Home page Planetmountain.com
The fearsome Caroline Face on Mount Aoraki / Mount Cook (3724 m) in New Zealand, first skied on 27/10/2017 by Italian extreme skier Enrico Mosetti and Britain's Ben Briggs and Tom Grant. The first ascent of the face was carried out by John Glasgow and Peter Gough in November 1970
Photo by Enrico Mosetti

Caroline Face, huge first descent on Mount Aoraki in New Zealand by Briggs, Grant and Mosetti


On 27 October the Italian mountaineer Enrico Mosetti and the Britons Ben Briggs and Tom Grant made the first ski descent of the Caroline Face, the difficult and dangerous SE Face of Mount Aoraki / Mount Cook (3724m) in New Zealand. The achievement has already been described by the local media as "historic".

An outrageous first ski descent, almost 2000 vertical meters along the fall line down the dreaded Caroline Face on Mount Aoraki, the highest mountain in New Zealand more commonly referred to as Mount Cook. This is the news that has just trickled though from the other side of the world, more precisely from the Southern Alps on the country’s South Island, where on 27 October Italy’s Enrico Mosetti and Britain’s Ben Briggs and Tom Grant carried out the first ski descent of the fearsome SE Face in what has been described by the local media as an "absolutely historic" undetaking.

On 27 October the three mountaineers started off by ascending the East Ridge. According to Mosetti, who spoke briefly to planetmountain.com, the ascent was "a beautiful climb, through very deep snow… really tiring." After ascending for seven and a half hours the trio reached the Porter Col from where they dropped down into the Caroline Face. At this point Briggs, Grant and Mosetti experienced what the Italian has described as "The biggest thing I've ever skied, the biggest line I could imagine to ski, and in great powder conditions!"

During the next hour and a half of extreme skiing the three managed to identify a line past the enormous, unstable seracs that characterise the SE Face. Only three rappels were needed and, incredibly, the descent took place in almost perfect snow conditions.

Circa 1800 meters high, the Caroline Face is the most dangerous and difficult face on Mount Aoraki and consequently the last one to have been ascended, on 6 and 7 November 1970 by John Glasgow and Peter Gough after a failed attempt in 1969.

In recent years the face has become a coveted target for steep skiing. In November 2013 Sweden’s Magnus Kastengren lost his life while preparing for the first ski descent with his skiing partner Andreas Fransson. Fransson lost his life in an avalanche in Chile in September 2014 along with Canada’s JP Auclair.

Mosetti has carried out a series of spectacular ski descents in the past. These include two iconic steep ski objectives in Peru, namely the SE Face of Aresonraju (6025 m) and the West Face of Tocllaraju (6034 m) skied solo in 2015, and the NNE Face of Monte Forato skied in 2011 with Marco Milanese and Andrea Fusari.

Details of the recent descent will probably not be known before the European’s return in mid-November. This is partly due to the poor wifi connection in the Mount Cook National Park and partly due to the fact that, as Mosetti told planetmountain.com yesterday, "we should be heading back into the mountains shortly."

Link: Facebook Enrico Mosetti, Instagram Enrico Mosetti, enricomosettiblog.tumblr.com


NEWS / Related news:
Monte Forato, NNE Face ski descent in Julian Alps
Monte Forato, NNE Face ski descent in Julian Alps
Using the recent first repeat of the NNE Face of Monte Forato, here is the first descent story by Slovenia's Marko Kern, followed by a report by Marco Milanese, his descent carried out on 7 April together with Enrico Mosetti and Andrea Fusari. Until 2011, this face was regarded as "the last great problem in the Julian Alps."
Panta rei, new icefall in Valbruna, Italy, climbed by Enrico Mosetti and Tine Cuder
Panta rei, new icefall in Valbruna, Italy, climbed by Enrico Mosetti and Tine Cuder
Winter mountaineering: Enrico Mosetti reports about the first ascent of Panta rei, a new mixed climb in Valbruna (Julian Alps, Italy) first ascended on 24/01/2017 with Tine Cuder.
Magnus Kastengren dies in fall from Mount Cook
Magnus Kastengren dies in fall from Mount Cook
32-year-old Swedish extreme skier Magnus Kastengren has lost his life in a fall from Mount Cook in New Zealand.
Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair killed by avalanche in Patagonia
Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair killed by avalanche in Patagonia
On 29/09/2014 Swedish skier Andreas Fransson and Canadian skier JP Auclair were killed by an avalanche on Monte San Lorenzo in Patagonia, on the border between Chile and Argentina. Both were considered two of the world's premier skiers.




Full text search


EXPO / Products
EXPO / Company News
Planetmountain.com logo
Planetmountain.com: climbing, alpinism, mountaineering, trekking, via ferrata, freeride skiing, ski mountaineering, snowboarding and ice climbing worldwide. Furthermore the site contains technical gear reviews, book and film reviews, expert advice, mountain photos, sport climbing competitions.
The information is indicative and subject to change due to the nature of the mountain environment. Given the inherently risky nature of the activities described within, Planetmountain.com does not assume any responsibility for the use of the information published.

SUBSCRIBE to receive the weekly newsletter with all the latest news from planetmountain.com

Recent Comments Ice
  • L'uomo Volante
    Il 10 giugno 2017, insieme all'amico Michele, decidiamo di r ...
    2017-07-12 / Enrico Maioni
  • Gallo George
    Il 16 luglio 2016, invogliati dalla relazione, ci siamo avve ...
    2017-07-12 / Enrico Maioni
  • All-in
    Francesco Salvaterra e Filippo Mosca 27 gennaio 2017, probab ...
    2017-02-02 / Francesco Salvaterra
  • Una via per te fatta in tre
    Prima ripetizione effettuata il 3/11. Da rettificare la diff ...
    2015-11-13 / maurizio piller%20hoffer