/ Mount Brewster in New Zealand

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bowls - on 21 Jan 2013
Three of us are planning to do this in early March:

- Has anyone done it?
- Can anyone suggest a semi technical route - i.e. something which isn't just a straight plod
- Ideas/Advice to give
- Suggested Guidebooks?

We are planning to go from the Brewster hut, but thus far that is all I know, it has been suggested by my mate who lives over there..

We were originally looking at Mount Aspiring, but weighing it all up Aspiring is too committing and logistically too involved to do the week before my mate gets married, hence looking at Mt Brewster.

Thanks in Advance
wee jamie on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to bowls: Check out this website for inspiration and route ideas- http://www.southernalpsphotography.com/Tramping/Haast-Pass-to-Mt-Cook/Mount-Brewster-2010/12987694_H...

It's a good source of info, and great photogrpahy too.

The NZAC guides are very good, and lots of new area guides out now, including one for Brewster. They're not cheap to get sent over here.

I've done plenty of research, but only been the once to the South Island (Arthur's Pass and Aspiring areas). I'm desperate to go again, hence the research.

Oh yes, and here's a good website for free map coverage of the whole of NZ - http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap/nz30367/Rangitata%20Col/Canterbury
Damo on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to bowls:

I was up there a couple of years ago, but in October, so much more snow. Some avo danger across the traverse to the glacier so we retreated and just hiked up Armstrong (which would be bare in March). Some pics here: http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/mt-brewster-nz-t63932.html

Guidebook is http://alpineclub.org.nz/product/barron-saddle-mount-brewster

Brewster Hut is really nice, quite new and in a great position. The walk up there, once you've crossed the river, is worth a day trip in itself.

Aspiring logistics are OK if you don't mind paying for a helo. I was up there last month. NZ$280 per person for a helo to Bevan Col, a few nights in Colin Todd Hut, route is right out the door, $100 for helo down if you can get a backflight. Or walk out in a long day.
KiwiPrincess - on 21 Jan 2013
JIB - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to bowls: Try getting in touch with AdrianC of this parish, http://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/profile.php?id=22630. He's based in Wanaka and works for the guiding companies there. Mt Brewster is just down the road...
diddler - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to bowls:

Been up there in winter. Nice walk through the bush to the hut, its steep but quick. Hour and half if you dont hang around. But obvoiusly the approach and climb were very different to what it will be like in march. I remember a friend doing it and saying it was a bit loose, but no other insight unfortunately.
BruceM - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to bowls:
I have been there several times.

Basically walked over to it and gone straight up the face looking at it from the hut, then a traverse Right along the ridge through a narrow notch to the summit.

Interestingly the first time was as prior to living in the UK. A UK girl had apparently been watching us from the hut and on our return said: What route was that? We answered Mt Brewster, and were confused by all the extra questions about route names and grades and stuff. But basically tradional kiwi mtn climbing is just go up a mtn where it looks good and who cares what it's called or what grade it is -- long as it works. We all thought those questions were quite funny. Now I understand where she was coming from.

Back to you. These times were Nov/Dec/Jan latest. In March this thing will be bullet-proof ice with dodgy exits.
BruceM - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to BruceM:
That time of year, McPherson traverse in the Darrans (from Talbot's Ladder over the hill and out down the back) is a great mountain day trip if the weather worked for you. You could team that up with another great day in the same area.
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AdrianC - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to bowls: Brewster's a great trip - stunning spot and a bit of everything, starting with a river crossing straight after the car park so tip #1 - start in sandals / old trainers, stash them in the bush at the far side of the Haast river and put your boots on there. Reverse on the way back. From the hut there's a wee bit of route finding across the steepest ground on the NW flank of Armstrong around the 1600 m contour so if you're planning to do this in the dark it might be worth a recce the previous afternoon. From there it's straightforward across the Brewster Glacier onto the SW side of the peak. Once you're off the snow, which at that time of year will probably be as soon as you leave the glacier, the rock of the summit pyramid is a bit of a horror show but nothing technical. More like swimming. Anything steep enough to be technical fell off already. From the summit I followed the ridge west and over pt 2038 and Topheavy then back onto the glacier before crossing the very top of Pyke Creek (an exciting running jump as I recall.)

Time - 3 hours up to the hut, maybe. I think, from memory, I left there about 06:00 got back 13:00 ish then walked out that day but I had really good conditions on the glacier so a plan for 2 hut nights wouldn't be bad if you have the weather window for it.

Bear in mind that Brewster is right on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps so if there's any weather going, it'll get it. In particular, if there's any west in the wind it will probably rain, maybe an awful lot. Other options - The Remarkables at Queenstown - some beautiful camping spots, easy access and better weather and rock plus some rock climbing. Smaller peaks around the Matukituki Valley out of Wanaka - Mt Barff (shame about the name) from Liverpool Hut is a similar trip to Brewster with superb views of Aspiring. Mt Barth in the Ahuriri valley is another good option with a great bivi rock, according to my friends who found it. I couldn't... Hope that helps - drop me an email if you'd like any more info.

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