Cave men . . . and woman: Snow 3
24-26 August 2007
Ta da daaaaaaa . . . . . . the infamous snowcaving trip had arrived. There was definitely an air of anticipation in the lodge on Saturday morning. I’d like to say it was the fear of my credit card bill after some last minute panic shopping for extra thermals and fine port, but no, I was genuinely nervy and excited along with most.
After a 3 hr hike with heavy packs, we arrived at Pinnacle Ridge around noonish, but were quickly to start digging. The sun was gone when the last of us had our caves completed . . . exhausted! I hardly had the energy to open my port and stilton after dinner and was quickly out for the count . . . . but what a great drip-free night’s sleep it was . . surprisingly! A tour of the caves revealed variation on Ron’s suggested design. There was the mezzanine approach from one team, who almost had a climb in through the kitchen compared with the ‘5 in a bed’ bedsit style with Pacific Island flair from another. The other two followed the 2 plus x 2 beds with shared central facilities more closely. No room to dance to the ‘disco star’ in the 6 man cave though, and no ensuites, thankfully. The ‘bucket with a view’ was cause of further amusement and relief!
Day 2 was a welcome treat. It was another glorious sunny day with a very manageable breeze. How could we not grab some food and head for the summit! Most of us made it to the top and felt the elation of making a Ruapehu summit . . just WOW. And then it was down, down, grab all you stuff and more down down down to the vans (1000m) and the end of a very crampontastic, snow shovellous, awe inspiring, rewarding and fantastic experience. (Not just this weekend but the course as a whole.) Big thanks to our leaders. We really couldn’t have done it without you, and we should now be able to give a few more activities a fair go.
Photos on the website and there is also a picture slide show on www.dompost.co.nz
- Party members
- Helen Holyoak(scribe).