Icy roads on my frequent work trips to the West Coast have had me scouring the cliff faces above Arthur’s Pass for signs of frozen torrents and the onset of winter climbing conditions. Last Friday I finally decided it was time to have a closer look despite being only the first day of June.
Steve Fortune and I found just enough ice on the south face of Phipps Peak, next to Temple Basin ski field, for about 60m of fun easy mixed climbing before completing a Phipps-Temple traverse. A fun day out and a good warm-up for the season.
A few more weeks of cold temps will hopefully yield slightly fatter conditions. The area around the gully we climbed certainly has potential for more routes – watch this space.