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Classen Glacier


True right of the Godley Valley.


Classen Glacier and Saddle
From Eade Memorial Hut follow the terrace up valley for about a kilometre before descending to the Classen Lake. Follow the true right of the lake to the moraine. A trough between the moraine wall and the Classen Glacier makes the travel a bit easier. Continue up the glacier around the bend keeping on the true right side. Pass the Joie de Vivre Glacier to the next glacier on the same side. Ascend this unnamed tributary glacier to a point roughly half way between Mt Phyllis and Classen Saddle. This point is marked as spot height 2178m (on map 260-I35, grid ref: 011-414). The icefall below Classen Saddle is generally not passable. An alternative route involves turning up the Joie de Vivre Glacier - the col at the head leads to the Aida Glacier, providing access to the head of the Murchison Valley.
Parties have also used the north side of the Classen Lake to gain the glacier: follow the Elizabeth Stream, which drains from its namesake glacier, until it turns north. Continue along the moraine shelf and then descend on to the Classen Glacier.
Descending to Murchison Hut
From the top of the tributary glacier (described above) descend in a south-west direction to join the Murchison Glacier. Continue across to the west side of the glacier until the Murchison Hut becomes obvious on a rocky shelf 150m above the glacier, situated under Mt Cooper.
Traversing to Tasman Saddle
Traverse on the Murchison side to Classen Saddle and then travel south-west toward a rock buttress (2225m) in the centre of the glacier. Turning to the north side of the buttress, pick the best line down into the Murchison Glacier before angling toward Tasman Saddle.

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Alex Palman