Winter S - K
Winter S - K.
How far could a tramping party get from Schormans in the middle of winter in a weekend? Estimates varied mostly from Putara to Dundas and some optimists thought Arete right be possible.
I am an extreme optinist and so had ay sights set high when I started off up to Putera Hut about 9pm on Friday 1 July 1966 with Jin and Pat. The weather was fine and calm with a glorious full moon so there was no point in stopping at Putara. We got onto continuous a now near Hines and the top of Ruapae a t about midnight Pat and I put on crampons. Unfortunately Jim did not have a pair so it was accessary to cut steps for him all the way over East Peak. On West Peak soon after two oclock we stopped for a few hours sleep.
The conditions were magnificat. The view in the moonlight was unresricted - we could see Mount Egmont out across the sea. The snow was herd and it was difficult to stay in one place to sleep.
At seven a.m. we were off again with Jin wearing my era-pone. Except on the southern sides if the big peaks I cpould keep up with the crampon wearers. Nevertheless progress was slow and it was 1.30pm We stopped for lunch at Arete Bench which was where we first found water - only because we knew exactly where the tarn was. The Waichine Pinnacles were plastered and we found it necessary to rope up to negotiate then. The- weather was still perfect when we were at Tarn Radge Hut but cur will to go on sort of faded away at the prospect of a night in a hut. During the night the weather turned nasty so we were glad not to be sleeping, out on North King.(or somewhere).
Visibility on Sunday was zero in all directions so we glissaded off into the Waingawa at about 7am dom a spur about 100 yards south of Tarn Ridge Hut. Then down the river, to Arete Forks and another three hours to Cow Creek and four out over Blue Range. Tha completed our weekend S-K. Next thing is to do a winter Schormann- Kiriwhakapapa in one day!
Tom Clarkson, Pat McNaught, Jim Swadling.
T. S. C.