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22yo NSW man dies on Mt Aspiring

11:34:09 AM
Always sad...

9:40:30 AM
For those of you who know Marc Freedman, unfortunately the news are not good...

SMH article this morning 4 Jan 2005.

I feel very shocked by the news, I don't know what to say - my blood pressure just dropped when I read the article...very sad. My thoughts go to Marc's family and friends. Marc was a very well-known star climber particularly amongst those in uni outdoors clubs at UNSW and USYD, as well as many climbing circles.

May he rest in peace.

11:32:28 AM
8:56:14 PM
I was talking to Marc in Unwin Hut a week and a half or so ago. Despite atrocious weather - lots of deep powder and more snow falling - he said that he just loved being out in the mountains. He loved what he was doing. My condolences to his family.
11:04:35 PM
The Ramp (where the fall occured) on the descent of Mt Aspiring can be dangerous. It's easy to become disoriented and go straight down, to where it gets steeper, rather than traversing along the ridge to easier ground---I've almost done this myself. Be careful out there people. Condolences to the family and friends of Marc.

7:20:09 AM
I was in NZ recently, and a friend that I met up with Garreth said that they were on Aspiring the same day that the climber went missing, they even ran into his friend when he was searching for the missing person.

8:53:31 AM
I was on Aspiring the week before the accident and I believe I ran into these guys at Aspiring hut on our way out while they were on the way up.

Conditions this year have been atrocious. We spent 5 days at the French Ridge Hut waiting for a weather window that never came. The freezing level only dropped down below 3000m for one night and the mountain was continously clagged in and it rained the entire time with the exception of one 6 hour spell. The combination of rain, high freezing level and high winds (up to 140kmh one night) have dramatically changed the conditions of the routes. Also, the snow is having difficulty in firming up, leading to soft conditions (especially on the Ramp).

We got a glimpse of the peak on our way out, shortly before bumping into these 2 climbers (I believe) and there was an incredible amount of rock exposed along both the SW ridge and NW ridge routes (bring rock gear).

This season is proving to be volatile in NZ, so take extra care this season if you are heading over (apparently worst summer in 60yrs). Also, please consider that there are better peaks to bag if you are looking to climb your first summit. I was surprised at how many inexperienced mountaineers I ran into on the way in and out of Aspiring.

My sincere condolonces to all affected by this tradegy.

8:43:38 AM
Yeah, bring heaps os slings and a small rock rack. We just got back from Aspiring last week having climbed the NW ridge. Theres heaps of rock exposed. The SW ridge looks a bit better. The Ramp is out of action for the year now the Quarterdeck is a bit dicey now too. We were met by excellent weather with no wind and sunny conditions. The snow is getting really bad from around midday onwards with the high temp and sun. The freezing level has remained high for a fair while now too only dropping to 3500m while we were over there.
3:30:34 PM
Hey Bluerock, congrats on summitting NZ's 'sexiest' mountain

I climbed the ramp early 2002, and descended down the NW ridge. The descent became a 'team' effort as close to 20 people summitted that day. None of us had the new guidebook, so we sort of descended 'by feel', not really knowing if we were on route.

How did you guys descend?

If it was down the NW ridge, does the new guide clearly explained this?

How did the SW ridge look both for access and the crux section?

1:28:42 PM
Thanks Ant.
What a awesome day it was. Not as many climbers as we expected with the fine weather. We came back down the NW ridge most of the way. Instead of traversing the whole length of the NW ridge on the Therma glacier side we down climbed on to a snow ramp on the south side of the big butress. From there is was a matter of picking your back to Colin Todd on the Bonar. We didn't have a copy of the new guide so I'm not sure what it describes. We had a look at the ramp from the bottom but access was terrible. SW ridge looked good. Access was OK from the Colin Todd side. I can email some photos of the SW ridge.

10:02:04 AM
Hey bluerock, were you the guys that we met at Aspiring Hut (the ones who climbed Aspiring with Adventure Consultants?) ...we were there pretty much at the same time. It's no surprise to see so few climbers in the high mountains so far this last 2 weeks or so, the snow freeze level has been higher than 3-4,000 mts and the only thing people seem to be doing are rock routes (e.g. up Malte Brun, etc) ....unless snow conditions improve (i.e. get colder). Summer came with a force here in NZ Sth Island! :-)

There are 11 messages in this topic.


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