Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas holiday 2012 - part five

On the morning of the 27th December we packed up and started walking up to the Quarterdeck on our way to Colin Todd Hut. It was another fantastic day weatherwise although the forecast for the following day (summit day) was not looking too flash.

Part way up French Ridge heading to the Quarterdeck

How's that for a view - Aspiring far right, Mt French to the left of Aspiring

Part way up the snow towards the Quarterdeck we stopped for a discussion about our plans. With the weather forecast the way it was coupled with the late night we had getting to French Ridge Hut it seemed unlikely that we would summit Mt Aspiring. While this was a great disappointment to us we decided it was better to look at this trip as a learning experience and to change our plans. We decided to dump our (super-heavy) packs and climb Mt French instead. We buried our packs in the snow to deter the keas from ripping them to shreds and headed off to climb Mt French.

Heading up to the Quarterdeck

View back down French Ridge

Mt French

Mt Avalanche in the background
A little crevasse we passed (stepped over)
After reaching the summit of Mt French we headed back down to collect our packs and return to French Ridge Hut. We stayed the night and then headed back down to the Matukituki Valley.
View from below French Ridge Hut back down to Aspiring Hut
As it transpired the weather the next morning was less than favourable and deteriorated through the day so the decision to not press on to Colin Todd Hut and the summit of Mt Aspiring was a good one. We'll be back in the future to achieve that particular goal and will be a little better prepared next time round.

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