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Watch Historic Kiwi Ski Descent of New Zealand’s Highest Mountain

New Zealanders Joe Collinson, Will Rountree and Sam Smoothy skied the Caroline Face of Aoraki, highest mountain in New Zealand, for its second descent

Joe Collinson, Will Rountree and Sam Smoothy have made the second ski descent of the southeast face, known as the Caroline Face, of Aoraki, New Zealand’s highest peak at 3,724 metres.

The three skiers are the first all-Kiwi team, and only the second group of skiers, to descend the famous face. They climbed the east ridge to middle peak, which involves up to 300 metres of WI3 ice climbing. They then rappelled through seracs to reach the 2,000-metre face which was covered with powdery snow. The following day, they climbed partway up the east ridge and skied new terrain.

In 2013, Magnus Kastengren died when trying to make the first descent of the face. He was one of many skiers who’d attempted it over the years. It was finally skied in 2017 by U.K. skiers Tom Grant and Ben Briggs and Italian Enrico Mosetti.

Caroline Face Descent 2021