Amazing, the weather was kind to me for second weekend in a row. This time Bush Steam was the objective and I convinced another climbing partner, Nick Hanafin, to come along. All week long I noted down the freezing level, daily weather conditions, and recorded temperatures at Mount Cook Village. By Thursday I had reason to be cautiously optimistic. At the car park it looked like the indicator routes were just formed, although I couldn’t be certain. But I’m an optimist so it was plenty enough to convince me there would be something to climb.
Three hours walk later and I wasn’t disappointed. Just enough ice had formed on the South Face of Mount Brown to keep my entertained for a few days.
After cheese sandwiches, fruit cake and strong black tea we headed up the slope to attempt the middle unclimbed line on the lower right side of the face directly above the triangle shaped buttress in the photo. The upper section looked nice and steep.
A few short steep sections got us to the first pitch which Nick elected to climb.
Then I got the second pitch, it was awesome!
And another new route was born, called Deformed on Palpation, WI4+.
We did a bit more climbing the next day, but then despite being -7 at Lake Pukaki things seemed to get warm in the mountains and we got tired of breaking water spouts in the ice, so back to reality it was.