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Trip Report – Ski Touring in the Wye

By: Bridg Janse

Photo: Shaun Moloney

Source: Central Otago News Line (Central Otago Section Newsletter – August 2018)

It was actually quite a nice morning as we met in the carpark at the bottom of the Remarkables Road. Eventually everyone gathered, and after a quick round of introductions, Erik outlined the plan for the day. We car-pooled and convoyed up to carpark One before assembling outside the Ski Patrol building. After attaching the skins to our skis and checking all avalanche transceivers were working properly, we began the gradual climb up to the top of the Curvey Basin Chairlift.

Warm up now complete, we headed beyond the ski area boundary up through the saddle to look down into Wye Creek. Peeled the skins off, secured our bindings and set off down into Wye Creek. A nice depth of “NZ powder” made for some great skiing. Erik pointed out various places and explained different ski-touring options, for those, like me, who are new to this area.

After a quick snack and water break at the edge of the smallest snow-covered tarn, we skinned up the ridge towards spot height 2046m. The increasing verticality forced good technique and a turn around. Skins off and a steeper descent before reconvening as a group for a lunch break and conversation.

As forecast, the cloud had started to roll in, limiting visibility. The wind began to pick up and so the decision was made to head back out to the ski area. Skinning back up toward the saddle we were frequently brought to a standstill as we leaned into the increasingly gusty head winds. Coming back through the Saddle felt like standing behind an aircraft jet engine, with concentrated wind and spindrift blasting us until we descended below the saddle. After gathering back together at the top of the Curvey Basin chair, it was agreed to debrief over hot chips and a drink at the Frankton Arms Tavern.

A great day out, with good company, conversations and new acquaintances made. All the elements for a great section trip, getting some adventure in, despite the forecast. A big thanks to Erik for leading this trip!

Trip members – Annalise Shariff, David Bowles, Jens Balzat, Jo & Matt Steven, Shaun Moloney, Beatrice Diller, Kent Andrews, Rob Hawes, Graeme Morrison, Erik Bradshaw (Leader), Bridg Janse (Assistant)

Posted: 05/09/18

Posted By: Narina Sutherland