Thursday 19 April 2012: The Crow Valley
I can confirm it's a tad coolish sleeping under a tent fly at 1300m. Once I knocked the ice off the fly, crawled out and stood upright on frosty tussocks it seemed almost cosy back in there.
Cosy isn't quite the right word. I had on virtually all my clothes, a balaclava and a hat. With retrospect my idyllic location on a ledge/bench above the river bed wasn't a thermal wonderland. I should have either pitched it in the bush or just slept on my mat in the bush without the fly. Either way I would have gained about 10 degrees. But I did get some sleep and it was wonderfully primal.
If you missed yesterday's blip check out the Kea, New Zealand's Mountain Parrot.
Today we descended the Crow Valley. In this shot the Crow Glacier is just visible at the top of the valley. The tops on the right are where we ascended (from the other side yesterday) and then traversed along the ridge until the head of the valley.
It's about a 500m drop in altitude to from the Crow Hut to the confluence with the Waimakariri River. That was fine except for the brief moment where I found myself dangling by one hand (my good one) over the river from a tree branch. I reckon my weight + pack, boots etc was about 75kg. I righted myself and gave a grateful word of thanks for a strong Mountain Beech.
We crossed the Waimakariri (it's running low) to the Anti Crow Hut and had lunch in the sun with a Dad and his 2 kids who were staying in the hut. Good to see.
The final couple of hours was a slog across river bed, Turkey flats and steep cuttings taking us high above the Waimak River into beautiful beech forest.
I'm fed, watered and the all I need to do now is hang washing and do the dishes.
I will appreciated my warm and comfortable bed tonight :-)
Tomorrow night I'll be packing for my weekend tramp.