Taking it to the extreme: Breaking in new rock

Last updated 12:00 20/02/2013
Tom Hoyle

Auckland climber James Field-Mitchell attempting a route on Mt Ruapehu.

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There isn't a lot of steep rock climbing in the North Island, so when this radically overhanging wall was found on Mt Ruapehu, devotees of steep climbing got quite excited.

This cliff is amazing to climb; the combination of steep climbing with the waterfall ambience and the views across to Mt Taranaki make it an unbeatable place in good weather.

Good weather can be hard to come by on a mountainside and the rock climbing season is quite short as dry weather and rock is required, so summer is definitely the time to be there.

In this photo James Field-Mitchell, current Auckland Climber of the Year attempts to make the first free ascent of a route known as the 'Charlatan Project'.

To successfully make an ascent of a climb, the climber must climb the route without falling or resting on the rope (the rope is used only in the event of a fall).

James has succeeded in making the first ascent of a number of the routes on the cliff, but this particular route still remains uncompleted as it has very difficult climbing right to the end.

Perhaps by the end of the summer it will have been climbed successfully.

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