12/15/2005, Coast of Tasman Sea

Waded in the Tasman ocean, didn't want to leave at all. I found a non-descript road that seemingly led nowhere, perfect! I took it.

Ended up at the perfect spot, no other folks around but a beautiful field of green grass, some horses and this huge coast all to myself. Not that I was being selfish but at the moment, it was mine.

After I feed some inquisitive horses, I shoot off the slippers and headed for the waves, only to be turned back by numbingly cool temps. All the bravado and toughness won't get me in that water, so I waded.

Found some great rocks, loaded them up in my day pack, and made a call on the Iridium. Kinda weird no doubt, but it seemed sorta fitting at that moment.

Anyway here is the photo from today. If you've been following this trip, I really appreciate. I'll have the Sat-Phone back on line with the computer as soon as I get home, for now this other arrangment has been fine.

Soon I'll be back on Vinson, that will be true test of the systems, but I'm confident I'll get these bugs worked out. I'm a mountiain guide, not computer dude, so I have to cut some slack to myself, it's not easy sometimes figuring out these details on a trip.

Thanks and until Jan 7th or 8th when I begin the next web postings.

Drop me a line anytime with suggestions to this site, or anything for that matter.

Cheers Jamie

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.

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