Arriving in Wanaka, I met up with Tom and Caroline – truly one of the most chilled out and peaceful couples you could ever meet. I initially met Tom in a hostel in Fort William and have only met him for one weekend of winter climbing in the Cairngorms. Like all my meetings this was entirely unknown about before I left home, and luckily he took over some of my winter gear for me (can’t thank ou enough!). Straight after we cuaght up, the Mount Aspiring maps and guidebooks were out and the climbing chat started. Tom decided to put up a new route on one of the campsite trees, while re-iterating the basics of crevasse rescue to me. All in all this meant that I *needed* a new shiny bit of metal in the form of a climbing ‘gadget’ – yes, another one of those tiny bits of metal that costs $50 that you hope you never really have to use, but if you do, it could just make the difference of you getting out of a crevasse or not. So off it was into Mainly Tramping in town to buy a Petzl Tibloc. That’s a great shop by the way – super friendly staff, and one of the guides in shopping gave us some more beta on the route up to Mount Aspiring. That’s my new tent in the picture there too – a lovely easy to pitch then, just that the condensation created overnight is a complete and utter bugger.
The next day we took off to Hospital Flats – not the best name for a climbing area so I could get my first decent climbing since leaving the UK. A cracking little venue with a bit of everything and it reminded me a lot of the Nevis crags by Fort William.
We returned there after out Mount Aspiring missions to the Diamond wall but unfortunately I forgot my camera! That’s probably the first day I’ve been without one since leaving home.