This week in Mountain Scene history


Looking back on 40 years of Mountain Scene

1974 Young Queenstown mountaineering guide Gordon Hill claims he’s made the first solo ascent of the west face of the Remarkables. The ascent of the 2343-metre face involves 14 hours climbing time plus an overnight pitstop at the 900m mark. 

1982 Plans are announced for a new base complex at Queenstown’s Coronet Peak designed by local architect John Blair. Then-Coronet Peak operator Mount Cook Group say the expansion plans will in no way affect planning for a new ski field at the Remarkables. 

1987 Queenstown parking officer, former cop Laurie Smith, claims he’s been given a bollocking by his council boss, then council admin officer Sandra Page, for not bagging 50 to 100 tickets per day. Page says the claim is ridiculous, and she was merely pointing out that at the same time last year two officers were dishing out 50 to 100 parking fines each. 

1994 Kiwi raconteur and TV personality Gary McCormick and his Heartland TV production crew are trapped by flooding after filming the Glenorchy Races. “I seemed to spend most of my time grovelling around in the silt and mud trying to catch my shoes that kept floating away.” 

1996 Thousands flock to Millbrook Resort, near Arrowtown, for a concert by Kiwi diva Dame Kiri Te Kanawa 

1997 The pilot and five passengers in a Cessna 310 are killed when the plane crash-lands near Frankton shortly after take-off from Queenstown Airport’s shorter grass runway.

2005 Glamorous Canadian country-pop megastar Shania Twain – co-owner of Motatapu and Mt Soho Stations bought for $21 million – has her first New Zealand media chat with Mountain Scene over tiramisu and coffee at the then-Riviera Cafe on Shotover Street. Twain reveals The Riviera’s her favourite Queenstown pitstop: “I like their cappuccinos.”