Mountaineering typically involves a mix of bushwalking or backcountry skiing, rock climbing, and ice climbing to climb a peak. In many ways mountaineering is the culmination of a variety of outdoor skills into one sport. Easy routes usually involve a steep walk up a snow-covered slope, and maybe a little rock-scrambling, easily climbed by amateurs with just an ice axe. More difficult routes may involve sections of steep or overhanging rock and ice, requiring a full rock and ice climbing rack. Normally this all takes place in remote areas in difficult and glaciated terrain. Due to Australia’s general lack of significant mountain ranges, most club activity takes place overseas. Training and practice trips are often run in the alpine regions of Victoria and New South Wales.
From Melbourne, the most accessible region for mountaineering is the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Club activity generally takes place in the Aoraki/Mt Cook area – about 4 hours drive from Christchurch. At least a week is need to visit and attempt a climb. Training trips have been run to Mt Feathertop and Hotham (4 hours drive north east of Melbourne) but scope also exists on Mt Buller and Mt Bogong. Club members have climbed further afield in Europe, North America and South America.
Equipment required is the same as rockclimbing but with the addition of ice tools, crampons and climbing boots. Snow stakes, ice screws and pitons are also used to set up snow and ice anchors. Since mountaineering trips also take numerous days, complete camping equipment and clothing is also required.
If you have any questions please contact the mountaineering convenor.