10 June 2010

New Zealand Jan 2001 - Rees & Dart Valleys

Rees & Dart Valleys, Dart Glacier & Cascade Saddle
Our first walking trip was the Rees-Dart Valleys. You can tell this was taken in the first hour, 'cos we're all still smiling. Reading the trip notes for this walk... er... tramp (more of a slosh, actually), there is one small line about boggy areas... Please, note how clean the gaiters are. They failed at keeping the mud out of our socks, as they weren't designed for full scale long-term immersion. Thank goodness it hadn't rained heavily in the last 24 hours, 'cos we hadn't tested our packs as canoes...

That's probably Mt Earnslaw in the background. One problem we encountered photographing in NZ is that there is a lot of white about, making for too much contrast. One solution would be to take photos in another country, but I think I'll simply bring a filter with me next time.All through the months of preparation for our trip, Helen had forgotten to tell the rest of us (silly her!) about sandflies. Imagine!? The one critter in New Zealand that is more annoying and badgering than a four year old asking you where they came from. One thing I learnt very early on day two, after I'd got up first to cook brekky, is "don't get up first to cook brekky". Otherwise the sandflies have you all to themselves...

Cascade Saddle Panorama
L to R: Mt Edward above the Dart Glacier, Plunkett Dome, the West Matukituki above which is Rob Roy, and rightmost Cascade Falls. If the sky had been clearer, you would also have seen Mt Aspiring.
210 degree view, stitched from 9 photos

Helen and the boys at the foot of Dart Glacier. The black stuff in the background is actually ice. I used to think ice was white, but as you can see from the above pic, a lot of rubble falls onto the glacier. In fact, all of New Zealand's peaks seem to be falling down.The next day we commenced our walk out. It rained. Not heavily, but constantly. All day. In those circumstances, there is not much to do but keep walking, which we did, the boys being propelled foward by an unending retelling of Monty Python sketches, dredged up from my youth.
Actually, the really groovy thing was going out on the jet boat. We had the maniac driver (fortunately our packs were in a boat driven by someone more sedate) who would spin the boat into reverse, and you would liken the experience to having a bucket of ice-cold water tipped over your head, and then sitting in front of a strong fan. It was fun, though.

As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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