As the gradient levelled out I stated the obvious “It’s not the true summit!” “No. That little knife-edge looks interesting” Piotr Nowak replied. “Shall we do it?” I said. “Yeah, I think so” he replied. “Ok, but time to get that rope out.” The summit of Mount Brewster was a tantalising 30 horizontal metres away and a mere 10 metres higher, but between us and it lay a narrow snow ridge with sheer drops either side.

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Peter Laurenson is a member of the New Zealand Alpine Club and editor of FMC’s Backcountry.

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