What a great feeling on a mid-week peak. After driving out from Christchurch at 7am in the pouring rain to finishing the run in the scorching sunlight of a blue sky day. Canterbury outdoes itself yet again.
Another week, another peak in the Craigieburns! Some great (ish) conditions led me to head out with a group of mates & Caralyn across the top of the ski fields towards Mt Cheeseman (2031m) and join them for some ski touring.
What were they thinking, naming a peak Nervous Knob? a quick Google search on the subject might not be the best idea… but I decided a Winter ascent of the peak was in order this weekend, standing at 1820m, it’s a peak of a pretty high order too. Having run across the ridgeline earlier in the year for Peak 7 & 8, I decided to go bag it on a far from fine Winter’s day.
Getting my act together over Winter has been an interesting challenge. In the height of Summer I didn’t even regard Winter as a challenge (as we’d had a good 5 weeks of blue skies in January) so thought that I’d be able to manage it all the way through with no issues. How wrong I was… into July and a good 5 weeks behind schedule after a few failed attempts, things started to look ominous for the whole 52.
Winter is coming. That’s what all ‘Game of Thrones’ fans are shouting at the moment – but it’s also true of New Zealand’s seasons for the 52 Peaks Challenge. This weekend we had the first dump of snow in the Torlesse and Craigieburn Ranges, not a lot but enough to sugar coat the peaks above 1200m, two of which I was climbing.
So a trip to Castle Hill Village for the weekend. The ideal break from the city life and a great time for… a spot of mountain biking along the Hogs Back and of course some 52 peaks running time (!) all next to the world famous Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill).
So something slightly more epic this week; running from Broken River camp ground all the way up to the top of the Craigieburn & Broken River skifields, along the ridge and down again for both the 7th and 8th out of 52 Peaks.
This was a little bit more adventurous, off the trails and purely on scree slopes and rocky ridges. From the car start at 800m we (myself and Karati, a friend) ventured towards Helicopter Hill and took a sharp (and steep) left up the ridge that leads towards Mt Hamilton.