Allies and Enemies

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February 15th 2011
Published: February 15th 2011
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Hello All!

The last couple of days have been taken pretty easy (relatively speaking) in terms of tramping; we traveled up the west coast completing a two-night stay at Mt. Brewster and a one night stop on the Copland track. The first tramp was a 3000 foot uphill stretch to the base of Mt. Brewster, where we were treated to beautiful valley sights and the excellent view of the Brewster glacier. It is here where we first met the 'Allies' of this post; ironically three climbers at the hut were from none other than Ohio, one of which now lives in Breckenridge CO! Apparently, it is a small world, after all. Chad, having most of the proper equipment and the least fear of death, climbed to the summit of Mt. Brewster on the second day amongst those guys, reaching the highest point he's set foot on in New Zealand. Also a plus was him simply surviving the experience, as from what he said the hike had a few frightening spots across the ice and peak, so Nick and I were happy to see him later that day. The Breckenridge guy actually managed to slip on the ice and slide some 40 feet into a rock-face, which he bounced off and then promptly fell into a small crevasse. Amazingly, he was not seriously injured and stayed on the mountain for another nine hours that day. Nick and I were wanting to check out the glacier up close as well, but instead ended up climbing up the smaller Mt. Armstrong, which looked down on the glacier and had had great views itself. After getting back to the car, we drove a little further for a 17 km tramp up to some natural hot pools near Copland Pass, definitely a highlight of this trip. It was a very busy hut, and unfortunately where we ran into the enemies of this post; a group of 10 Israeli gentlemen who made the hut their home. These men managed to upset every other group of people in the hut, including the friendly hut warden, with their constant obscene loudness into early hours of the morning (beer), and general disrespect and regard for other people. This was climaxed when they decided to destroy one of our dish rags cleaning up something they messed overnight, causing much anger from us. Luckily, justice was served the next morning, detailed further in Chad's blog. That day, redemption was spelled, U.S.A.


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