Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Resolutions, a hot time in Wanaka and heading bush, to snow and ice country

Dear Readers

It's been a very special few days here in Wanaka. Not because of the sudden influx of party goers and holiday makers, most relaxed, sadly many drunk. No, not the many nubile young woman on the lake's beaches either!

Instead my friend Bob McKerrow, humanitarian with the International Red Cross and mountaineer, and his family have been here; and then our mutual friend Brian Miller, a publisher [Lifelogs] and author from Dunedin called in. From the left: Bob, Brian, and me...#alttext#So amongst many dreams mulled over and dispatched comes the thought: New Years Resolution!#alttext#I think I'll make one to keep having great trips in our Southern Alps...#alttext#

Bob, letting his hair down perhaps, has had a great trip getting to Wanaka [after being a an earthquake magnet in Christchurch] including a flight over such peaks and valleys covered by the names: Mount Cook, Godley, Murchison, Tasman, Whataroa, Butler, Franz Josef and Maccaulay valleys. In short a lot of Mt Cook National Park.

But for myself I have a resolution to honour, and so rather than being surrounded by nubile young bodies / beautifuls, and guys with their eyes velcroed to their breasts - all oblivious to the brutal sunburn possibilities. No its time to go bush! I doubt it'll include rock, snow and ice as per images here, but I can dream!

I'm not sure where yet, but I'm leaving this town for a few of the crazy days of summer, and it gives Bob a chance in my home to take his well earned rest from disaster recovery housing schemes in Sri Lanka a step further.

Traditionally this is a time to climb a few good mountains. Especially since the weather is so settled here and we've avoided the tropical cyclone up north over Nelson and Wellington etc.

One area I love because of it's close proximity is the Ahuriri Valley Conservation Estate - the perfect place if you have four wheel drive. Here are a few more photos, the first ones taken recently and the others in another passage of my life... #alttext##alttext#A trip I learnt a lot on in this area many years ago - a Search and Rescue exercise with the Dunedin Face Rescue Team of the time...#alttext##alttext##alttext##alttext# Yet another trip - we traversed the whole of the glacier under Mt Barth looking for a safe route up the face of Mt Barth on the left on an avalanche day. We "gave it away" as too risky, but it was a fun walk...#alttext#Sometime later I did a solo ascent of the face of Mt Barth - it went well, but I knew on the descent I'd have to tackle this stretch with no protection, unlike when Hank led it on my first traverse of Mt Heim and Mt Barth in a day. Anyway a couple of careful moves across a brief void, and I was on the easy ground just above where he is in this photo...#alttext#On the above traverse - Mt Aspiring in the background...#alttext#

More>>Bob's blog on his Godley flight [as mentioned above].

More>>Brian Miller's LifeLogsWherever you are, whoever you are - to you and yours I wish you the Very Best for the New Year. Stay Safe too!
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