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The conquest of Mount Cook and other climbs : an account of four seasons’ mountaineering on the Southern Alps of New Zealand


page vii


Some of the material contained in this volume has appeared in The Otago Witness, The Christchurch Press, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Dupain Quarterly, and The Lone Hand Magazine. My thanks are due to the editors of these periodicals for their permission to reprint my articles in their present form.

I am also greatly indebted to Dr. Teichelmann of Hokitika for the generous manner in which he has allowed me to reproduce specimens of West Coast scenery from his fine collection of photographs, and to Mr. Severn Storr for a picture of the Hermitage after the flood.

I have attempted in my first chapter to give a slight summary of the climbing accomplished between 1862 and 1909. This record is necessarily incomplete, dealing as it does with only the main district surrounding Mount Cook. If by any chance I have overlooked any important incidents of the period I have chosen, I can only crave indulgence for my unintentional omissions on the ground of want of data. The history of New Zealand mountaineering is at present so slight and scattered that it is difficult to obtain reliable details.

In compiling my résumé I have made use of the following authorities: (1) "High Alps of New Zealand," by W. S. Green; (2) "With Ice-Axe and Rope in the New Zealand page viiiAlps," by G. Mannering; (3) "Climbs in the New Zealand Alps," by Edward A. Fitzgerald; (4) "Pioneer Work on the Alps of New Zealand," by Arthur P. Harper; (5) The New Zealand Alpine Journal, and (6) "The New Zealand Government Reports." The record kept in the last-mentioned volume is very slight, and when driven to use it I have frequently only been able to discover the names of the mountains ascended, and by whom they were climbed, with no details as to dates, routes, etc.

Slight as is my summary, I hope that it may be of some use as a record of New Zealand mountaineering. Perhaps it may induce some New Zealander with more material at his command than I have been able to obtain to go into the matter thoroughly, and to write a complete and comprehensive summary of New Zealand mountaineering before all the present records are obliterated and forgotten.

                                                      Freda Du Faur.

London, December, 1914.