This weekend I climbed a mountain. Up until this point I have avoided such adventures, usually because I am afraid of really holding people back with my un-fitness. But with my extra running and cycling I decided it was time to stop being scaredy cat. So I went along with Patrick, Maaike and Kylie to climb Avalanche Peak. I was still the weakest link but I kept up ok… I think.
At the top we ridge line walked Avalanche peak then dropped down to another less high ridge line to walk to the correct scree slope to descend to the Crow Hut. That took maybe another hour and a bit. The ridge line was amazing. Never done anything like it! So devoid of any plant life with sharp crumbly grey rock I imagined I would turn the corner and see dragons. We had to scramble, climb and walk our way there.
This is Kylie trying to smile for the camera after coming down the scree behind him. Scree is crumbly mountain side, usually lots of small loose rock you can slip down a bit like a sand dune, but with sharpish fist and pebble sized rocks instead of sand. That was the freakest and hardest part of the day. All the muscles in my legs were screaming by half way down and I was so aware that loosening bigger rocks could land on the people below me (I was at the back until half way down) so I would frequently stop, when I started really slipping and loosing lots of rocks, until everything stopped moving around me.
There was also another group descending the scree at the same time as us and one poor girl lost her footing and panicked a little bit. So she sat for a while just getting her head together again. In the end she recovered but went very slowly down after that. So it really was scary and not just me.
When I got to the bottom and met up with the rest of my party who were sitting around waiting (I thought for me) I drank more water and ate a bit of food, but I was eager to keep going because the hut was only ten or so minutes away. But before we left Patrick and Maaike started chanting “we know a secret, we know a secret” which I am afraid was lost on the tired me who smiled and didn’t try to guess – brain was focusing on staying upright. So I made my darling Kylie get up to show me the rest of the way to the hut which meant dry clothes and a mattress! Ahhh mattress… So the last person showing up on the slope above us was noticed by me, I just wanted to get the walk done and so I carried on… Not caring! About two thirds of the way to the hut the others caught up with an extra person. My tired brain didn’t even look twice, I just assumed someone from the other group had joined them. But low and behold up walks Mike. Who had to leave Chch later than us, but still wanted to come, so drove himself up into the mountains and caught up to us, despite being an hour behind in starting! Apparently I looked sufficiently surprised. To tired to speak for ten seconds I just stared at him.
Lucky for us Mike was late because he had to gone out to choose a wedding cake for his upcoming nuptials. As a result of the cake choosing activity he decided to attempt hiking in a cake for the evening. Which he did! A yummy yummy banana cake… It arrived intact and extremely edible. For dinner and breakfast.
The cake yummy and intact and Mike eating his lunch the next day.
This is me with my pack… strong like. Sorry if this post is a little muddled sounding, my brain is still focusing on focusing….