Katie, Jeremy, and I went for a walk into Hawdon Hut for the evening. The theme of the trip was coldness. The walk in was ok as long as you kept moving and we did get patches of sunshine. We lit the fire in the hut but struggled to get it to produce much heat. It was sulking. The wood was too wet. We played Katie’s monopoly card game in the evening and ate many marshmallows. This was all well and good. It cleared in the night and I was tempted to take photos of the stars and snow on the mountains visible from the hut. Laziness got the better of me though and I went back to sleep instead.
Jeremy and I went for a scamper up towards Walker Pass the following day. Little bits of snow were falling as we left the hut. We retreated before we got to the pass. It took three hours to walk out and we drove back to Christchurch stopping at the Sheffield Pie Shop for our second round of pies on this trip.
Above left: We walked into Hawdon Hut fuelled by Sheffield pies. Above right: We had the hut to ourselves. It was cold and we didn’t really have a lot of luck with the fire but the company was good and kept us warm.
Above: The mountains were covered in snow.
Above: We walked back out the next day.
Above: There were some nice mossy bits along the way.
Craig and I drove up the access road to the ski farm using the new chains I’d bought yesterday. It was sunny but there was a cold wind. We headed off taking the DoC route to the back of the snow farm. We then skinned along one of their tracks to the turn off to the Kirtle Burn Hut. We followed the four wheel drive track that was covered in deep powder snow towards the hut. The wind was strong and there were kites off in the distance with ski tourers attached skiing up and down the hills. We expected them to be staying a the hut but when we got there we found the hut empty. Kirtle Burn Hut is a small 6 bunk box of a hut. It’s not bad though and it’s set up for ski tourers with floor suitable for melted snow.
We decided against going out for a tour up to Mt Pisa and instead made hot drinks and read the available mags, which included “Women’s Day”. This didn’t bring much joy. We had enough gas to cook dinner and then it was time to sleep.
It was another clear day and very cold. We skinned up the hill in front of the hut for a few hundred metres. The snow was hard and icy in patches. As the wind was rising again we removed our skins and had quite a nice little run back down past the hut and into the valley. We skinned and skied back down to the snow farm tracks and then I skated back around to the DoC track. We drove back down the access road and then back to Christchurch.
Craig and I went ski touring in the Remarkables for the day. We didn’t get to the ski field until midday due to a bunch of reasons including having to take the ski bus so we only had four hours for our tour. This turned out ok though. It was sunny and blue and we skinned up across the ski field to Lake Alta. From there we followed ski tracks up to a saddle before dropping down the other side towards Wye Creek. The descent was fun and powdery but over after just a handful of turns. We skied then skinned across the plateau with the intention of dropping down to Doolans Creek. It was windy on the ridge when we arrived and we could see a couple of people far below in the valley. There line was visible where they had descended but it looked very steep and patchy. The avalanche report had set the avalanche risk at high. Craig called it survival skiing. We decided to skin back up to another flatter saddle and try another run back down. A second great powder run later and we skinned back up to the first saddle before dropping back down to Lake Alta and descending across the ski field to the ski bus. A nice little tour.
Above: Craig and I skied up and into the basins behind the Remarkables ski field.
Above: We had a couple of great powder descents above Wye Creek.
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