Wednesday, February 14, 2007

McPherson - Talbot traverse via Talbots Ladder

Great day in the hills with Jonway on Tuesday. This was Fiordland at its finest, nothing like a nice gentle southerly to clear out west of the divide. We had an early start from Homer tunnel and climbed Talbots ladder, once "the postmans route" to Milford and reached McPhersons summit around 10:30. Traversed across the snow to Talbots rock ridge and spent afew hours picking our way up the ridge, climbing and scrambling to the summit about 2pm. A nice top of 2100m, not particularly high but its only around 15km from the coast so its pretty impressive.

Walked off its north face and down to Gertrude saddle and Black Lake, out Gertrude Valley to Homer hut well before dark, afew kms from where we left the car. Its pretty hard to beat a warm sunny day high on the tops in Fiordland. I'm still buzzing looking at the pictures.
Pics are:
ry on the ladder
Jonway on Talbot with a backdrop of Sabre
Jonway rapping off Talbot
Us at Black Lake looking back on Talbot

A 24hr "adventure race" style

I haven't been out with Ollie this summer but this was quite the mission. He had 1 day off on Sunday from PE school pracs which he is helping run up in Paradise for two weeks so we made the most of it doing a traverse of Somnus (which he hasn't climbed and has really wanted to) from the Rockburn over into the Nth Routeburn. Started on Saturday night at about 11pm headtorching into near on theatre flat by 2:30am, bivvied under some trees til 6 and were up and off again up a route we weren't sure of but thought we'd give a crack. It was way more rocky going up the northern side and the mountain had lost an incredible amount of snow since I'd been up there a month and a half ago. So it was alot of alpine rock scrambling and climbing, some grade 12-13 rock climbs here and there. Summited about 1pm and the whole of the surrounding valleys were still blanketed with cloud, peaks poking their heads up thru it. Started to descend but we again had to use a different route than the couloir which is now not in condition to climb. Route finding proved slow and at times difficult but we made the nth routeburn valley at around 7pm and from there walked out. Arrived back at the shelter by headtorch at 11:20pm. 24 hrs, 20 mins, 3.5 hrs sleep. And I forgot my camera...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mt Earnslaw, east peak

Its been a month since I've been out and this was a great trip. Did it with Jude, Viv, Hamlin and the Anna/Miri team. Was great for Miri to get a top climb before heading to Vanuatu for the year. Climbed the easiest route up the central gully of the North face of Earnslaws east peak topping out at 2830m. We'd been worried it would reject us due to the fact that part of the face was still frozen from the storm two days previous but with a late morning start from Esquilent biv the upper part of the mountain was well on its way to thawing and we happily made the top for lunch before descending to the valley floor, a drop of 2,200m. A long day but what a way to spend Waitangi day!!! Again, superb weather to melt all that frost off the mountain

Photos are: Sunset travel across Wright Cole towards Pluto and Esquilent biv.

Chopper on the summit

Summit: L-R, Hamlin, Viv, Anna, Jude, Miri, Ryan

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