FiNZ 40 – Avalanche Peak

I can’t believe we’re finally at week 40 of my “Flanders in New Zealand” posts. Only a few months shy of a year! This past weekend was ideal in terms of summer south island weather – warm, sunny, no wind. Therefore, Keith, I and a couple of coworkers (Mike & Erin) headed out to Arthur’s Pass to do one of the most difficult day hikes around — Avalanche Peak!

To get to the summit (1833 m / 6014 m), you climb a fairly steep 1105 m / 3625 ft (almost like Mt Washington in terms of elevation) along the Avalanche Peak Trail and then descend a slightly less steep Scott’s Track to get back to the start. Keith decided to pseudo run it, Mike power-walked, and luckily Erin and I were able to stick with a pretty consistent pace after the other two crazies. The Avalanche Peak Trail was definitely more intense than any great walk; however still a fairly well-kept trail. Way to go DOC! Right from the start you were scrambling up rocks but everything was really well-marked. I have to admit we got towards the top and I realized I brought my nice camera with NO SD card! Our iPhones had to do for this hike. Check out our day above the bushline below…

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Myself trudging up towards the summit

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made it to the top!

Flanders Hiking Photo of the Week —

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Team Avalanche Peak

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Myself, Erin, Keith on the way dooooooown

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Mike, Keith and Erin on the way down Scott’s Track

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Looking back towards Mt Rollston

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Keith started bounding down the mountain again….

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Mt Rollston

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One last panorama shot near the summit

The DOC times the loop at 6-8 hours, we surprisingly finished in about 5! We were back to Christchurch and enjoying some local tacos in no time. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how easy it is to enjoy this beautiful country in just a day trip.

Sunday was the last day of the Buskars Festival. The only act left that I really wanted to catch was the “English Gents” – a duo of strong men that do some pretty crazy lifting acts. Keith obliged and we’re both glad we made it, they were pretty incredible! There last acts involved one partner holding himself up on the others head and then the finale involved one lifting the other starting lying down and slowly going into a standing position. The pair actually ended up winning the “iron chicken” of the festival – meaning they were the best act!

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The English Gents

We’re both pretty excited to welcome Keith’s mom to New Zealand this Friday! It will be a fun couple weekends of playing tour guide to family. (have I mentioned how much we love visitors?!)

Until next week…

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