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The preferred access route from the Dobson to the Hopkins Valley but named for a fatal accident on the Dobson slopes on 1 January 1947. Access from the Dobson Valley floor is made difficult by steep bluffs which are best negotiated at a point near the upper edge of the large fan which pushes the river over to the eastern side of the valley. The route begins opposite Waterfall Hut and the beginning of the route is marked by a series of cairns.
Jim Dawson, Lindsay Stewart, February 1938
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Climb diagonally up the gentle western slope of the Neumann Range from a point directly behind the Richardson Bivouac site, to the lower part of the range nearly two km south of Prudence Peak. Descent to the Dobson Valley is difficult. The col is named for a fatal accident on the Dobson side in 1947. When descending this route (to the Dobson Valley) make sure you are far enough to the south of Prudence Peak, and then make for the prominent outlier [H37, GR 657 049]. Once off the upper snow slopes move diagonally south keeping above the bluffs. The gorge of the stream will prevent overshooting the cairns before the get-down route starts [H37, GR 661 039]. The col should be crossed early in the day before snow conditions deteriorate on the Dobson Face.
Scott Gilkison, Harry Stevenson, New Zealand Alpine Journal, 1956
There are a number of peaks on the range south of Tragedy Col which appear to be feasible climbs, and Peak 2356 is the highest of these. But the steeply sloped western side of the Dobson Valley appears to have deterred all climbers.
A stream, usually choked with avalanche debris, issues from between steep rock walls. Start of up the stream bed, then follow up a steep grassy gully on the true left (north) side. Near the top of the gully the route swings around to the left and then back to the right around a big rock to where a series of cairns leads to the top of the bluffs. Thence climb diagonally to the right along a sloping bench, until the final snow slopes are reached leading directly to the col.
Scott Gilkison and Harry Stevenson, New Zealand Alpine Journal, 1956.