Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Shelley and I headed over to Queenstown for the festival, not really sure what to expect. I guess this would have been the same for festival organiser Daniel Joll, as this was the inaugural event. We turned up for registration at the Frankton Ale House on Thursday evening, and found the pub filled with keen climbers, all chatting excitedly about the long-weekend's prospects. More than 100 climbers had registered for the event. Aged legends rubbed shoulders with wide-eyed newbies. The vibe was positive...and exciting. The event was the first of its kind ever to run in New Zealand and, by the looks of things, nearly all the top alpine climbers active in NZ had turned up. The next morning Shelley and I drove up to the Remarkables ski field car park. I'd never seen so many alpinists gathering in one place. The feeling was infectious. Everyone wanted to climb! Along with a friend Sally Ford, we hiked over to Wye Creek to tune in to the ice. Despite a warm temperature, the ice was still in reasonable condition.