Aiguille Rouges North Face

Mount Cook

Superb spring skiing on a beautiful and open face.

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
1.3 km
Ascent
447 m
Descent
39 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.5 km
High Point
2.9 km
Gradient
54˚
Aiguille Rouges North Face  Map

The Aiguille Rouges is a beautiful mountain with striking red rock forming jagged towers and steep buttress. Some of the best alpine rock climbing in the range is to be found on these rock buttresses. Along with its neighboring peak Malte Brun, the Aiguilles Rouges is one of the most prominent peaks of the area. Again, like for Malte Brun, the main issue with this line is the access. Fortunately, there is talk of the Department of Conservation rezoning the heli access, potentially allowing for heli drops onto the upper Beatham Glacier in the future.

Description

The approach route for the Aiguille Rouges follows the same route as described for the Zig Zag route on Malte Brun. This line provides a quick half day outing from a camp on the upper Beatham Glacier. The North Face of the Aiguille Rouges can be climbed directly, topping out on the summit ridge. It averages around 40 degrees and con be a fantastic descent on transformed spring snow. The slopes are wide and open with little exposure and the line is best climbed and skied the same way up and down. Cramponing up the 500 meter high north side is perhaps the easiest way to reach the summit of the Aiguille Rouges which is steeper and more technical on every other side. The south-east face of the Aiguilles Rouges is a spectacular glacial face overlooking the Murchison Glacier while the west side of the mountain is full of steep rock towers.

Difficulty

Difficult

Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

September, October, November

Features

  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area