Location: South 45.07151, East 168.80765 (GPS on the summit)
Difficulty: YDS class 4
Climbed January 6. 2015.
How to get there:
Driving south towards Queenstown on Hwy. 6, do not enter Queenstown, but
continue south on Hwy. 6. You will then easily locate the access road to the
Remarkables ski area, going left. Take this road and drive steeply uphill to parking at the ski area.
This is the trailhead, location S45.05251, E168.81306, elevation about 1590 meter.
This is a quick summary and reference to climbs made on this trip.
From the parking, head uphill in the main valley, then pick up a signed and very
tourist trail marked for Alta lake. Follow this
a short stretch to the lake. You will
see the mountains across the lake and a distinct pass on the left side, uphill from the
lake. Continue along the trail (on the left side of the lake), the trail has several
branches here. head towards the steepish slope just below the col. The trail will soon be
more visible and climb the slope up and into the col, called Wye Pass.
Go right and ascend to the plateau
above the pass. Follow this terrain left, a gentle uphill, while
keeping your distance to the mountain.
Higher up, this route bends right and finally
gets to the steeper slope below Single Cone. There are some cairns showing the way.
The very distinct gully near the top may
be visible from below. Ascend on a line that runs well left of this gully. The terrain
is broken with big slabs of rock and good friction. Further left is generally easier than
right. You may find a route up here at class (YDS) 2+, possibly only class 2. Further right
you will run into class 3 terrain. Once you have reached an elevation that roughly matches
the lower section of the key gully, traverse right and find an obvious ramp that serves as
access to the gully. The gully may be snow filled in early season. Most parties will
likely rope up here. Climb (pretty easy) to the base of the gully, then up the gully.
There are a few fixed anchors along the way that one may clip into.
When the gully tops out, there are two options. The easiest way is to cross the small
saddle, then walk around and up to your right. Easy, but somewhat exposed. The alternative
is to stay on the same side of the gully, turn right and climb about 2 meter, a steep
step that likely is the hardest move on this route (not very hard). Once up, what remains is an
easy walk to the summit block, then a final, very short scramble to get on top.
We drove down to the Remarkables in the morning. While we were driving,
a magnitude 6 earthquake happened a bit further north. We did not see or feel
anything and got this news afterwards.
We were ready to hike by 0730. It was a beautiful morning as we ascended to
Alta lake om a good trail, obviously, many people walk this section. Alta lake
is well known, since it represented Dimrill Dale in the films Lord of the Rings.
We took a trail that ascended left of the Wye Pass, thus we needed to traverse right and
actually descend a bit to reach this col. On returning, we found the correct trail that
connects directly down to Alta lake. As we got higher, the details of Single Cone became
clear and we soon spotted the gully, still having snow near the top.
We scrambled up (YDS) class 3 terrain, traversed to the beginning of the ramp and
started climbing from there. Pål Jørgen led and all 4 moved on running
belays. As he did not look across the final saddle, Pål moved right and climbed
the final steep step. We all followed and truly
enjoyed a fine summit with good
sunshine and spectacular views in many directions.
The view down to lake
Wakatipu is just a very unique sight.
The connecting ridge to Doublecone
looked quite rugged, more so than the descriptions
one can read about this traverse.
We arrived on top around 1045 and enjoyed this
very nice location for a
bit more than 30 minutes. Mount Aspiring
caught our attention, as it turned
out, we would approach it the same evening. The standard route is the ridge on the
right hand side as seen from Singlecone.
The descent was just a nice continuation.
We abeiled down the gully,
then walked down
a bit further right than our line of ascent. Back at the car by 1430.
The day was perfect what regards the weather and the forecast for the next day was also
very good indeed. We had read about the unstable weather and the strategy to travel up to
Bevan Col by helicopter, then
climb Mount Aspiring the next day, in order to maximize the chances
of good weather on the summit climb. Thus, we called ahead and made arrangements to fly to
Bevan Col the same evening.