New Route for British Team

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Oliver Metherell - 31/01/2005

On the 19th of January the British Ex-pat team of James Edwards, Kev Neal and Oliver Metherell made the first ascent of 24 Hour Party People, a direct line on the South Face of Mt Aspiring; the 'Matterhorn' of New Zealand. Edwards had previously tried the line in the Spring with another Ex pat climber, Dave Alderson; but the pair had failed due to a combination of a tiring 2 day wade through deep snow and a large section of overhanging rock that was devoid of ice. Alderson was unable to make the second attempt due to an illness, but two other soldiers of fortune willingly volunteered to step into the breach and grab the one day weather window between storms. The change in numbers allowed a bigger mixed rack to be carried and Edwards pushed on from the previous highpoint and climbed two further pitches of Scottish VII through the overhanging band on very dubious 'Wheat-a-bix' rock and thin blobs of plastic ice. These key pitches led to the centre of the face where leads were then swapped on 65 to 90 degree ice directly to the summit ridge. As per all good adventures, a north-westerly storm with winds gusting over 100kmph raced in during the decent reducing visibility in the darkness to a few metres and reminding them not to be complacent. The trio sat out the night in a bothy bag with Edwards and Neal managing a few hours sleep and Metherell suffering through the darkness in uncomplaining silence. A two day walkout over soggy crevassed glaciers, cols and down through steep forest saw the them close to the road head (and a stash of pre-placed beer) but not before an incident whilst crossing over one of several massively swollen rivers almost swept Neal over a waterfall to a soggy end.

24 Hour Party People, ED2, Scottish VII, 650m

Edwards and Metherell also made the first ascent of 'Pt 2072' by Matinee at D, 500m and the pair were joined by Neal for the first ascent on the Dasler Pinnacles of Petit Peuterey D, 800m.

The lads would like to thank CRUX, Patagonia, Pocket Mountains and Rossignol for their support.

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