I've backed out from the pinnacles in winter due to hard ice. I was coming from the Arete peak side and hit stuff I couldn't kick into at the top of the 1st real descent of the Pinnacles. It can be a real alpine (i.e. mountaineering/ice climbing) challenge if it's like that. Well beyond my skillset.
I bailed down to Arete Forks instead - good soft snow that day and don't recall any particular exposure. Can't recall if I stuck to the track / spur - my memory is of descending a gully of soft snow for the most part.
Not sure that helps?
This post has been edited by the author on 5 June 2018 at 08:19.
OK thanks all - I obviously got a bit confused re: where the topomap labels the location of the Waiohine Pinnacles. I wont be going over these after all as they are at the end of Tarn Ridge and before point 1470, on the way to Arete.
I am going the other way, from Arete Forks Hut, to point 1470, then on to Lancaster & Thompson.
So the bits that I expect to potentially be hairy in winter are the Pinnacles on Pinnacle Spur, coming up from Arete Forks hut.
I've seen these in profile when I did Bannister - they didnt look too bad? I think its Waiohine pinnacles that have the reputation?
For context, I've done some hairy ridges in the Rua's, including broken axe, the route to Maungahuka, down from angle knob, and down from Girdlestone towards Adkin (in my opinion, the latter was some of the most intense). But of course - none of this in snow or ice.
This post has been edited by the author on 5 June 2018 at 09:33.