Friday, October 27, 2006

down again...

Just got back from my 5 day hike in Nelson Lakes National Park. The Park is comprised of two large lakes, Roititi and Rotoroa, and a range of peaks up to 2900m. The track I took wound along the Travers river into the heart of the park. I made it to John Tait Hut the first night, about 13 miles in, for my first taste of the NZ wilderness. It was windy and cold on the way up, so I was very happy to step into a wood-fire heated, running water, mattress equiped cabin that evening. These things are nice, and for $10nz a night, a bargain.
Inside, I met a group of 9 (more on them later) and two couples, one of them climbers who I had some nice chats with, the other a couple who had been working in Antarctica, at McMurdo station, where my old friend Ian is right now!
I asked them if they knew who he was, and they said no. I mentioned offhand as I trailed off that he had gotten frostbite. "Mittens!" they exclaimed. Apparently thats what everyone has been calling him there days.
The next day took a leisurly 3 hours to get to the next hut, Upper Travers, which is situated in an alpine cirque at 1700m. Took the rest of the day as a rest, lounging in the sun in 70 degree temps. Spent the evening talking and playing cards with the group of nine. Turns out they were with a Christian Organization that organizes these trips. The two leaders, Norm and Christie, where volunteers who had moved over from the states, and the participants were from all over; switzerland, the netherlands, oregon. They were very welcoming, warm, and kind, and we spent an excellent night and morning together before they set off on day 3.
I left most of my gear at the hut and ran the 2 or 3 miles up to the top of the saddle, around 2300m, which was a steep climb on slushy snow. It was reassuring to have my ice axe. The views on the top were spectacular, especially of the east face of Travers Peak. Imposing, to say the least.
I spent the next day and a half descending, and the weather held out just long enough for me. I'm back in Nelson now, off to Christchurch in the morning for a few days, then to Castle Hill. Hope everyone is well!
love, Max


Anonymous said...

Nice photos!! We got a package today from you of your camping gear from NZ. Dad's making some sort of yellow tailed fish and potatos from our garden and green beans for dinner. He found these weird peppers in the garden that look like they have tounges. He says 'how should I know what they are?!' Mom's working all weekend. We did pottery together when she got home today. Mina misses you too she was sleeping in the middle of your bed for a long time one of the first few days after you left. Bama had her chrysanthemum show this weekend. She won 2 blue ribbons, 2 red, and one white (3rd place). I want to try to go to the show tomorrow and meet barefoot John! We got a new radio for the kitchen. It looks very high tec. We have to take the van in for an emissions test...we'll see how that goes! That's all the news I can think of. Oh yea, and I'm going to Sacramento tomorrow! It's for a people's institute undoing racism training- my first time really helping out in another state. I'm excited. Talk to you soon, hope everything is going good. Be safe and call! Love Megan

Anonymous said...

Hey Max,
Love that photo you took of yourself that is blurry.
It sounds like you're having a great time.
How are the newspapers there? Interesting? Bring some home.

Anonymous said...

Hi max!
It's claire, your pictures and adventures are making me oh so jealous, especially because i have a paper to write, and i would much rather be galavanting around new zealand. can't wait to read more!

Bethany said...

Hey Max! I'm glad to hear your trip went well! Our trip finished well too! It was great hanging out with you a bit in the huts. Where are you off to next? Good luck on your travels! We'll continue to pray for your safety and health as your travel! God Bless You!

Bethany (from Oregon)