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Moonshine Buttress

Part of

From the Explorer Glacier.
Upper Fritz Range. Not a named peak. NW of Conway and SW of Barnicoat

POINT (170.21187 -43.529)
BX16 7472 7664
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Reference Title Grade Length Pro Quality Operations
 Poor Visibility, 5,III 5,III

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

On the left of the Moonshine Buttress is a nice six pitch line of ice with a wee mixed section. It follows the upper right arm of a prominent ‘X’ on the left side of the buttress. The first ascentionists descended using V-threads.

 Visually Impaired, IV,5+ IV,5+

  • P1
  • Alpine (Commitment) IV
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 5+

Climb a thin ribbon of ice immediately right of Moonshine Buttress. The crux on the first ascent was a short, narrow chimney, followed by a few metres of overhanging ice. Another full pitch high on the route was very thin, with near to no protection. The amount of reliable protection may vary with ice conditions. Descending the route was difficult and serious due to lack of anchors. In similar conditions, it may be better to abseil down the north ridge of Conway to the col, and then down an easy snow gully.

 Moonshine Buttress, 17,4 17,4

  • P1
  • 17
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 4

Climb the south-west rib from the névé for about nine rope lengths on good rock. Sustained grade 14/15 climbing with a crux of 17. The route weaves its way up the pinkest rock to the right of the broad flat buttress. Although descending into the Franz is possible it is not recommended. Abseil the route, using a range of fixed gear. A superb route – put this one on the list.

 The Silver Fox, 4,II,4- 4,II,4-

  • P1
  • Alpine (Technical) 4
  • Alpine (Commitment) II
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 4-

A couloir to the left of the peak contains one steep pitch (65-70o). Arriving on the ridge west of the peak, traverse the summit and descend to Frenchay Col.

 Right Couloir, 3,II,2+ 3,II,2+

  • P1
  • Alpine (Technical) 3
  • Alpine (Commitment) II
  • Alpine (Mt Cook) 2+

Ascend a couloir to the right of Conway onto the Main Divide and traverse to the summit.

AORAKI TAIPOUTINI a Guidebook for Climbers, Rob Frost 2018