Occasional Climber

Ball Pass, January 2018

Tracing the true left side of the Hooker River, not realising that the tourist trail now crosses the river higher up
Tracing the true left side of the Hooker River, with Aoraki Mt Cook in the distance
In scrubby terrain on the true left of the Hooker River, at about 850m
Aoraki Mt Cook (3,724m)
Crossing above one of several large slips on the moraine beside Hooker Lake
On the true left of Hooker Glacier moraine, heading towards Aoraki Mt Cook
On the true left of Hooker Glacier moraine, heading towards Aoraki Mt Cook
On the true left of Hooker Glacier moraine, heading towards Aoraki Mt Cook
On the true left of Hooker Glacier moraine, looking back to the end of Hooker Lake and the Sealy Range
Nearing the terminal moraine of Hooker Glacier, with another large slip in the foreground
The upper Hooker Glacier, with La Perouse (3,078m) at left, Aoraki Mt Cook (3,724m) right
On the true left of Hooker Glacier moraine, beyond the terminal moraine, on a tussock shelf. The steep snow chute forming the lower section of the Ball Pass route is top right
Mount Cook lilies, with Aoraki Mt Cook behind
On the true left of Hooker Glacier moraine, beyond the terminal moraine, on a tussock shelf. The steep snow chute forming the lower section of the Ball Pass route is top right
On the true left of Hooker Glacier moraine, beyond the terminal moraine, on a tussock shelf, looking up the Hooker Glacier
Taking a break at about 1,200m, at the base of the first steep section of the Ball Pass route. A lack of cairns had us puzzled as to where to next for a while here
Looking up from about 1,300m towards the base of the snow chute, hidden above in this picture
A view back down the chute from about 1,300m to Hooker Lake
A view back down the chute from the bottom of the steep snow, from about 1,350m, to Hooker Lake
A view back down the steep snow, from about 1,450m, to Hooker Lake
Nearing a choke stone that cut the snow, at about 1,550m
Above the snow at 1,600m, on a large rock and tussock field that breaks up the west side of the Ball Pass route
Above the snow at 1,600m, on a large rock and tussock field that breaks up the west side of the Ball Pass route
On the large rock and tussock field, looking to Aoraki Mt Cook centre and the middle section of the Ball Pass route right
On the large rock and tussock field, looking to Aoraki Mt Cook and the upper Hooker Glacier
A closer view from the large rock and tussock field, looking to La Perouse (3,078m) and the upper Hooker Glacier
Ascending the middle section of the western side Ball Pass route, with Hooker Lake below
Ascending the middle section of the western side Ball Pass route, with Hooker Lake below
Rounding the ridge at about 1,700m, that leads to the upper section of the western side Ball Pass route. The Pass is in the obvious dip in the ridge above the snow
At about 1,700m, pondering the upper section of the western side Ball Pass route. The Pass is in the obvious dip in the ridge above the snow
A view from about 1,900m, looking back to the ridge that gives access to the upper section of the western side route
At about 2,000m, just below the Pass
The final snow free section leading on to the Pass. Kaitiaki Peak (2,222m) is behind
On Ball Pass (2,121m), here looking north to Aoraki Mt Cook
On Ball Pass (2,121m), here looking west to the Main Divide and Hooker Lake below
On Ball Pass (2,121m), here looking north east to the ANZAC Peaks left, the Minarets, Malte Brun Range centre and Liebig Range
On Ball Pass (2,121m), here looking back down the upper section of the western side route, with Hooker Lake below
On the snow field on the eastern side of Ball Pass, just before the camp site. Looking north are Turner Peak (2,338m), Pibrac (2,514m), Nazomi (2,925m) and Aoraki Mt Cook (3,724m)
A view from the camp site at 2,100m, looking northeast to the Minarets (3,040m) and the Malte Brun Range (3,195m). In the foreground is the rocky ridge that forms most of the eastern side Ball Pass route
A tiny tarn near the camp site
At our camp site, looking towards the Minarets
The camp site with Kaitiaki Peak above
The camp site beneath Kaitiaki Peak, far right, with the eastern side ridge route stretching away left to the Tasman Glacier. The Murchison valley is also visible to the right of the Malte Brun Range
A dusk view from camp of the Caroline face of Aoraki Mt Cook left, stretching away to the Tasman Saddle
A dusk view from camp of the Minarets (3,040m), Elie De Beaumont (3,109m), Hockstetter Dome (2,827m) and the Malte Brun Range
A dusk view from camp of the Minarets (3,040m), Elie De Beaumont (3,109m) and Hockstetter Dome (2,827m)
A dawn view at camp of Aoraki Mt Cook and all the other peaks stretching north and east
The Caroline Face of Aoraki Mt Cook ablaze in dawn light
The Minarets (3,040m) and Elie De Beaumont (3,109m) at dawn
A dawn view of Ball Pass (2,121m), Turner Peak (2,338m), Pibrac (2,514m), Nazomi (2,925m) and Aoraki Mt Cook (3,724m)
At dawn, the camp site with Kaitiaki Peak above
Looking down the steepest section of Kaitiaki Peak, with Aoraki Mt Cook behind
Looking down the steepest section of Kaitiaki Peak
A wide panorama from Kaitiaki Peak (2,222m), looking north to Aoraki Mt Cook and then west and south to Mt Sefton and the Wakefield ridge
From Kaitiaki Peak, looking south along the lower section of the ridge - the next peak is Mt Rosa (2,161m), with Tasman Lake at left and Mt Sefton right
From Kaitiaki Peak, looking west down the Ball Pass route, with Mt Sefton (3,151m) on the skyline
The summit ridge of Aoraki Mt Cook dwarfs a passing helicopter
A view from Kaitiaki Peak to the Sealy Range, with the eastern flanks of Mt Sefton and Mueller Glacier at right and Mt Sealy (2,627m) and Annette Plateau left
Mt Sefton (3,151m)
Beneath the summit of Kaitiaki Peak, looking north to Aoraki Mt Cook and beyond
Departing the camp site, with Tasman Lake and the ridge that the Ball Pass route traverses on the eastern side
Heading down the ridge at about 2,100m, with the Caroline face of Aoraki Mt Cook left
Heading down the ridge at about 2,050m, with the Malte Brun Range ahead
Heading down the ridge at about 2,000m, with the Caroline face of Aoraki Mt Cook left
Heading down the ridge at about 1,950m, with the Caroline face of Aoraki Mt Cook left
Heading down the ridge at about 1,900m, with the Caroline face of Aoraki Mt Cook left
Heading down the ridge at about 1,900m, with the Malte Brun Range ahead
Caroline Hut (1,800m) and its namesake, the Caroline face behind
North of Caroline Hut, regaining access to the ridge
Another view of the Caroline face at about 1,700m
On the ridge at a wide spot, looking north to the Minarets (3,040m), Elie De Beaumont (3,109m) and Hockstetter Dome (2,827m)
Continuing the ridge descent, looking north to the Minarets, Elie De Beaumont and Hockstetter Dome
The last good view of the Caroline face before the route drops off the now crumbling ridge
Continuing the ridge descent, looking north to the Minarets, Elie De Beaumont, Hockstetter Dome and the Malte Brun Range
A last look at the Caroline face
Where the ridge ends in a fractured chaos of rock and earth. The retreat of the glaciers means that landscape once held together by the pressure of ice is now free to fall apart
Approaching Ball Hut (1,150m)
At Ball Hut - the water tank was virtually empty. Bummer!
Heading south along the true right moraine of Tasman Glacier
Approaching the terminal moraine of Tasman Glacier
A panorama from the true right moraine, looking back to the Malte Brun Range left of centre and the Liebig Range right. Nearly time for cold beer ...

Read about it   Overnighting with a Kaitiaki Vertigo Feb 18

New Zealand mountain and hill route maps
Ball Pass Aoraki Mount Cook New Zealand route map

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