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Mount Eostre, 1995m

29 March 2011

Coordinates 44°26.462′ S, 168°51.467′ E

Mt Eostre from the north, on the ridge connecting to Dragonfly Peak. Photo D Hegg

The slabby pyramid of Mt Eostre is the southern extremity of the range to the east of the Matukituki River East Branch, on the divide with Mill Creek; it is connected to Dragonfly Peak by a 4km long ridge, which makes for a beautiful alpine traverse. The summit offers fantastic views into the lower Matukituki River.

Looking into the lower Matukituki Valley from the summit of Mt Eostre. Photo D Hegg

I have failed so far to find any information about early ascents of Mount Eostre. No doubt the peak was visited by surveyors or game hunters before the advent of climbers. The name Eostre refers to the Germanic goddess of spring, and was later transferred to the month equivalent to our April (Ēostur-monath). The name of the festivity of Easter is derived from it [1]. The peak was named by Mrs Phyllis Aspinall of Mt Aspiring Station in the early 1970s. She chose to name it after the festivity of Easter, because that’s when her husband used to organise the mustering of cattle out of Mill Creek, mainly because of the availability of extra labour [2,3].

Route descriptions

Mount Eostre is easily climbed via its north and south-west ridges. A traverse over Dragonfly Peak and Mt Eostre from Albert Burn Saddle to Cameron Flat makes for a very pleasant, rewarding weekend trip. The mountain is part of the Mt Aspiring pastoral lease at present and permission should be sought to cross that land. Permission can be gained from Randall Aspinall 03-4437155 and will be readily given provided that people guarantee not to disturb the cattle grazing on either side of the ridgeline.

Mount Eostre map. 1 grid square = 1km. Left click to enlarge

North ridge, from Dragonfly Peak

Rating: alpine, grade 1                          February 2010

From Dragonfly Peak descend scree and snow slopes to gain the narrow ridge north-east of unnamed peak 1801m. Follow the crest of the ridge over a small rock step that is easier to climb than it looks. A jagged section of ridge between peaks 1794m and 1844m can be sidled on steep snow-grass on the east side; peak 1866m is also easily avoided by sidling east. Regain the summit ridge of Eostre at the 1900m contour, then via an easy scramble on the crest of the ridge to the top. Time: 2 to 3 hours from Dragonfly Peak to Mt Eostre.

South-west ridge, from Cameron Flat

Rating: alpine, grade 1                          February 2010

Ford the Matukituki River at the mouth of Glenfinnan Stream, 500m downstream of Cameron Flat. Climb through easy, open beech forest west of point 458m and up the spur west of the creek draining point 1253m, then through very open, light scrub onto the tussock tops above. The south-west ridge of Eostre is gained at the 1300m contour; above 1500m of elevation, an ascending sidle to the east is required to bypass a major bluff on the ridge between 1600m and 1700m of elevation. Climb easy slopes above, then slabs on the south-east side of the ridge, before returning to the crest of the ridge just below the 1900m contour. The final scramble to the summit is exposed in places; one short step at 1900m elevation requires special care, and may require passing packs when descending. Times: 4 hours down hill; allow 6 to 7 hours on the way up.

On the slabs below the south-west ridge of Mt Eostre, just below an exposed step. Photo D Hegg

References

[1] Eostre. Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eostre

[2] John Aspinall personal communication

[3] NZ Geographic Board Archives card index

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One Comment leave one →
  1. John Aspinall permalink
    29 May 2011 10:26 am

    Hi Danillo
    I read with interest your article on the naming of Mt Aspiring then went on to some of your other entries on mountains in the areas.
    Mt Eostre was named in the early 70s by my mother, Phyllis Aspinall. Peter Child, a NZAC member and very frequent visitor to the area suggested that it was quite a prominent peak from the road up the Matukituki and with increasing numbers of visitors people were going to ask for a name. So Peter suggested she should name it and Eostre was the name that she chose.
    The route you describe over Dragonfly and Eostre certainly gives beautiful views and is a great walk. I have climbed both mountains and mustered cattle of the ridge between them. However, you omit to point out that both mountains are part of the Mt Aspiring pastoral lease at present and permission should be sought to cross that land. Permission can be gained from Randall Aspinall 03-4437155 and will be readily given provided that people guarantee not to disturb the cattle grazing on either side of the ridgeline.

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