Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 12. June 28, 1939
On the King's Birthday week-end a party of V.U.C. trampers visited Mr. Egmont just to see if the Boys from up the Hill can climb hills. Leaving Wellington at 7 a.m. we reached Wanganui by 9.45 a.m. and Dawson Falls by 1 p.m., the mountain considerately clearing on our arrival. In the afternoon most of the party went on a "joint-loosening" jaunt preparing for the ascent next day. Next morning dawned perfectly and the climb to Syme Hut, in the crater of Fantham's Peak, took 2 hours of hard going over frozen scoria, snow being encountered beyond Hooker Hut. After a brief rest the main peak was tackled but after half an hour's going the ice conditions became so bad that it was necessary to rope up and start cutting steps "big as buckets." The ice was very hard and clear. It was a relief to scramble over the ice-glazed rocks into the crater where a £1 bet went unchallenged.
Back at Dawson Falls we were all set for a fireside evening when news of missing people came. A search party of six set out under Rod Syme. V.U.C. being represented by Jack Young.
Next morning at 5.30 a.m., when we were preparing to start out, the search party returned having carried the injured man. Mr. Cliff Broad of New Plymouth, from Syme Hutt in a stretcher through a violent storm.
This is another example of the disaster that may accompany solo climbing and the use of crampons on ice which is too hard and steep.
Still "all's well that ends well" and even if the return to Wellington was through miserable weather. V.U.C.T.C. thoroughly enjoyed itself. Next time you climb Boulcott Street steps, think what good training you are putting in for that coming trip.—R.N.C.