Friday, 18 March 2016

More Gillespie, Glaciers

Grey-with-blue-bits start to the day, the forecast promises better. Started through forest, instantaneous change to scrub, then grass. One bridge over the river, then 900m almost vertically up the side of the valley, glimpses of Mt Awful, Mt Dreadful and a glacier as the grey gradually gave way to the blue. The top took us by surprise, a sudden flattening, and sooner than expected.  Wonderful views up & down the valley, intermittently back the way we'd come. A deep rift divided the plateau, in one bit a carpet of little white flowers, possibly Saxifrage, sheltered from the worst of the common gales. Edelweiss, white gentians and small blue or white bells on the way down, otherwise dead heads as it's autumn here. Steep rocky descent, then scrub including dwarf totara, usually a huge tree (not to be confused with tuatara, the iguana like creature)
More down, then easy 3/4 hour along the glacial valley to the Siberia Hut, in a fabulous location, mountains on all sides, snow and glaciers at either end and a river below.

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