A Furious Exaltation:
An Adventure in Alpine Climbing
Copyright (c) 2013 by Ronan Frost
Weather window: it was a phrase I had not heard before, but that was how a friend from the local alpine club framed his proposal; a rare forecast of perfectly clear weather sparking plans for an impromptu trip to Mt Tasman. And the kicker - I was invited. At that stage in life I had the fortune of being on extended holiday, after university and before working life. I was Australian and for several months had been living in a small town in the South Island of New Zealand riding my mountain bike, rock climbing, skiing and trekking.
Nick’s offer sounded great, but the catch was he was leaving early the next day. I had zero alpine experience and no mountaineering equipment, yet here was a chance of climbing the country’s technically most demanding peak for a rock bottom price. How could I not be tempted by such an adventure, so I began to consider the enterprise. First order of business was boots; a quick drive to Nick’s house revealed his old boots were too tight. The budget was tight, a trip to the local outdoor shop was out of the question. The only option left was to mountaineer in my old pair of cheap hiking boots. At the time Nick convinced me all would be fine and with bluff assurance said, “You’ll be tied in between me and Dave, you can’t fall anywhere!” I allowed myself to be swayed; I was young and invincible, I’d done plenty of rock climbing, I could handle this.