15 October 2009

Terry above Greenlaw Creek, Arthur's Pass NP

In the morning we made our way down from the tops where we'd camped. We picked our way along the steep, broken ridge, occasionally leaving our packs and dropping a short way down a promising scree slope. Most, like this, petered out into dangerous bluffs, but eventually we found one that angled all the way down to the creek. Sometimes scree slopes are wonderful — one can run down, taking giant strides and moving with the scree as it slides; however, our route was mostly like this — large, not entirely stable blocks — turning lower down into fine gravel over a hard base (imagine trying to walk on a thin layer of sand on angled glass): the kind of descent that wrecks knees and turns thighs to jelly.

Already, the nor'west storm had begun to brew. The gale blew up during the night and we walked out the next day in the rain.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor


Lesley said...

I've only once run down a long scree slope. Magic! I felt as if I were wearing seven-league boots - well, seven-metre ones, anyway. The trick seemed to be to land heel first and lean back slightly.

Anonymous said...

cool pic pete

pohanginapete said...

Lesley, if the scree is just right, it's a marvellous feeling to race down, especially given the effort to get to the top in the first place. Good puttees are essential, though!

Tom — thanks :^)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
That looks like some wild weather brewing alright! I have only been able to spend a few days in Arthur's Pass - with fellow blogger Jamie, and it rained the whole time. I did manage a few short walks. Sort of like having only a tiny sip of my favourite beer!

pohanginapete said...

Robb, that area's great country — such a shame you struck bad weather. With luck you'll get more opportunities, in better weather!