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FIRST ASCENT OF MOUNT ARROWSMITH.

HEIGHT OP PEAK, 9171 FEET. ABiwrosMmTro umw itau]•:. Mil 11. V. WRIGHT'S SL'U-KSSFUL JiXI'ICDITION. iLr Wright has kindly .sujjpiLxl us with tho following intcrestin" account of a rooont uxpoilitimi to tho head <,f lUugitata and his ascent, accompanied by .Mr J. ]'. .Murphy, tho well-known Mount Cook guide: — I<eaving Diincdin on February 1, I was joined at 'llinaru by J. I'. Mmphv, the Mount (Jook guide. lteaching 'Mount Somcrß by evening train, we drove on the Bame night to Hakaterc. Noon „ ex t thv found us at ".lunipedup l);)wns," 37 miles from Mount Somcrs, and near the forks of tho IlangitiUa. Here wo met Me«rs J. Simpson and T. Fyfe, of 'J.marii, wlio li_d junt returnwl irom an expedition on Urn Arrowsmith Itange. At 3 p.m. .Murphy Jind I start,,) w ilh heavy swags up the Luirence River, ami c-tnpnl ior Iho night some eight miles irp in a lovely patch of bush. Proceeding next morning, wo bivouacked at 4 p.m. Nt 6000 ft up at the Wad of the river. Next (by we looked forward to ;m easy conquest when we left our bivouac a't 5.15 a.m.; but, owing u> mistaken direction, found (flirselvis at i 1.30 a.m. near tho summit of Couloir Peak ami overlooking the Cameion Kiver. Arrowfiiiith lay ivuno two miles to our right, and •visa strongly defended by huge outliers' with ureal rock Imttmsos and giant cciidaniiwi. Wc descended to the 7000 ft love.l. Hero we crossed a very fair snow ]M«_ leading- from the (lameron Ither to tho liiuroncn lliver by a verv narrow snow couloir, rmc of the many which loads oft" this iieak, and which" necessitated pigeon-holing. Tlie climb from tho pass was ehielly iwk work. The ( uiow was soft- and trivtchennis, and we avoided it ;ts jiiiicli as |iossilile. We luul now ntul then to traverse «ome very stoop aretes and climb up and down ugly couloirs, ■which we .icc<jiii]>lislic'(l without, the slightest mishap. Several times we felt \w. ha<l come to an impasse and would have to retreat and try some other route. However, the sound nature of the red Tocks stood lis iii t,wnl stciwl, and .Murphy always managed to find some way over or .(Mind. ' Some 300 ft from the top wo rnmiintercd a largo tower, wilh a vortical drop on the east into the Cameron and almost vertical into the J/aiirence. II was impossible to climb over. One small chimnny leading round and upwards oll'eri'd. The rofio was fiaid out foot by foot. Murphy disappeared, coming into view SOft aliove. 1 followed, breathing freely when tho Inst foot <if ropo was takeii in. From a snow peak, the highest point on Iho arete, we had an excellent view of tho point ton tho easUirn rib reached by Manncring and his parly many yearn At 12.15 wo had gained tho summit, and tho honour of Dm first ascent of this ffimowhal inaccessible, (took. Tim view from the tup was of grisvt extent. All tho giant* of the Southern Alps stood out fitrikingly, mid innumerable minor snow jicak* lay armmd its, piximiiieut amongst we.ro wore .Mounts Tyndall, Malcolm, and Gould. To the north-norlli-wflsl l;iy .Mount. Wliit«miW, with tho Whitooni'W Pass showing clearly. After Unking a few photos, wo descended to <mr camp, Inving been jiifit 12 hours on tho trip. S<at day we swagged back tho 16 miles to " .lumpcd-un Downs." Tho sun was WisUiring hot, and wo waded down llio river mosl of the. way. Tho I«iure.nco riMiiiuda one o( tho lloos in tho Wakatipu district, tho open river Hal and fine patches of beech, tnlara, and giwa oontrtbuUng to Uiia cited. Tho lateral moraino of tho Iztuiencc (llacic.r, flt tho head of the river, is rathor unique. Wing koiiio 200 ft high and peaked up at so sharp an angle that walking on il is almost impossible. Seven and a-half miles from Iho present glacier Ihero w ft large lerminM iiKiriiino of black WuUlors round which" tho river debouches, leaving the moraine in its original fonn. Wo rcmaincxl at, "Jumpwl-iip Downs" for three days waiting for Wtter weather conditions. At 9.15 on February 0, an tho barometer was ris ; ng, we made a start in drilling rain for our rather long IravorM) of over 50 miles to the Hermitage. Ity 1.30 wo had rtwehed a creek brandling off tho Havolocl; River, and lying next to llio Forbes River. It was unnamed, and as wc wero the first (so far n*t wo can ascertain) to ascend it 1 christoned the stream and glacier the " Murphy," after my companion. Tim first two miliM proved exceedingly rough. Sleet was falling thickly, and wo wero glad lo get comfortably camped at the 3000 ft level. An early start next morning, wilh a clear sky, brought us by 8.30 a.m lo tho terminal faco of the Murphy Glacier. After traversing the phirirr weerossed a p.w at the 6600 ft level lying south-wist of Mount D'Aivhiao. We ascended an unnamed peak lying at the head of llio Macaulay lliver, Fitzgerald Stream, and Murphy Crock, our aneroid rogirioring it at 8000 ft. From this peak Mount 1) Arcliiao pnwnted an imposing appearance; coverod with nvenl rhow, its precipitous sides towerisl tip into the (sky a perfect, shaft of gloaming white. From the south Ihero is nothing finer in tho Southern Alps. It was climbed about two vears ago bv Meters t l. I!. Deiiistoun, ]~ M. Karl, and J. M. Clarke. Hearing koiilli fivm our view point Brow the noble peak Mount. Sihliald, with five gbciers coming away fMtn it. and feeding the Macaulay River. lVlow us lay tho Fitzgerald Stroani, with its fourmile long glacier, which is hardly rliowii on tho map. Wo prwccdwl down the Fitzgerald, travorsmt; its glacier and following its right bank until wo struck the Uodloy CLuier. a half-milo above the terminal faco. Crossing the flodloy, wo camped at 6 p.m. on a low spur „t tho forks of tho Godley and Ghuvon Glaciers. On lM'bniary 11 we struck camp at 5.?0 a.m., nsriMidmg the Glasvon, and at 10.15 were on lop of the saddle ovor)ix>king the Muivhison. As neither of us had previously Ixvn down tho Murcliisou, we docided to take thiß, tliough rather the longer, route. Wo found excellent travelling down tho glacier, but tho thrtvmiles of moraine wero fearfully rough. The river was too high to ford, and we had

considerable trouble in getting round a bad bluff, fully an hour being spent in doing 150 yards. I'y 7 p.m. wo had struck the Tasinan, and by 8.50 were rwroiving a welcome from the party at Hie Hall lint. Next morning we proceeded to the ilennitage, and so ended a Itiiifj travenso over moiintaint;. glaciers, moraiiu's, and \\x<t*& wliicb was highly interesting, anil affordes ample room for further explorations. The outstanding features of the trip were its somewhat unusual length, three first ;i<v,v!ils. and the first traversing of liie Murphy and Fitzgerald Glaciers.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT19120223.2.10

Bibliographic details

FIRST ASCENT OF MOUNT ARROWSMITH., Otago Daily Times, Issue 15385, 23 February 1912

Word Count
1,160

FIRST ASCENT OF MOUNT ARROWSMITH. Otago Daily Times, Issue 15385, 23 February 1912

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