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NZ 2009 Photos

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Author Topic: NZ 2009 Photos  (Read 782 times)
« on: August 21, 2009, 03:06:58 pm »

BTW....that Empress Hut was the highest building in NZ (in terms of the altitude of the site, rather than the height of the actual building) when it was sited way up above the Empress Glacier at the head of the Hooker Glacier. It was replaced a few years ago with a flash new hut of a considerably larger size on a site very close to where the original hut was sited. Once the new hut was completed, the original Empress Hut was lifted out by helicopter and put in storage until the new National Park Visitor Centre was opened at Mount Cook Village earlier this year, then the hut was put on public display.

The Empress Hut site is where Tom Fyfe, George Graham and Jack Clarke set up their overnight bivouac on Christmas Eve 1894 before the final assault on the High Peak of Aoraki on Christmas Day 1894, the first succesful conquest of the highest point on the mountain. The route they took was up the couloir from the head of the Hooker Valley to Green's Saddle, then up the North Ridge onto the summit ice cap, then by cutting steps in the ice straight up to the summit. It is regarded as one of the most extreme routes on the mountain and wasn't used again for an ascent for another seventy years. Even today, it is seldom climbed because of the extreme difficulty and danger of the route. Tom Fyfe's team climbed it in hobnail boots and tweed jackets!
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