In December 2016, I undertook my second New Zealand Southern Alps expedition in 2016. I spent some time in Mount Cook where I hiked to Mueller Hut and stayed there overnight, and also hiked to a high place over Red Tarns and camped there one night. After Mount Cook, I planned to climb to Cascade Saddle or French Ridge Hut in Mount Aspiring, but the weather turned to bad, no suitable window for possible climb.
So I drove to Fox Glacier and decided to climb Mount Fox. I took less than one day weather window to climb Mount Fox on 8 December, camping one night in a non-exposed area near the summit, and then went down next day early morning, before the weather changed again. Climbing Mount Fox was not technically difficult. However, its extreme steepness and easy to get lost in thick fog makes this climb still challenging.
After I completed my journey to Mount Fox, my plan was to climb Avalanche Peaks in Arthur's Pass. But the weather then was not good there, raining everywhere in Southern Island everyday except the north part. I decided to take my exploration to Nelson region though it was not in my original plan. But it turned out the trip to Nelson was extraordinary, it gave me another direction to explore the Southern Alps, both in Winter and other seasons.
During July 2016, I undertook another Southern Alps expedition. For the first time, I explored Mount Aspiring. Due to a storm constraint, I had to wait for 2 days in Wanaka in order to get a feasible weather window. On 5 July, I hiked to Aspiring Hut, stayed there for one night. Then on 6 July, I climbed to Liverpool Hut - an alpine hut built in 2009 and located at 1100 meters height above West Matukituki Valley in Mount Aspiring.
In December 2015, I took another mountaineering and photography expedition in the Southern Alps, South Island of New Zealand. During this period, I went to three different mountain locations: one in Darran Mountains in Fiordland, and two in Aoraki/Mount Cook.
The most challenge in this trip was to climb to Barrier Knob in Darran Mountains, not only because of the difficulty level of the climb route across various terrains, not also due to the bad weather condition.
Keywords:Alpine, Mount Cook, Mount Fox, Mount Robert, Mountains, New Zealand Landscape, Southern Alps
© Yan Zhang Photography