We left Lake Nerine in the morning and ascended the slopes to the glacier on the South side of Nereus Peak. We dumped our packs and scrambled and picked our way up over snow and rock to the rock spire that was the summit. We scrambled up to the summit. Emily decided she’d prefer a rope so after collecting the rope Steve lead the short section to the summit. It was a good view from the top but the strong wind was bringing the clouds in and the sun was beginning to disappear. We set off down the glacier. Steve did some glissading on his crampons on the last part of the glacier and then we were onto the rock and climbing down into the North Branch of the Routeburn. We walked down the valley at some point escaping the bad weather and being rewarded by sunshine and heat. Shortly after passing the Routeburn Flats Hut we found a nice swimming spot and stripped off and refreshed ourselves in the cold water possibly disturbing nearby tourists. Then it was out and back to Queenstown for some expensive restaurant food.
We headed up to Lake Wilson in the morning and slowly picked our way along the Serpentine Range eventually heading up over the North Col and sidling around towards Lake Nerine. The weather was suddenly cold and wet on the North side of the col but as we sidled the rain stopped and we were left with fog instead. We dropped down to the lake and set up camp for the night. At some point the fog cleared and the sun came out and we went for a quick skinny dip in the lake. I spent another day trying to keep up with the others. I’m much slower (relatively) compared with our trip to Ice Lake a few years ago.
Chris, Steve, Emily and I drove into the Routeburn Shelter yesterday evening and then walked into the Routeburn Flats Hut. We camped North of the hut for the night.
Today we headed back past the Routeburn Flats Hut directly South climbing up a steep ravine and picking our way up to Emily Pass. From there we headed up Emily Peak from the ridge leading South East from the pass. It was a mixture of scrambling and some easy climbing on chossy rock. Steve lead the few pitches to the summit and we climbed up on top rope. We had a great view from the summit down to Lake Mackenzie. We down climbed from the peak and abseiled the last section back to the ridge and headed off down to Lake Mackenzie where we had a brew up. The DoC warden interrogated us as we walked past Lake Mackenzie Hut. Where would we be staying? Did we know the rules? It’s already late. That’s a long way. We assured him we’d be camping sufficiently far away from the Great Walk and set off northwards. At Conical Hill we dropped down to Lake Harris and then found a camp site on the flats below the climb to Lake Wilson. The site was pretty nice with an upstairs, an elevated knoll where Steve and I pitched for the night. The Fornes were downstairs.
A good day out.