Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mueller Hut and Annette Plateau- The windy wonderland!

Adventure galore have been happening here in New Zealand, with two amazing glacier trips lately: one up to Mueller Glacier in Mount Cook national park, and the other was climbing Mount Aspiring in Mount Aspiring national park.

 The Mueller trip was forecasted to be beautiful. Murphy's law it wasn't. The winds were so strong (60 - 80km/h) that camping in the wind scoop on the top of Annette Plateau blew my socks off, and us almost off the mountain! Cooking dinner was a mission in itself, not to mention the 6 hour ski tour to the plateau.

Sleeping in the single-skin summit tent, it felt as though the sides of the tent were going to be torn apart. Actually, it was probably a large possibility. It was a fun game though, trying to read the wind and then press yourself against the side of the tent to give it a bit more stability. Needless to say, it was a sleepless, shaky night, and in the morning it was a treat to find the cooking pots and stove frozen solid and covered in snow. We made the decision to pack up as fast as possible (it was 7am) and make our way back to Mueller hut (without breakfast or tea!) to get some shelter from the wind.

I may look a bit special, but this is me trying to tackle the wind. I lost :(

Upon our arrival to Mueller hut, we made copious amounts of tea and oatmeal, crawled into our sleeping bags, and chatted with a random man named Ingor. It was very peaceful, oh, apart from the wind outside which sounded (and felt) as though it was going to blow the windows apart. At 4:00pm we decided to head down, even though we had planned another day up there. The weather was not looking good for the next day either. We skied as far down as we could, resulting in becoming to far left of the trail, and requiring a little bit of vigorous bush wacking and a bit of down climbing with ice axes. It was magical!

 But we made it down safely! All in all it was a great experience and fantastic trip!

NORMA ammunition