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NZ Alpine Club farewells top mountain guide

New Zealand Alpine Club, Chrstchurch, New Zealand
Media Release
Friday 15 August 2008, 3.00pm

New Zealand Alpine Club farewells top mountain guide

The New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) today farewells one of it’s outstanding members Gottlieb Braun-Elwert, who passed away last night at Rex Simpson Hut, in the Two Thumb range.

Gottlieb was a member of NZAC for the last 28 years, and throughout that time was an active mountain guide and prolific climber. Some of his more notable mountaineering achievements include:

• The first winter ascent of all 3000m peaks of the Southern Alps during one season.
• A winter traverse of Mt Fitzroy in 1993
• Several traverses of the Patagonian ice cap.
• A 29 day ski traverse of Denali (Mt McKinley) in 2002

In addition to these specific achievements, Gottlieb climbed many significant routes in the Southern Alps. As a mountain guide he was highly regarded and guided both his daughters to the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook on separate trips.
His company Alpine Recreation, based in Tekapo, have introduced hundreds of people to the mountains, and also constructed two mountain huts – Caroline Hut, and Rex Simpson Hut. The nature of Gottlieb’s sudden passing, in the midst of a landscape he loved, sheltered within the walls of a hut he constructed, beneath the summit of Beuzenberg Peak named after his long time climbing partner Erica Beuzenberg, was both apt and poignant.

Gottlieb was never afraid to express his views, and absolutely stuck to his values. On environmental issues concerning our mountain regions he was a leading advocate for taking a responsible and proactive role in minimising human impact, and preserving the pure beauty of the mountain environment. As part of this commitment he was a member of the Aoraki/Mt Cook Conservation Board, and the Land Access Committee. Gottlieb’s contribution to the mountain community was significant, and his legacy will not be easily forgotten.


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