Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mt Aspiring, Easter 08

So its been a very long time between posts. I've had the odd person wanting me to put photos of summer up so I thought I'd put afew of myself and Mark Simpsons trip up the buttress on the NW ridge of Aspiring on for everyone to see. If you like mountains enjoy, if not this may be boring.

Me on the Bonar at sunset, we got lost in a large maze of crevasses and took most of the night finding the straightforward route across the flat bit of the glacier to the hut (go figure.)

Mark selling himself for a $50 bar tab in queenstown, he got best place for reading the Lakes District bulletin with this one.
On Shipowners ridge looking onto the Iso Glacier and on to the Tasman SeaA pretty good view of the buttress and winding NW ridge/Shipowner ridge below us.
Mark on the ice cap.
Me feeling chuffed at nearly having gotten to the top of Aspiring.

NZ sunsets always look like this....come and see for yourselves

The way up and down, spot Mark. hint: he's not on top..

Taking a look at our 19km walk out below Bevan Col

Rapping the waterfall slabs on the way out

Percy the possum didn't rap his descent, much to his personal detriment.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

We're not "bringing home the cup", they'll just bring it to us in 4 years....

The last time we lost the world cup i was there, watching with horror as Stirling Mortlock dotted down under the sticks at Stadium Australia about twenty metres from where i sat stone faced surrounded by geering, rapturous aussies. I'd invested $AU400 in this B class seat and had taken a tirad of abuse (mainly verbal and some physical) that night. I think collectively it was the worst night of my life and this morning as i watched the wheels fall off another "world beating" All Black campaign, that sick feeling kinda returned to my stomach. Sports a funny buisness, every world cup we've come from World No 1 ranking to losing, everytime since 87 with the possible exception of 91. If it hadn't been the world cup I wouldn't mind betting we'd have put 50 points on this French side. But this is now the centre stage in the act of rugby drama, teams lift big time playing the All Blacks and can get away with throwing caution to the wind when playing the AB's because they are "never expected to win." We've never quite managed to cope with this and this morning was just another tick to the "chokers" box we've earned over the past 16 years. There's enough analysis of this game going on around the country to bore anyone interested so my little pitch is just adding to the sense of gloom our dear Aoteoroa, land of the long, bleak, grey cloud is feeling right now. I just hope it lifts fairly quickly, its just sport right....?

Here is something I read off the "stuff" website. a little sarcastic kiwi rhetoric. we're sounding more like the English by the day don't you think?

10 reasons why it's "not so bad"

1) Richie McCaw's freshly cut hair put in a great performance.
2) They only won by two points.
3) Only one person lost $A5 million ($NZ5.89 million) by betting on us winning.
4) France could still lose the final.
5) We could have lost to Georgia.
6) Blue will never look as cool as black on a uniform.
7) What doesn't kill us can only make us stronger.
8) If it wasn't for the ref, it would have been different.
9) You can still drink your beer stockpile on New Year's Eve.
10) The French have never won an Oscar for best picture.

I've grown up living in the belief the All Blacks are by right, the best and one of the closest things sport has to invincibles. We won in 1987 when I was 4, 1991 was "a blip in the radar" and we put 1995 down to food poisoning and South Africa uniting as a post apartheid nation behind Francois Pienaars team. However 99, 03 and today I think has shaken this belief of mine and i'm sure many fellow New Zealanders hard enough that we can no longer say by right, "we are the best."

We're not bringing home our rightfully owned piece of silverware. it'll have to be bought out by someone else in 4 years time.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Lunar Rosa

We've been in the dark in southern New Zealand for the majority of the 24 hour day these past few months. This has led to a hive of inactivity most of the time, driving to work in the dark, driving home in the dark. But one thing that does stand out brilliantly in the winter months is the night sky, mainly because you don't have to make a concerted effort to see it as its just there, but given my geographical location this particular point in the globe is rather, well...flat. It means the horizons are quite expansive and unobstructed.

Dad being a keen astronomer has gotten back into his star gazing hobby this winter and has been taking many a picture of the moon and jupiter mainly on a calm clear night.

While I'm not the most avid of stargazers we've had acouple of treats this year thus far in McNaughts Comet which comes once every thousand years or so and the much more frequent "Lunar Rosa" eclipse which appears around about every seven years. We had a good enough night on Tuesday to get a good view of the lunar rosa as the moon disappeared and then reappeared in a reddish hue. It was quite a sight to behold!!

I always enjoy taking myself back half a millenia or more and imagine what it must having been like for people in those times watching these events without the knowledge we have now. Such events were linked with Black death and terrible wars such as Napoleons Russian conquest (to name one). I think the one that would have unsettled me the most however would have been watching a solar eclipse, the earths life source disappearing before your eyes. ahhh

Friday, June 29, 2007


It seems a lot of my friends are writing about weddings of their own or friends that are getting married at the moment, well I'm now the same. Off tomorrow for my friend Blake Hannas wedding in glorious Gore and my sister as of last w/e is engaged and is planning on getting married early in the new year to her man Ben Johnstone. Long has she suffered the surname Lobb and has been wanting to get rid of it for ages (i happen to quite like the name). We'd always given her stick saying she'd end up with "Mr Smelly" or suchlike but Esther will now become Mrs Johnstone, quite the harmless name, although Ben may yet take Lobb as a surname....

Life continues to clip along alright but flippin heck, how does one save to pay off a student loan? its getting ridiculous....I've been learning things such as this recently. When a cow is being fed winter feed it must eat plenty of hay when their diet consists mainly of swede as the high sugar content can cause blood acidosis and the cow moos its last mooooo

Enjoying Audioslaves Revelations recently, pity they broke up but hey, RATM is back!!

Pics are Ben and Esther at my grad dinner last year, perhaps a little inebriated and yours truly crossing the finish line on the routeburn, a little slower than I'd hoped.

Friday, May 04, 2007


April was a month of continuing to settle in to the new life of stability and normality, a new job that is 40 hours a week, NZ losing the cricket and Liverpool coming into their own in Europe again. It's nice being in one place for a prolonged period of time now, i realised that I never stayed in one place for more than 7 weeks for the entire year last year.

I've managed one last autumn trip into the hills before the snow and I have been foolish enough to enter myself in the Routeburn Classic next Saturday with 10 days to train and get myself ready, its only 38km i spose....

My boarding family from last year have had their first baby, Joshua, he now occupies my old room, bathed in Liverpool kit...funny. So picks are of him and on traversing the Barrier knob to peak last w/e.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Its been awhile since I last put up a post. I've started work now. Its all been pretty full on getting into the swing of things after 6 months of not thinking physio but I'm getting there...slowly. I've also been to my first wedding for the year, Jeremy & Alice Callander. Big Ups you guys, it was a great day and if either of you ever read this I want you to know in light of Selwyn Yeomans speech, I have a B!!! Feel free to use it any time.

The pictures are of my last mountain trip with Ollie and Johnny up Rob Roy. We climbed this 2,650m via the South ridge and bivved out high just under the glacier, it was up there with the best trips this summer. Am hoping to go for a tramp with afew guys from uni during the Easter break. should be great!!

Have a safe and happy Easter, a great time to reflect on Jesus sacrifice for us.
Pics are: Rob Roy and Rob Roy glacier
Winding thru some crevasses UNROPED, whao!
The rest are pretty obvious, the last being walking up the summit ridge. Great stuff!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Terra Nova

Terra Nova was the ship of Capt Robert Falcon Scotts that he took down to the ice in his ill fated polar attempt in 1911/12, translated in Latin it means "new land", it is also the name of our family boat, a 7.6m twin engined Image boat that I have spent my last week on in Fiordland with Dad.

Its the first time I've been "over the hill" into Doubtful Sound since Easter 2004, the time before that being form 2 camp at Deep Cove so it was quite a special week. We started in Doubtful Sound but spent alot of the week also up in Charles and Caswell Sounds. I really love that place its all got quite a history, both geologically and maritime hardman styles of 19th and early 20th century. Each sound has its charms and a uniqueness.

Doubtful Sound; named Doubtful harbour by Cook due to the fact he was unsure whether navigation into the sound was possible by sail. Its one of the larger Fiords including its connected sister sounds of Bradshaw and Thompson sounds and is the site where the manapouri power station tailrace finishes in at Deep Cove. Hence the good access over the Wilmot Pass.

Charles Sound; home to the two monarches of western Fiordland as John Hall Jones puts it. Mt Irene (1,879m) and Mt Coronation (1,765m). Charles Sound -named after Capt Charles McLaren of the Sydney Cove in 1810- branches into two arms, Emelius Arm to the north and Gold Arm to the south (no gold was ever found in this stretch of water.) The Irene river runs into Emelius Arm and we spent part of a day wandering up there to catch a glimpse of Mt Irene who was swathed in cloud...We also spent alot of time in Charles fishing and cray diving catching cod, a groper and one or two shark.

Caswell Sound; this precipitous sound was first surveyed by a commander of the Acheron and an overland route from Te Anau to Caswell was found by Quintin MacKinnon (of MacKinnon pass fame on the Milford) in 1887. Himself and his exploring companion George Tucker never actually got to Caswell Sound however, getting to Lake Marchant and assuming it was Caswell Sound. It is infact near sea level and about 1 hours walk from the sound itself as we found out for ourselves, its quite a beautiful spot. Caswell Sound was also the site of the Caswell Sound Mining Company which mined marble there but only lasted around 5 years before falling to bits.

In all it was a marvellous week, so relaxing letting some motors do all the hard yards your legs normally do.....

Pictures are (from top to bottom).
Doubtful from the Wilmot Pass
Dad holding a fine Hapuka (Groper)
Sea/Sun etc
Myself at Lake Marchant eating Ripples Ready Salted chips
Terra Nova pointing up Emelius Arm towards the Irene river
Looking south down the coast and a nice display of some lenticular cloud

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