Mountaineer Guy McKinnon has been named New Zealand alpinist
of the year.
The Christchurch climber, who completed what was called a
''once in a generation'' solo winter ascent of the east face
of Popes Nose in Mt Aspiring National Park in July, received
the award at the Remarkables Mixed and Ice Festival in
Queenstown on Sunday.
It is the second year running McKinnon has been judged the
best alpinist in the country.
''It's humbling that an amateur climber like me still
chipping away in an old-fashion manner is able to inspire
people to get out and do things in an age where it's
increasingly becoming the realm of professional sponsored
climbers,'' Mr McKinnon said.
''It's an honour to keep that side of it alive.''
Festival director Daniel Joll said Mr McKinnon was named
Black Diamond NZ Alpinist of the Year by an experienced
''Guy did three really impressive solos this year but Popes
Nose was the one that won him the award - the one at a higher
level than anyone else has done,'' Mr Joll said More than 130
climbers attended the three-day festival.
Italian climber Freddy Varengo won the Osprey Packs
Double-Single Cone Traverse Race, in a time of 1hr 50mins.
Christchurch's Richard Measures was second.
Wellington climber Diane Drayton won both Macpac Hardest New
Route and Macpac Hardest Repeated Route at the festival in
the women's category, while Jono Clarke, also of Wellington,
won men's hardest new route and Auckland-based Karl
Schinanski won men's hardest repeat route.