Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Todd Windle conquers Mt Cook descent

03 November 2004

Kiwi free skier, Todd Windle conquers Mt Cook descent

Dare devil extreme free skier Todd Windle completed his free ski descent of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki, Mt Cook on Monday afternoon. Windle who recently returned from Tibet has been on Mt Cook for the last two weeks preparing to descend one of the most treacherous parts of the mountain.

The team which included Axel Naglich (Austria) and Baptiste Blanc (France) climbed to the summit at 2.30am on Monday under the light of a rising full moon. The final climb took eight hours and the team descended from the West Ridge into the North West Couloir of Mt Cook at 11.45am Monday morning.

“It was unreal once we hit the top. Looking out over Caroline Face the adrenalin started pumping. It was really intense at the top as we were exposed to the South Face which is incredibly intimidating," says Windle. “We were very lucky with the weather although spring conditions meant ice breaks throughout the glacier.” Windle has spent the last two weeks on Mt Cook basing himself at Empress Hut scouting out lines and waiting for perfect conditions. The mission meant climbing and skiing two different grades. “For the most part it was a grade 3 climb however this turned into a grade 5 once we got closer to the top,” says Windle.

For the past 17 years, free skiing has been Windle’s whole life and he has faced the challenges of some of the world’s greatest mountains including Death Valley Mt Elbrus, Russia and the Himalayas. The descent from Mt Cook has always been a goal for Windle.

“This has been one of the most challenging and difficult terrains to conquer. Mt Cook is not the easiest mountain in the world in fact it is one of the hardest,” he says.

This trip was, for Windle and his 15 man team, particularly unique and completed in a very authentic Kiwi way. Unlike other missions Windle and his team had no assistance from air transport. Over 25 loads of food and equipment weighing 45kgs each, and 150kgs of camera gear were trekked up the mountain.

“We could’ve taken an easier more accessible route but choose one which reflected a traditional ski descent," says Windle.

Windle heads back to Europe later this month with plans to return to Mt Cook and challenge the un-skied Caroline Face. Also on the cards for this death defying Kiwi is the world’s longest ski descent from Mt Elias in Alaska.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Joel Coen's Monochromatic Macbeth

The Bard of Avon may well be smirking up the sleeves of his lace doublet at the irony of Will Smith's Oscar debacle, but now that the initial furore has dissipated, it's worth revisiting the movie for which Denzel Washington was also nominated. More>>

Howard Davis: Kenneth Branagh’s Black & White Belfast

Branagh has assembled a wonderful cast, including Ciarán Hinds, a gently formidable actor who well deserves his Oscar nomination, and Judi Dench, who steals every scene she’s in. More>>


Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland