Sunday, January 4, 2009

An interesting start to the New Year what with some varied outdoor activities

New Years day started for me watching fireworks down on Lake Wanaka's lake shore at midnight. I've always found Eely Point a good vantage point as it's not over-run by people. Before the day was out though I was deep in the heart of our Southern Alps on a Search and Rescue mission: an Aucklander of Uzbekistan descent was tramping alone from the Aspiring Hut to the Dart Hut over the Cascade Saddle, a tough alpine tramping route near Mount Aspiring, and not turned up at Dart Hut well over the other side.

A few light moments shared in the helicopter over the Matukituki river before arriving at the saddle...
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I was far too busy after landing to photograph and admire the amazingly tough environment of Cascade Saddle and Dart Glacier we'd just been transported into as if by magic at over 1700 meters, until waiting to be picked up again in failing visibility with snow flakes. It was good to be "out-of-there" a few minutes later knowing darkness and a "weather bomb" were arriving...sar400-2.jpg

Jan. 2nd as anticipated was a shocker for weather, and so no searching occurred. The next day I'd committed to helping with the half marathon "Souther Muster" being held at the Snow Farm. At 1500m we did get some left-over snowflakes from the big storm, but it was a lovely day, be it cool with the freezing level at about 1600m.

My camper beside Meadow Warming hut where we ran a drink station for the runners and bikers for the morning...
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Runners calling in for drinks, bananas or jelly beans...
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After the job was over there was time for a 3 hour walk and some serious landscape photography of the typical New Zealand high-country variety...
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As of finishing this my weekly dispatch, the weather remains unsuitable for further searching for the tramper. It may be days before an outcome is achieved which will be hard for the search management team and the victim's family members.

PS just as I posted this the ph. rang and I find myself getting ready for another flight to Cascade Saddle [perhaps!]. Watch this space.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Shirley Goodwin said...

I wondered if you were involved in searching for that tramper. It's not looking very hopeful.

Happy New Year anyway.

January 4, 2009 at 9:08 PM  
Anonymous marg said...

I stumbled across your blog the other day rather like one might stumble across a new book in the library. I only really know about blogs because 2 of my sisters have blogs and I love the connections to their lives maintained in this way. Anyway I got a book about Dunedin tracks and trails for christmas so I thought I'd spend 2009 walking my way through the book and went searching for any blogs on this subject and yours turned up. A sombre way to start the new year looking for someone missing and I hope the search prevails. The scenery however is spectacular.

January 4, 2009 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Donald said...

Thanks for your kind comments Marg. I'd have left this comment reply on your blog, but I suspect you don't have one yet. Perhaps you could leave the addresses here of your sister's blogs.

January 5, 2009 at 5:06 PM  

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