Beth Epstein & Kim Gimenez • Mount Aspiring • New Zealand • January 2003

Beth Epstein and Kim Gimenez of the Los Angeles area joined us for 5 days in New Zealand. Our goal was mainly to have fun but also to climb Mount Aspiring or whatever else appealed in the process. As you can see from the photos below, the weather was a bit problematic. But climb it we did, on our 4th day, in a tiny window of reasonable weather. The coming rains forced us to hike out the long but very beautiful French Ridge, on the same day as our summit climb! But it was well worth it.

Other Recent Trips

Kathy Kim and Beth load up the helicopter for the flight in. A quick 10 minutes (if that) in the air saves 2 hard days of difficult hiking and climbing (which we got to sample on the way out).


Bevan Col, where the helicopter dropped us off. From here it a little over an hour's walk to the Colin Todd Hut which lies on the small ridge just up and left of the middle climber's, Kim's, purple pack. The day we flew in was beautiful, the last of the trip.


The Hut and Mount Aspiring on day 1. We eventually took the Ramp up and came down the NW Ridge, the rocky ridge coming directly towards the camera. Near the bottom of the ridge, we dropped onto the "Kangaroo" a snowpatch under the big dark rock triangle vaguely shaped like a kangaroo heading left.


On our first day we went for a "stroll" up the first bump of the Rolling Pin, a peak not far from the hut. Kathy leads up a "variation" on the final rocks.


Coming down off the Rolling Pin bump we enjoyed a bit of good rock near the hut. Even though New Zealand is famous for its terrible rock there are occasional bits and pieces of good stuff to enjoy.


The infamous Kea. These remarkably large "alpine parrots" are both a pleasure to watch and a curse. They are known for flying off with anything left outside, or, if its too big to carry, tearing it to shreds with their powerful and sharp beaks. As you can see, they are pretty accustomed to humans. I was about 2 feet from this one when this photo was taken.


Kathy preparing something? inside the Colin Todd Hut. The hut was a very welcome refuge in the days of poor weather we had at the start of the trip.


After a day or so of hard rain, the weather just begins to clear. The view from just outside the hut.


Our summit day. Looking north we can see the Rolling Pin on the left and Stargazer peak on the right. The high clouds signal incoming bad weather.


Kim and Kathy, just at the top of the Ramp. We are looking southwest. Mount Earnslaw is the big double summitted peak in the center of the skyline. More high clouds are lurking.....


Kathy, Kim and Beth on the summit. Day 4.


After a quick photo session on the windy summit, we came down, back to the hut for a quick lunch, before packing up for the descent. Because the forecast was poor we knew flying out was not likely. Our only option was to start the hike out the same day as our summit climb. Here we are, at about 6 PM, heading down the French Ridge. We have just stepped off the glacier and it is clear sailing from here to the lovely French Ridge Hut. The clouds are building for the next onslaught.


The following day, walking down the French Ridge below the hut. Intermittent sun and rain showers made for difficult but occasionally beautiful hiking.


Lower down in the West Matukituki Valley on the walk out.

All images, layout and text ©2003 Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides, All Rights Reserved