Sometimes, timing is everything. I set out to climb Avalanche peak in Arthur's Pass National Park back in November, but its peaks were still covered in snow, and expertise that I did not possess was required to make the trek. At that moment I opted for Bealy Spur, a nice walk in itself, but no Avalanche Peak.
Avalanche peak is a cruel unrelenting mistress of a mountain, and though it takes only three hours to ascend, you earn every step the whole way up, and down. The track starts at about 780m and rises to 1822 in about seven kilometres, including the very beginning which climbs quite aggressively at incline ranging from 34 -80 degrees, this is then followed by a ridge that ascends 300m in a distance of 500 metres. This walk is not for the feint of heart, once you have handled the stiff beginning inclines, and crossed the competitively tame but potentially treacherous (in high wind) grassy slope leading to the final ridges and peaks where the path is narrow, and very steep on either side, one misstep, or gust of wind and it is goodnight. But the views encapsulate all of what makes New Zealand great.
Our international consortium of hikers were lucky enough to have the most glorious cloud free blue skies, and the trail largely to our selves with the exception of French girl looking for lost gear, and an irresponsible German/Swiss couple making the trek with a baby strapped to their back, and making their poor four year old walk on his own. ( I am all for getting the kids outside to hike, but I had a few missteps on the way down, and could only imagine how it must have been for the little guy) Aside from the stunning views we enjoyed on this day, the company is what made the trip.
Joining me this time were Dale and Peter. Dale a fellow colleague of mine at Burnside, and Peter the brother to another colleague, who I had previously travelled to Fiji with. Dale and I had also had previous adventures together, but they were of a different sort! A surprise dinner guest, also pictured below, was the notorious Kea, the world's only alpine parrot, and arguably one of the smartest birds in the world. These guys are famous for taking our weather stripping on windows, flying off with cameras and all sorts of unwanted behaviour. On this day or friendly Kea swooped in for lunch, and was quite ballsy in trying to get a bite of my Afghan chicken, and had no trouble invading my personal space. I think the pictures do a better job of describing this day, so I will leave it to that, as part of my new year's resolution to keep this more up to date for the five you who actually read it from time to time! Until next time!
Happily married to my beautiful wife Stephanie, and proud father of three beautiful girls, Aurora, Brynn and Clara. Instructional designer, writing when I find time.