Mount Talbot's East Ridge • New Zealand • January 2003

Our climb of Talbot started off as an attempt on Tutoko, the "classic" alpine peak in New Zealand's impressive Darran Mountains. But Tutoko involves a long and difficult hike into Turner's bivy (a comforting rock) and our weather window would have had us crashing through brush, on our way in, while enduring pouring rain. So we elected to do a one day climb with our one day window. Talbot looked good and the East Ridge even got two stars in the guide book (though absolutely no indication of how hard it was). And, last, we figured that it would even be dry after all the rain of the previous days.

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Oh, what to do on a rainy day? Well, one option is to hike into look at the "Chasm". DOC has kindly furnished a fine walkway to view this erosional wonder, a narrow gorge with rumbling waterfalls and fantastically weathered rocks. Its a jungle down here.


The night before our climb, as the weather began to clear. The view from our tent.


Talbot, as seen from the valley below. The East Ridge is the right skyline. Homer saddle is just out of view around the corner to the left.


The very pleasant hike up to the East Ridge starts with a walk up to Black Lake, just below Gertrude Saddle.


The NE side of Mount Talbot. We climbed up to the snowpatch on the far left rock shoulder, climbed along the ridge to the summit and came down by the snow patches just left of the top. A fun climb and a great day's outing.


Looking back down the Hollyford River and the road heading to Milford Sound. You can see the deep U-shaped valleys for which the Darrans are famous.


Typical climbing on the East Ridge, on good granodiorite.


Looking down the East Ridge. Black Lake can be seen on the left edge of the photo.


Kathy on the summit.


On the descent, Kathy has a look around Gertrude Saddle. Barrier Knob behind. The clouds are beginning to rise from the west.


Walking back down the slabs near Black Lake.


And, as the rains chase us back east, we find ourselves once again back in Wanaka, at the Glendhu Bay campground. Here Mount Aspiring bathes in distant sunshine.

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