North Shoulder of Mt Tasman

Mount Cook

A remote and exposed ridge traverse to a perfect summit

Also in Canterbury, New Zealand

Alpine Climbing Difficult

Distance
11 km
Ascent
1.4 km
Descent
1.4 km
Low Point
2.4 km
High Point
3.4 km
Gradient
24˚
VIEW ON MAP
North Shoulder of Mt Tasman Map

Description

The North Shoulder is the easiest and most popular way to ascend Mt Tasman. It still only receives a handful of ascents each year and despite its relatively easy climbing, its remoteness and sustained nature make an extremely challenging and committing outing.

A selection of ice screws, a 60m rope and two snow pickets will be useful for most teams on this route.

Make a very early start from the Pioneer hut, crossing the Albert Glacier and heading round the edge of Mt Haast to access Haast Corner, a snow gully sandwiched between Mt Haast and the glacier. Beware of rockfall in this area. Ascend Haast Corner to a heavily crevassed section of glacier before easier angled glacial terrain leads up to Marcel Col (2,987m). A short but steep climb up the broad snow ridge of Lendenfeld Peak leads to its summit at 3,194m. Take a good view at the condition of the North Shoulder of Mt Tasman here to work out whether you should ascend the ridge or traverse the east face to find a gap in the bergschrund.

Descend down the steep snow ridge from Lendenfeld to a narrow snow arete to Engineer Col (3,093m). Start ascending the sharp snow ridge towards the bergschrund. In good conditions it's possible to ascend the ridge directly via one steeper pitch of snow/ice. In normal conditions teams will traverse onto the east face and find a way through the bergschrund to regain the ridge.

Spectacular and easier ridge traversing leads to the more open summit of Mt Tasman and a chance to nurse tired calves! Retrace your steps back to the Pioneer hut.

Difficulty

Difficult

The beginning of truly technical terrain which might involve pitched climbing on rock and/or ice, exposed terrain and complex route finding in ascent and descent. Equivalent to AD, AD+

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Much of the route is difficult to protect and a fall could be disastrous at certain points.

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

January, February, December

Equipment required

  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit
  • 2 Ice Axes

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area