27 June 2015

No. 1 Line to Kiritaki in midwinter

The walk from Kiritaki hut back over the range to the car at No. 1 Line tested my concentration. After a bitterly cold night, much of the snow had frozen, making the footing even more treacherous. Still, I had plenty of time as well as the inclination to stop frequently to photograph and eat another biscuit and admire the spectacular environment through which I was picking my way. This shows a typical section of the track.

When I began leaving the ice and snow behind on the descent to the car, I felt a twinge of sadness. Times like this don't come frequently enough.

All content © 2015 Pete McGregor


Lesley said...

I hope there was plenty of wood at the hut for you to light a roaring fire and keep warm during the night, Pete.

The track looks as if it's not often used and hard work at any time. Such a tangle of branches. Just as well you had plenty of time for coming down.

Zhoen said...

As so often with your photos, I want to run my hands over the surfaces, feel the cold of the ice, the smooth pebbles, the rough crystals.

pohanginapete said...

Lesley, I usually avoid lighting fires. I had plenty of warm clothing and the big sleeping bag, so I was adequately warm.

Zhoen, I had to handle plenty of ice-encrusted branches. The novelty wears off. I must have been working reasonably hard, though, because my hands mostly stayed warm enough. I do remember thinking how it's impossible to remember heat in conditions like these, just as remembering this kind of cold was impossible when I was sweltering in Delhi. I mean true remembering, like the felt equivalent of visualising, rather than 'logical' remembering, if you know what I mean.

Relatively Retiring said...

Yes, the 'true memory' concept is challenging. I find the cold energising, the heat enervating and it's difficult to 'think' back into those states physically.
I enjoy this lovely cold photograph as the temperatures creep up into the 30s here.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
Is there an actual "track" cut through there? Such a sense of beauty yet the reality of the environment stands out.

Zhoen said...

At 38C here, I'm doing my best, and your photos do help.

pohanginapete said...

RR, I'm built better for dealing with heat, not so much for the cold. I'd trade some of the weather here for some of yours right now.

Kia ora Robb. Yes, a track does exist — getting to Kiritaki through this kind of tupare without a track would take days and leave you whimpering. In many places the track's a little tight, though — definitely not the kind of track for a big pack. Mine was a little larger than usual because of the extra clothing and much bigger sleeping bag, and I had some awkward squeezes at times.

Zhoen, glad they help.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete..
I just dragged out my old well used Guide to the Ruahine Forest Park by Kathy Ombler. I bought it in 1993 when I moved here. She states that the southern Ruahine is the largest unbroken expanse of tupare in the world. Whimpering sounds like the right description.

pohanginapete said...

Kia ora Robb. I wonder what might still hide there? Some of the animals that live there will undoubtedly never have seen a human. That was clearly the case with the possum I encountered at 1.45 p.m. as I walked back to No. 1 Line. It completely ignored me and kept on gnawing the bark off a shrubby haumakaroa. It couldn't even be bothered scrutinising me.