I first climbed the Northwest Ridge back in 2009 with Ross. On that occasion we were so focussed on getting up and back down again quickly that afterwards we both agreed that it would be good to do the route again just so that we could enjoy it! So near the end of July I went back with Brian for another go.
The forecast was the same for the next two days with a 30% chance of afternoon thunderstorms; not perfect but fairly typical. Ominously it bucketed down for a couple of hours at midday on the day that we hiked up to the bivy site.
It then rained again overnight. I swore that I'd never let myself get caught in crappy weather on Sir Donald. Nevertheless the next morning we went up to the col for a "look". How many times have we said that before? "Having a look" is the mountaineering equivalent of saying "hold my beer and watch this".
It was fun while it lasted as we enjoyed the warmth of the rising sun.
We pushed our luck and managed to get up to the highest bolted rap on the ridge about half way up. From this point we knew that we could get down in almost any weather. Right on cue it started raining and hailing and the rock became slick as motor oil in a matter of seconds. Down we went into the cold wet mist, cartoon legs skittering around as if we were wearing ice skates on a vertical skating rink.
All's well that ends well. Looks like we'll have to go back again.
Conditions Update Apr 11 2017
2 weeks ago