Mt Wilson - Arthurs Pass NZ
On our annual drive north from Queenstown, we met up with some friends who were on a mission to summit a mountain in the Arthurs Pass.
We had known Tom, a good friend of ours, from various Icebreaker photoshoots and other missions together, and Ken and Brendan were friends of his who we got to know very quickly. A good keen crew was formed and the positive energy was contagious.
Day 1. We set off from the road up the Edwards River towards the Polar Range. Surrounded by native bush, Karearea (NZ falcon), sunshine and good vibes.
The track winds alongside the river where the bush breaks for glimpses of waterfalls and rugged mountain peaks.
After a 5 hour hike on day 1 we were happy to see the Edwards hut, sitting at 1080m. We all agreed this was one of the best mountain huts we'd all stayed in. It had so much character and was beautifully maintained.
That evening we cooled off by the river, some more than others! A great place to watch the sun set behind the mountains and get to know our travelling companions, over a cold beer that we'd cooled in the river.
Day 2. After porridge and freshly ground coffee (thanks Brendan) we set off to the summit. A great time for Ken to notice his boots were falling apart! With a bit of kiwi ingenuity and some zip ties and duck tape, he had some shoes that would at least stay on his feet. Nothing was going to stop this man on a mission.
The way up was a scramble to say the least! There was no track so we followed the valley until we saw a potential way straight up through the rocks and bush that might take us to the summit. With this crew, nothing was going to stop us.
Most of the climb was over loose scree which was quite tough at times but with summit in sight, we knew we were getting close.
Just before we got to the summit ridge, a large rock dislodged in the scree and fell on Soph's leg pinning her down. Pete had to scramble up to her to lift it off.
We patched up Soph's leg with a combination first aid kits and she trooped on towards the summit.
Reaching the summit is always such a great feeling, especially with no marked track to lead us there, a group of good friends and an ambition to get to the top. Mt Wilson, 2039m.
After 9 hours climbing, we were back at the hut before the sun went down and ready for a good hot dinner to celebrate the day's adventures.
Day 3. We walked out, through meadows of beautiful Mt Cook Lillys, back down the valley and out to civilisation.
What an awesome adventure that just seem to fall into place with amazing people on the same vibe, most whom did not know each other before this trip but are now friends who share this great experience never to be forgotten.