Thu 06 May, 2021 7:55 am
Veteran mountaineer Lindsay Maindonald said he was surprised and saddened to hear of the incident involving Phillips and Kirkwood.
“This affects our province. It's a sad day for all of us.”
Maindonald said trying to summit the mountain at this time of year was dangerous for the general public and inexperienced climbers.
Climbers would likely encounter verglas, a thin coating of ice or frozen rain on an exposed surface, which was prominent on the mountain during autumn.
“From now on when you've got anything that looks like snow up there you can say that it'll be ice,” he said.
“You can't really see it, it's like black ice on the road.”
The dark-coloured volcanic rock scoria also froze and became like concrete, which caused difficulty for even experienced climbers, he said.
“Even if the ice is not there the scoria freezes solid.”
Taranaki Alpine Club president Ivan Bruce said conditions on the mountain could be treacherous this time of year due to the change in seasons.
“It's extremely dangerous,” he said.
The North Ridge was the track most used by climbers, and it was no longer snow and ice free, which meant climbers needed to use crampons and ice axes.
“And they need to know how to use them,” Bruce said.
Sun 30 May, 2021 9:15 pm
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