Published: February 28th 2011February 15th 2011
WE WRITTEN THIS 2 DAYS BEFORE THE CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE
So after a long drive we arrived in Arthurs pass at 925 metres altitude, we parked in the Doc hut campsite and watched the heavy rain splash off the wind screen, it looked like our planned treks in the surrounding mountains would be a wash out!!!!!
In the morning we awoke to the shrill of the Mountain parrots called Kea. There are warning signs about these little fellas everywhere as they are the bird equilivent to a young teenager that has just discovered strong cider (white lightning). They trash everything! biting car wheels, eating their way through tents, picking out window seals, and agrivating everybody in the tea shop!!! we want one!
So after getting our hands on a map and asking the local people for some info on the surrounding area, we set off for one of the closer mountain huts.
Next day our German friends arrived and we set off through the alpine fauna to Avalanche peak, the track rises steeply and it was a good thing that we set off early, as we caught the last sight and photos of a cloud inversion,
with the other peaks poking through the clouds at 1600m.
We continued on in the blazing heat, across a narrow broken ridge, over about 3 false summits. On the top we where met by 3 of the Kea, which were trying with all there powers to grab some of our food, these birds are by no means small, and have a very big beak and claws. One bite in the nuts on that very narrow ridge and it would be a disaster.The view from here was exceptional, we have found what we where looking for, wilderness away from the lines of busses and guides, a kind of inner peace settled over us.........for now.
While we where on the ridge we looked across to the other mountains surrounding us and we could see the possibilities of linking 3 or 4 mountains together, so on our way down we hatched our plan, A days rest, to recover from the 5 hrs trek up Avalanche peak, then we would head out at 6am the following morning and try and navigate our way through the chain of mountains we had seen. A good look on the map showed us it could be
possible, but the nature of the loose broken rock (shale) would meen that extreame care would be required on the ridges that we would have to cross. It is a great possibility that the hand or foot hold could break off and at 2000m that isnt really funny. If we travelled fast enough we could probably cover the ground in less than 8hrs, that is without navigation errors!!!!
we did the pass and it was superb!!!!
Next day we drove to do Mt Castle Peak and then drove west towards Christchurch to climb Mt Thomas
in 5 days we climbed the following;
1833m Avalanche Peak
1833m Avalanche peak again, different route
1828m Lyell peak
1778m unnamed peak
1836m Mt Bealey
100m Devils punchbowl
80m Bridal veil
460m Temple Basin
1459m Mount Plenty
1528m unnamed peak
1842m unnamed peak
1998m Mt Castle Hill Peak
1842m unnamed peak
1741m Foggy peak
1536m unnamed peak
1190 Unnamed peak
our total actual ascent was almost 5000metres, thats over the height of of Mont Blanc, or half the height of Mount Everest..............aching legs.com
There are more photos below