The promise of finally having a weekend off; which meant Helen Liley and Dave Ayre would be free when I was for a change, firm conditions, with low avalanche risk and acceptable weather forecast, had me super excited for an adventure! Dave was moving to Invercargill, so he and Helen were already on a road trip and in Aoraki. But I wasn't about to let a little post-night shift exhaustion stop me from getting there, and luckily Mark Lewis was also fairly easy to talking into tagging along and providing enough entertainment to keep me awake, even though he was in no fit state to drive!
So after a quick nap off we went. Wynnies was pretty busy, great vibe of everyone being drawn by the forecast and conditions! After some deliberation we set out sights on a day trip up Mt Edgar Thomson. However, soon to discover that conditions were not as firm or stable as promised. At about 1900m we decided we didn't much like the look of the avalanche conditions on the route ahead and turned around and went to climb an entertaining view point on the ridge below, which some found more challenging than others!
Helen and Dave then continued their road trip south, while Mark and I had an excessively lazy next day, where we utterly failed at an attempt on Red Arete - hilarious clustering - and mucked around with some photography before heading back to Christchurch!
6th - 7th July 2019

Heading up the ridge shortly before we decided to turn around, we would have had to cross much bigger more unstable slopes than this to reach the summit.

It started off a pretty overcast day, but as the weather began to clear, there were some pretty amazing photography opportunities, so forgive all the variations on a theme below, I couldn't decide which I liked best. 

Like the light on the snowslope just over there

A perspective on the park that I haven't seen previously

Because there must always be a panorama...

... or two!

Tasman Lake

Loving the light just breaking through in random places!

I did say variations on a theme

Helen and Dave, just before he moved to Invercargill!

Mark looks less tall when I stand on a rock

Actually one of my better group photos I think, Me, Helen, Dave and Mark

Heading back down, the light just kept getting better and better

Hooker Lake nestled in the mountains

Lake Pukaki

That person who constantly needs attention when you are trying to take serious photos!

There we go that's the photo I wanted. We all know I'm a sucker for texture in the snow

and also for black and white footprints in the snow

Heading back down, looking at the bump we subsequently climbed on the ridge

The lighting!! The delicate hoar frost on those rocks is pretty cool too.

The clouds are getting nice! This must have only been seconds before Helen managed to drop and loose her helmet down the mountainside!

Can nearly see the summits now!

Helen also thought it was worth taking a photo!

It really was a spectacular day out!

It's easier to get sensible photos of Mark when he doesn't know you are taking them.

Loving the hoar frost/ice in the foreground here!

Mark and the spectacular view

Didn't realise he'd stuck his tongue out in this one, but now I've realised I'm definitely going to put it one the internet!

The view East for a change!

Credit to Mark; this is actually a pretty good photo of me

Looking across at the bump we are about to go climb. Photo credit Mark.

This is of course what happens if you don't take the camera back off him quickly though! The reflection in the glasses is pretty good though. Photo credit Mark.

Aoraki is soo cool!

Hoar frost on scrub!

And there she is! Aoraki!

Adventure buddies =D - I have to say I'm slowly getting the hang of the selfie...

Couldn't resist - also I need to clean my lens!

He looks a bit spooked!

Mark and Mt Edgar Thomson

Mark and Aoraki

In fairness getting on and off that bump wasn't entirely straight forward!

The next day was super windy in the mountains! This photo of Aoraki was taken through binoculars - Mark's idea.

Had to stop and get a last photo looking back at Aoraki before the long drive home. Look at that wind!

Lake Pukaki

Aoraki from Pukaki - still windy!

The best of many attempts at skipping stone photography - I need to get a filter so I can do long exposures in daylight.


Look at all that snow moving around!


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