leading from the summit of
Mt Hopkins down the face and providing access to Hope Col, and Black Tower. A
crevasse near the bottom of the slope can make late summer ascents

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 3

 North Buttress, 17,5+ 17,5+ 1100m

Descending from Le Blanc Glacier, if the narrow gully is broken head on to a
ledge on its true left (just above where the gully narrows). Three 50m
abseils to valley floor. The bottom half of the buttress is actually two
ridges which merge at half height. The left one (looking up) has better rock,
easy soloing (grade 10) for 500metres till reaching a snow shelf. Head up and
start again up ramps on the upper buttress. Another 100 metres of solid grade
12 solo, then 500metres of sustained grade 14-17 climbing (20+ pitches, we
simul-climbed some sections). The technical crux is high on the route.
Overall, the climb increases throughout in technical nature and commitment,
including very exposed summit ridge traversing. The rock is generally of good
to very good quality with enough protection, although there are some loose
plates high up.

  • P1
  • 17
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 5+
  • 1100m
  • Trad

 Le Blanc Glacier - East Ridge, 3 3

Ascend the Le Blanc Glacier by surmounting the choked gully at mid-height,
and continuing up the snowfield to join the original ascent route. The climb
involving over 1700m of height gain, and return can be completed in a long
day from the bivvy rock near the mouth of Romping Water.
This ridge of rotten rock is quite sensational. It is steep and narrow with a
tremendous drop on either side. ... The climb to the summit would have been
straightforward though exposed, had the ridge not been partially snowed up.
At one point we had to make a nasty detour on to very steep snow-covered rock
on the Le Blanc face. We double-roped down the ridge at this point on the way
back. We reached the summit at 1.15pm after some careful climbing. It was
another wonderful view, this time including the Hopkins Valley. At this hour
we did not consider attempting the big task of traversing on to the virgin
peak. Time, perhaps, was not the only factor.
Earle Riddiford, New Zealand Alpine Journal, 1948.

  • P1
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 3


is the north ridge ,Bazley/Hersey,2006, the same feature described as the north buttress? or is the buttress still unclimbed?

Fri, 08/02/2013 - 22:00 Permalink