Updated: Nov 14, 2021
Date: May 29th, 2018
Location: Mt. Eden
Leader: Timothy Gray
Author: Timothy Gray
The great mountains of the world exist in a league of their own, seen as mysterious and inaccessible to much of the public, while capturing the imagination of those who dare to climb them. However, danger exists at every turn for those who choose to set foot upon them. The Matterhorn, for example, has claimed over 500 lives by those who have dared to touch its precipitous slopes. Mt Everest has claimed over 200 lives of its own, and is famed for being a graveyard for those who attempt to defy nature and climb above 8000m. However, no mountain has quite captured the imagination, nor earned such a deadly reputation as Auckland’s very own Mt Eden.
K2, a relatively easy mountain.
There exists danger at every turn for those who attempt the treacherous summit of Mt Eden. While the danger in other mountains lies in their precipitous rock faces, their avalanche prone terrain, or simply their immense altitude, greater challenges lie in store for those who wish to summit Mt Eden. Mt Eden does not have great rock faces to climb, nor snow field, and its modest elevation of 196m ensures that even the most sedentary people do not suffer from altitude sickness. However, many have fallen victim to having insufficiently ironed clothing on the summit. This necessitates special gear requirements, namely an iron and ironing board.
The first and one of the most crucial parts of the entire climb is the approach. From the University, an arduous 45 minute tramp leads to the base camp of Mt Eden. All gear must be carried on this route, which includes many objective dangers such as the Symonds St – K-Rd intersection. At this difficult part of the journey, the division between those who will survive and those who may not becomes quickly apparent. Of those who have perished on Mt Eden in recent years, none have been wearing suits and ties, widely regarded as being critical for surviving the harsh conditions at the summit.
Rachel “The Blacksmith”Smith irons inverted at the summit.
From the base camp, a gentle gradient leads to a winding path up the mountain. It is here that sweat typically starts to form in the armpits of climbers, a recipe for disaster if wearing a cotton shirt underneath their suits. As the 100m mark is reached, climbers typically unholster their irons, and get ready to do battle with their creases.
The final push to the summit is usually the hardest part of the ascent, with many failing to make the summit in the last push. It is also here that the majority of fatalities due to creased clothing occur. For those who do make it, however, there are great rewards in store. The view over the Auckland CBD is said to be splendid from here, especially at night time. However, the climb will have taken its toll on many by this point, and almost universal use of the iron and ironing board is recommended.
For some, the satisfaction provided by ironing in a conventional upright position is insufficient, and so inversion is performed to increase the satisfaction. Inverting the ironist is shown to reduce the effects of altitude sickness on the ironist, allowing them to better carry out their ironing with more blood in their heads. To further combat the harsh conditions at the summit, food and goon fine wine is also often consumed.
Despite the legendary reputation of this savage mountain, and despite the concerted efforts of the Auckland University Tramping Club to encourage the use of irons and ironing boards in the climbing of this mountain, many forgo these essential items of safety gear. The take home message is: If there’s a mountain to be explored, you’d better bring your ironing board!
The League of Extraordinary Ironists