15 November 2007

Mt Rolleston, Rome Ridge, 14-11-07

Arthurs Pass: Patchy cloud cover clearing, SouWesterly winds easing and freezing level at to 1600 metres predicted before an afternoon NorWesterly change bringing cloud, low visibility and high winds.
This defines the small break in the weather creating a possibity for a early crack at the rome ridge said Flynn. Josh said yep im keen, unfortunately Rob and Crusher had more pressing commitments. So there were two who readied gear and cruised up to the pass tues evening, saluting the kayak crew at sheffield who were on the way home. YeaBoi. The descision was made to bunker down at goldneys shelter (?), 10 minutes this side of the pass. Bad idea. The Boys didd'nt realise there'd be so many excessively loud trucks and trains passing through in the night, determining how well they slept (very poor).
Walking by 6am had us out of the bush by 7 and axes out. Unfortunately there wasn't near as hard a freeze as hoped so we were plugging instead of cramponing through 15cm of fresh snow and a wind crust that would often break through to knee-high snow. Poor conditions!
The SW was continually blowing cloud over keeping visiblity low at times, and pressing on up the ridge found still more wind-blown fresh, and instability in areas of the snowpack (as the boys expected). Climbing a few steep sections and feeling a bit of exposure on the ridge was an enjoyment, even the cold gusty wind and cloud was a contributing factor to the fun that was had. Being in the hills is mint!
The descicion was made to turn for home at about 10am (so early!). The weather was going to become very crusty when it changed NW, and plugging had become tiresome and seemingly pointless. The boys decided that they were close enough to the gap anyway and didnt want to commit to the ropework required, due to the poor weather.
Back at the car by lunchtime after cruising down at a leisurely pace (the fastest plastics would allow) and rolling some rocks down a steep gully. Saw the fattest kea weve ever seen too.
Looking foward to better conditions in the future 'cos the ridge is a goodie. Peace!

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