Coxcomb Ridge

Type: 
Alpine
Reference: 
11
Pitch(es): 
#EwbankAlpine (Technical)Alpine (Commitment)Alpine (Mt Cook)AidWater IceMixedBoulder (Hueco)LengthBoltsTrad
1V3+0mNo
 

The first ascent of this long impressive ridge was made by Roy Beedham and Stuart Holmes on January 11, 1953. Two years previously, however, what very nearly turned out to be a successful ascent was made by D W Peacock, N O’Neill and M Pemberton, more or less by accident. After reaching a point estimated to be about 70 metres below the summit at 7pm they elected to retreat, eventually bivvying on the ridge at about 2835m, before returning to French Ridge the next day, minus success and the seats of their trousers. A few days later, having reached the summit by a more orthodox route, they were ruefully able to identify the point they had reached.
The ridge is reached from the head of the Bonar at a snow col just west of Pope’s Nose. A lower set of gendarmes are rather rotten, but above these the quality of the rock improves. Most parties have preferred to keep to the northern side of the ridge as much as possible to avoid verglas. Near the top of the lower section of gendarmes is a prominent overhang, which has been turned on either side. The overhang is followed by a long snow arête, towards the top of which the Coxcomb is joined by the North East Ridge. Above this is a further series of gendarmes separated by snow or ice arêtes and including a three metre drop which is usually jumped, or can be rappelled if necessary, before a final short snow arête leads to the summit.
Times for the route vary greatly. The ridge has been climbed in 5 hours; however, most competent parties in ropes of two could expect to take about 8–9 hours.

Grade: 
V 3+
Quality: 
0
Gone: 
0
Length: 
0m
Bolts: 
0
Natural pro: 
0
Ascent: 
Roy Beedham & Stuart Holmes, Jan 1953.
UUID: 
4dcb6b23-3627-4613-819c-dab6ccbfaa12