Mt Catherine

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700m – 2085m by Lake Heron, ascend via the ridge west of Home Creek and down Home Creek valley.

A fine day’s climb revives a tired mind.




We discovered a walk up to Patutu Peak, from where we could see the North Island. (I thought that was pretty exciting!)


Can you see the land across the sea? It was a very warm day and a little hazy, but the North Island is definitely there!


The Kaikoura Ranges had a dump of snow just two days before we were there, even though it’s well into November, which is our summer! I’m not complaining. I love snow capped mountains – don’t you?


Link to topomap.

Climbing above Manang

Annapurna Circuit – Part VIII: Manang (3540m)

On our second day in Manang, I jumped out of my bed at the break of dawn, stuck my head into the kitchen and asked for my morning pot of marsala tea, then snooped around the lodge until I found a set of stairs that led to the roof top. On the other roof top (a different lodge) across from me was a German fella with his impressive looking camera on a tripod. We had a quick friendly chat and watched the sun filling into the valley.

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The clouds kept coming and going, testing patience. I fetched my pot of tea (in a thermos) from the kitchen after the German fella left, and drank the hot sweet tea in the morning sun on the roof next to a water tank.


For a while, Annapurna II revealed itself, and it sure looked very windy on the top at 7937m.

manangd204 Continue reading

Over the Hills Brings the Taste of Yaks

Annapurna Circuit – Part VII: Pisang – Manang (3250m-3540m)

We were getting higher and higher (Upper Pisang is 3310m), and the evenings were actually rather cool, so I finally found the need to actually crawl into my sleeping bag at night. Except none of us were going to get a good night’s sleep that night because of an annoying barking dog that kept at it for the entire night. When we woke with weary eyes in the morning and found the dog fast asleep in the morning sun, we all gave him the most evil looks. Once we got on the track after a nice breakfast, we quickly put our disturbed night behind us.


We quickly climbed up to a vantage point with a panoramic view of the great Paungda Danda Wall. We all stopped there for a break and enjoyed the morning sun.


Our porter boys and the young assistant guide are all good buddies. I really enjoyed chatting to them. Most of them are attending university, and being porters helps them towards their tuition fees. It’s really nice to hear them talk about what they want to do in their future, and realising they are really not very different from western boys of their age.


After the break, we descended onto a wide valley plateau. Continue reading

Cameron Valley, Rakaia


Lovely or dreary?

To me, it’s one of the loveliest and most marvellous places on earth. However it also occurred to me it might be the complete opposite for some people. I’d love to hear what the above photo made you think.


Kiwi Bird and I hiked into Cameron Valley in Rakaia region on Saturday. We followed the river into the head of the valley. Continue reading