Monday, 9 March 2009

Summer snow and gales in Aoraki/ Mount Cook National Park

Greetings from the Old Mountaineer's Bar in Mount Cook Village. Outside, a storm is blowing a gale. Hopefully the cheap tent we bought might still be standing by the time we get back. At least the bar has an open fire and internet.

Yesterday we left Queenstown after deteriorating weather covered the Remarkables range with snow, burying the tops and also our ambitions of tackling Double Cone. Time pressures forced us to leave town and head for Mount Cook instead. The four-hour drive had some great scenery, reminding Jen of 'Little House on the Prairie'. She half expected Laura Ingalls to come running down the hill to greet us.

Arriving at the campsite, it would have been criminal to waste the late afternoon sun. We managed a three-hour walk down the Hooker Valley which included two glacial lakes, a couple of suspension bridges and several glaciers. Aoraki/Mt Cook (3,754m) towered above us. Apparently, the mountain lost 20 metres of its height following a rock avalanche in 1991.

We're keeping our fingers crossed for better weather tomorrow. We'd like to walk up to the Mueller Hut and Mt Ollivier for great views of some of the highest mountains in New Zealand. We were supposed to be up there today, but the weather got the better of us again.  


David said...

oh dear. Doens't sound like you are having much luck with the weather.

Better get back off to the winery for some more approachable cheeky flavours.

Was there a hint of cinnamon and blackberries?

Anonymous said...

Hi Uncle StJohn, Andy and Jen

(Mia and Freya ask) do you still have your tents or have they blown away? Did you swim in the lake? Thank you for the postcard. We print out your blogs and post them to Grandma. mummy got her dressing table.

Lots of love freya & mia

Anonymous said...

Hi, we did also the mueller hut before we left back to Finland. nice glacier view and of course nice mt cook view. We left from museum at 4pm and got almost back before dark.

It can be bit slippery if its raining, but its still managable if you start early.

best regards from snowy Finland

Toni & Hanna

Anonymous said...

Nahdaan huomenna Hilu ja Harri, kun tulevat Maijan uutta Sopiva-putiikkia katsomaan - ja niin makin menen!
Terkuin Arja