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Trip to Barron Saddle

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Week two of the school holidays and it was time for another adventure. We were supposed to be organising the National Ski Orienteering Champs at the Snow Farm in Wanaka – but there had been so little snow we thought perhaps we should call it off.

After a quick phone call to the Snow Farm however, we were assured that there was enough snow to run the ski orienteering. This gave us a timeframe – we would need to be ready with courses planned by Friday morning. It was only Monday, so surely that was plenty of time to squeeze in a trip.
We decided to head down to Mt Cook, and Joe decided to join us too. After a bit of reading and consultation with CMC gurus we decided a ski trip to Barron Saddle sounded like a cool challenge for us.
Leaving Christchurch late on Monday night we drove South laden with gear. We crept into the Wyn Irwin Lodge at 1pm, and marvelled at the fluffy snow lying all around.
In the morning it was very cold and clear and all the peaks of Aoraki stood above, looking blue …

SkiTramping Comes to Life!

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After a long and rather dark term (interspersed with some good wee weekend missions which I have failed miserably to blog about) the school holidays finally arrived! The snow forecast had been dry and hopeless, but my hopes went up on the blustery cold Wednesday Run with a Southery front in full force just a few days before the holidays were about to start...

Which turned into not much. However, on Friday night we witnessed a large high settling itself over New Zealand. This was good. But Chris needed to do a not very overdue tax return, sigh. So Saturday saw Chris taxing and both of us scheming. After several hours of intensive excitment the tax was done, a mammmoth winter mission in Arthurs Pass planned out and a huge amount of gear loaded into the car.

We planned to carry: 5 days food Skis and ski boots Glacier gear - rope and harness + prussicks Avalanche trancievers, shovel and spade each Crampons, ice axes Tramping boots Sleeping bags + mats Tent Cooker Hmmmm...this sounded li…

Manakau Mission

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Four weeks out from Godzone, Chris, Rhys, Matt and I decided a proper mountain adventure was exactly what we needed to make sure we were fully prepared for this year's Godzone. Seeing as Godzone is based in Kaikoura, that seemed like a sensible place to plan a mission.

Unfortunately we were all at work and Chris had a little spare time to sit down and ponder a map - this normally results in bad consequences. Sure enough, he soon had us all convinced to embarking on an ambitious two day trip, which involved an ascent of Manakau (2600m) the highest peak in the Seaward Kaikoura Mountains.

Matt, Chris and I (being Christchurch based) piled three bikes and a whole heap of gear in the car on Friday night and headed up towards Mt Lyford. Lara was busy heading the other way to spend the weekend training down in Geraldine with her team mates from "Chimpanzeebars". Somehow we couldn't find a map, so in the dark made a night time car nav blunder that cost us half an hour! Not …