Climbing  The Darrans in winter

A short account of the winter climbing meet based at Homer Hut in the Darran Mountains (July 2015).

As an occasional climber, people like me make up the majority of climbers in this country. To be an advanced climber demands a level of commitment that most people simply can’t, or are unwilling, to make. Job and family obligations, distance from the mountains, availability of funds and of climbing buddies – to climb a lot demands the alignment of many planets, or the exclusion of most of them in favour of just one.

Although the chances of summiting diminish in winter – shorter days, extreme cold, increased avalanche potential; it’s this time of year that gives me the greatest satisfaction on a climb. When the conditions are right, the pristine environment, the joy of three points of firm contact on steep ground en route to an objective, from a predawn start into the glorious hues of a new day – it’s hard to beat that. Which brings me to the Darrans winter climbing Meet, which offers everything an occasional climber could want.

For a route map and more images


Peter Laurenson is a member of the Wellington section of the New Zealand Alpine Club.

For more images and info about Peter, visit