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Climbing expeditions don't always involve ice, snow and bitter cold. Alexander and I decided to do a traditional walk-in approach of the iconic New Zealand mountain, Mt. Apsiring; the blazing sun, wading through rivers and climbing through dense Beech Forest proved to be our first challenge. At times, the forest track was so steep that we were literally climbing the trees. All this with our heavy climbing packs on, full of rock climbing and ice climbing gear and four days worth of food.
Mt. Aspiring is a beautiful peak just north of Queenstown. Our father has spent many seasons training there, including completing the first ski descent off the summit.
Unfortunately, poor weather conditions proved our undoing as we climbed higher up the mountain. But this in itself is still good training. When you are climbing into a potentially bad situation, turning back is the best mountaineering decision you can make. After all, the summit is only half way.
Photography by Alexander Hillary