Published: December 19th 2010December 19th 2010
A quiet night last night in Queenstown following the emergency purchase of some anti-histamines that all but put me to sleep. Of course, I pretty much instantly found the pills I'd brought with me after having bought a whole load - no change there.
Collected hire car again this morning and drove over the bare and brown Cardrona range to Wanaka. Popped in to the DOC office for them to confirm that is going to rain from now until I leave which is a bit of a pain as I was hoping to get up high above the Matukituki valley tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon actually looks the worst of the current weather (thunderstorms and low cloud) for ascents so I may need to postpone - will make a call in the morning I think.
Been feeling exhausted most of today but decided I couldn't stand doing no exercise so went for a march up Mt Iron and ran back down. The rain is quite heavy on the other side of the lake but the sun is still shining this side (apologies for those suffering the northern european freeze).
I realised that when I posted the day of the Cascade
Look straight down the middle, where those clouds are building and that's where the Matukituki valley begins - where I want to go tomorrow.
Saddle and mentioned H's travels I failed to post a link to her site - please do have a look - http://www.wildfootprints.co.nz - you may note her GPS-tracked route seems to have gone a bit strange in the last two days so not sure what's happening there but it's an amazing great trek she's on - worth following. If you look down the "steps" on her tracked route, no 12 is where I met her. Anyway, it's a great idea and let's hope the last few GPS posting are wrong and she is still en route.
Some sad news. I discovered today that as I was climbing the ascent to Pylon back on Dec 15th, a climber was falling off Mt Aspiring "behind" me (to the east). Sadly, he fell 300 feet and thus didn't make it. Slipped off an ice bridge high up on the east ridge. He and his partner were climbing unroped but in perfect weather and had made incredibly good progress to be where they were that early in the morning (9am) so it sounds like it was merely dreadfully bad luck. His partner managed to raise the alarm, and a SAR (Search And Rescue)
That's the summit up there - I'm on the loop back down.
chap dangled a few hundred feet on a cable off a chopper and pulled the chap out but by then it was a body he was recovering. His partner met another climbing group and they all go down safely so that's something I suppose though he must be feeling pretty grim.
Interestingly, when I was here last Monday I did spot a notice on the board at the hostel from an American looking for a partner to climb the east ridge with. I thought about it briefly but decided it was too technical for little old me. Guess I was right...