Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Epic Climb Up Roy's Peak

Just returned from finally climbing Roy's Peak. It was epic!! 1,257 meters from the bottom to the top- it felt like it was straight up all the way! I started off with Ewout but 20 mins in we'd met a really great guy from Germany who we hiked with the rest of the way. The trail started off with no warmup whatsoever. It's just steep switchbacks past green slopes and grazing sheep. The trail was all green grass too- it looked manicured or like it should've been in Ireland. Snow slowly began showin up along the sides of the trail about 1/3 of the way up and before we knew it we were sliding around trying to keep a solid footing on the steep path. It got a bit easier once the snow became deep and soft, at least you could get a solid step. But soon the snow was so deep it felt like we were climbing Mt Everest or something! All you could take were baby steps. Meanwhile the sun was shining and the view just kept getting better and better! The lake finally came into full view as well. I don't think I'd seen 1/10th of it before- it wraps around a bay and then stretches soooo far north- it's unbelievably huge!
The final push to the top was by far the toughest part. We were on a thin ridge with cliffs on either side, waist deeps snow and a howling wind blowing snow and ice everywhere! It was totall trecherous but really made you feel alive. 
By the time we got to the very top it felt like we'd made a seriously epic accomplishment! There was a tiny weather station and a little wooden box to sit on both perched on the tiny area, maybe one square yard across, that made up the very top. The view up there was a practical white out of clouds and wind but every once in a while the fog would part enough to see just how high we were. We stayed long enough for a sandwich and a few photos and then began the slippery sliding route back down. 
By the end of it all I ws definitely feeling it. A long three hours straight up and another 2 stumbling down with tired feet and knees. Actually I felt like my body held up well despite the taxing conditions- so if I can tackle that I think I'm good to go anywhere. It was certainly nice to come home to a hot shower, warm fire and a cold beer though!
Not bad for a day's work!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Two Weeks In

I've been in Nz for about two weeks now. Spent a few days in Christchurch which was a very English feeling city with a cool old cathedral. But I came to Nz for the nature so I quickly made friends with a great guy who was at my hostel -he had just inherited a tiny old Fiat Uno and was driving it to Wanaka the next day. He invited me along so 2 days after landing I was off on an adventure driving through the mountains with a Belgian guy I'd met the night before!
I've since found a nice little house in the center of town surrounded by snow capped mountains and 5 mins from the lake, living with two Canadian sisters, an Australian surfer and a German ski instructer! Today I think I may have landed a job on one of the ski mountains so that will start up in a week or so. In the meantime I'll be going for hikes, riding a nice road bike I've inherited and rolling around the skatepark (and maybe drinking a few Brewskis in the evenings:)!