12/14/2005, Wanaka

Incredible. I can't imagine an alpine route getting any better. The sheer quality of that climb is beyond what I expected.

The flight into Bevan Col was in itself incredible. Deep pastoral valleys filled with green, dwarfed by giant granite walls. We flew up for 20 minutes before coming into the true alpine enviroment. Glaciers were large, semi-dry in the sense that blue ice was showing in spots. I was in my element.

When we landed we promptly set out across the glacier to gain the Colin Todd hut. That night was a nice evening drinking tea and socializing. After a talk with Dan I decide to make an attempt at the summit in the AM of the 12th since the weather forecast looked semi-promising. We woke 0400 to rain, so I bagged it. It never improved that day, although we did get out for a really neat ice fall tour.

The radio call that night from the DOC (Dept of Conservation) rangers revealed some change in the air, all for good. We woke at again 0400 and headed out, only to get rained on again, weather is really fickle!

Feeling a little frustrated we retreated back to the hut. Being really wet and cold on a mountain is not my idea of tough. I listened to the AM forecast from "DOC", and it called for clearing that afternoon. I sure didn't see it, but on the horizon moving towards us I noticed a blue line, it was good weather moving towards us.

I made the call to head out again, we plodded for about an hour in mist, and the skies began to lift. One of the main considerations on this route is the amount of rock climbing in mixed terrain (rock, snow and some ice) that having a dry route makes moving so much nicer. Well it happened, in fact it got so beautiful we just got giddy from the scenery. We climbed this classic alpine route over 4000 vertical feet elevation gain round trip in 10 1/2 hours.

Dan did incredible no doubt, and to boot, we never got wet, in fact I came back to the hut in a short sleeve shirt.

This photo is in the middle of the main rock ridge to gain the upper summit snowface.


Go in!
12/10/2005, Wanaka, Mt Aspiring

Here, and gone right away. An unusal set of technical glitches are keeping me from using the Sat-phone to do dispatches, so I"m leaving it down, to many other issues at hand to deal with than to worry about that.

I'll post again after were out. Until then the weather has turned out to be majestic. Our drive down here yesterday was utterly incredible.

We fly into Bevan Col this AM, sort trudge up a glacier to the Colin Todd, get in some ice climbing, and prep for a summit attempt as early as tomorrow.

Keep the fingers crossed.

12/08/2005, Christchurch, New Zealand

Yep, long plane ride indeed. 13 1/2 hours to be exact. That out of the way, off the plane and into this place is about all the therapy one could ever wish for. This place is green, full of foliage, sorta sunny skies, birds and really good dairy products. Men wear knee high socks, drive on the left side of the road, and maintain really friendly spirits. In a nut shell rather nice, considering when I left Colorado it was a full blown blizzard. I dodged the bullet on that flight, we de-iced 40 minutes on the tarmac before we flew to L.A. Were outa here in the AM, taking the rental out for a spin down to Wanaka, gearing up, then flying into Aspiring on Saturday. Much to do tomorrow. It's Friday here, Thursday in the states FYI. Jamie

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