From the 1980s mountaineering in New Zealand became increasingly technical with the development of new clothing and equipment. This climber on the ‘ramp’ on the north-west ridge of Mt Aspiring has a synthetic wind-stop fleece jacket, plastic boots with 12-point crampons, and a protective helmet. He is carrying two short-shafted ice tools (in place of the old heavy ice axes), light but strong synthetic ropes, karabiners, and a snow-stake anchor – a New Zealand development. With front-pointed crampons and ice tools, climbers no longer have to cut steps.
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Photograph by Andrew Caisley
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