Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Epic mission, Temple Basin, Arthurs Pass

Kelly and I arrived at this cute wee batch, in Arthurs Pass, near the general store.We met up with Tim and Bia from Fox Glacier  (awesome people)  who joined us  in a  mountain climbing adventure up  Temple Basin.

The wee batch we stayed in Arthur's Pass
Tim and Kelly sorting their gear the night before

The funky kitchen in the batch

Temple Basin

We arrived at the Temple Basin Car park at 0730hours in the chilly morning air we begin our ascent to the base of the central buttress. The views are amazing, the day is perfect with blue skies and clear views of the Southern Alps.

Walking up the track

After approx 1 hour we arrive to the haunted hut called Pages Shelter, nothing untoward happened here…

THERE IT IS!! Kelly pointing to where we were going climbing

Pages Shelter the haunted hut
Tim Soloing up the first pitch

Walking along the scree slope, imagine doing this in the dark!
We soloed up a few meters and then decided we should start doing some pitches (using the rope) So Kelly led the first pitch by placing camming devices into wee cracks etc and got us up to a nice posy for a bite to eat.
Kelly leading the end of the first pitch with the trag gear.

Kelly belaying me up, nice rope work there! Pilly the friendly Caterpillar coming along for the ride

As I was sitting there looking at the amazing view I heard footsteps which sounded like they were come from the next valley over, they were crystal clear…Kelly and Bia heard them too but there was no-one there. I reckon it was the ghost from Pages Shelter keeping an eye on us…

It was a nice sunny day


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3rd pitch awesome arĂȘte

On yer bike ya gimp!! Nice helmet Tanya!

Tim on the last pitch notice the keas
It all was going along nicely, soon we would be on the ridge where we could then walk off the mountain....
Tim was on the 4 th pitch, the poor bugger had been doing most of the leading and we heard him coming back and thought this isn't good.
He couldn't find anywhere safe to place gear so that we could follow him attached to a rope, he said there was a big drop off, and he just couldn't do it. Fair enough we thought, so we decided to begin abseiling back down the buttress....time was ticking along would be dark soon enough but we would be well off the mountain by then...or so we thought

Tim coming back down, we were up high enough that we were in kea territory
this curious fella was coming in for a closer look at us

Just don't you go anywhere near our rope MR!

This is where we bailed, Kelly beginning to abseil back down
While we were waiting for Kelly, we spotted some cheeky Keas biting old ropes..

Kelly abseiled down as far as she could go, not a great ledge but the best she could find  And less than 10m from a brand new tat (a webbing sling around a solid looking rock) that had been left behind by another party that had bailed as well.

So after we all got down to the place where Kelly abseiled to, there wasn't alot of room, but we were like SWEET a couple more abseils to go and we'll be able to walk back down the mountain!
So we pulled the ropes down, or tried to rather, they wouldn't budge!

The webbing sling not less than 10 m from us would have been the perfect place to be right now …unluckily we had a 60m rope and a 50m rope which means we couldn’t reach the tat and we had to stand on this very narrow ledge with very average cracks for a good anchor.. and flick the rope to retrieve it…result super stuck rope.

Tim and Bia got to work and had to prussick(climb back up the rope)  3 prussicks up 50m to try and put the rope in a good position so it wouldn't get caught on anything on the way down. It took 4 hours to try and sort the problem. In the end the anchor was extended by 15m -had to sacrifice a few slings :(  and this created less drag on the ropes so they were freed and came down, we were so relieved as it was getting freezing at this stage and pitch black apart from the many twinkling and shooting stars, that was awesome, and we were all wishing on those stars... Tim and Bia you're my heroes!
So after we all safely abseiled to the point we were in the morning, we donned our walking shoes and took off down the scree, at first I was a bit nervous, I couldn't see much, but Kelly taught me how to run down the scree and then I was away! But we had to navigate in the dark, we got lost a few times and  ended up too high in the valley and had to aim further down. We stopped for a rest outside Pages shelter.... to retie shoelaces.. fortunately nothing untoward happened and we made it back down to the car park at 2.20am, a 19 hour epic mission
It was pitch black here, while we were on the ledge for 4 hours

A breakfast well deserved, man I was tired
So Kelly shouted me out for breakfast , she must of felt sorry for me or something, her little sis trapped on a ledge in the dark for hours.. I  enjoyed the experience tremendously!!!!! Thanks VERY MUCH FOR A FUN TIME!!!

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