The glacier on the virtually unclimbable peak of Mt Vogel in the southern alps of New Zealand has yielded a secret, a notebook which casts doubt on the achievement of Ernest Ashton a wealthy landowner who has for many years basked in the fame of being the first person to reach the summit. His son Stuart has built a reputation as a fine mountaineer and TV personality very much boosted by his father's achievement. Now the son sees his own reputation jeopardised by his father's disgrace. The smouldering animosity of lifetime is reignited.
At this time, Tom Stavely, a close friends of Stuart's, returns from England for the wedding of the rather neglected daughter he had with Stuart's sister from whom he is now divorced. Tom stays with the Ashton's on the sheep station and is inevitably involved with the family as the disaster unfolds at the wedding. He has to search his own heart about how far he should help Stuart, and finds himself the prime suspect in a murder.