Raiding Rolleston Climb
7-10 November 2012
Ring-ring, ring-ring, My phone goes off, late on a Tuesday afternoon: ‘Hello.’ ‘Hi Hayden, it’s Dave here. Do you want to go climbing in Arthurs Pass with me and Stu? We’re flying down tomorrow.’ ‘Er um er, yeah ok.’
And with that I was on my way on an unexpected journey, with no idea what I had just signed myself up for. What a Bilbo Baggins I was.
The TTC raiding party had formed. With good weather on the forecast, and hoping for good snow conditions, our main objective was to climb Mt Rolleston.
Arriving in Christchurch, we mucked around getting the crucial supplies of pies and doughnuts, meaning our arrival into Arthur’s Pass was somewhat delayed, forcing a change of plan. With heated discussion we choose our best bet would be to start up the Coral Track and put a bivvy in high on Rome Ridge.
With that, we shouldered our heavy packs and started the steep plod up the Coral Track. We broke out of the tree line to encounter the first of the snow. Yes! What luck! The snow was good. I was quietly confident that we would make the summit.
With no sign of goblin infested caves for us to stay the night in, we cut a bivvy ledge in the snow and settled down for the night. A warmer night’s sleep was had by some than others who that decided that reducing weight by removing all but three feathers from their sleeping bag was the way to go.
First light and a warm cup of tea. We were off and skirted around the ridge to the Gap - a sharp dip in the ridge before the low peak of Rolleston. We made a couple of pitches to re-gain the ridge, and with the smell of treasure in the air we made it to Low Peak in reasonable time.
With a traverse around Middle Peak, we went straight back up to the ridge with a good lead by the Hutsonator and made it to the High Peak Rolleston. We kept on going along the ridge till we found a suitable place to abseil down to the Crow Glacier, and with a short unexpected explore of the bergschrund we made it to our lunch spot on the glacier.
On arrival at Crow Hut later that evening we settled down in what Stu and I thought would be a nice warm hut, except Dave in his fatigued thinking thought that we were still in a bivvy and kept on leaving the door open.
After a good night’s sleep, we make the journey up and over Avalanche Peak, only to encounter Smaug the kea circling over head when we stopped for lunch. We thought our lunches were done for but he only showed interest in stealing Dave’s water bottle.
A short couple of hours later we arrived back at the car footsore, sunburnt and tired but stoked about a successful trip.Big thanks to Dave for organising the trip and Stu and Dave for helping get me up there.
- Party members
- Dave ‘No Water Bottle’ Grainger, Stu ‘3 Feathers’ Hutson, Hayden ‘Hero Parade Hat’ Richards (Scribe).