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Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn

In May 2017, I undertook a 4-days expedition to Tasman Glacier in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. This has been a place I wanted to go in for quite a long time. Our trip started by taking a helicopter fly landed near Tasman Saddle Hut. Then we traversed across a large glacier ground and successfully climbed to the 2834 m peak of Hochstetter Dome in the Tasman Glacier head. The next day, after completing my morning photography in Tasman Saddle, we walked to the 2460 m Kelman Hut. Then our following activities in Tasman Glacier used this hut as our base. On the last day of this trip, we tried to climb to the 2699 m peak of Mt Aylmer, but not successful due to the broken dangerous route with many hidden crevasses.

While Tasman Glacier is one of the classic alpine mountaineering play grounds in the Southern Alps, some fatal accidents were reported in this area. For example, an accident happened in 2013 just above Tasman Saddle Hut, which led an experienced climber died.

Click here to see the report.

This image was taken in the twilight period of 15 May 2017, the last day of my expedition. I got up at 5am and went out of Kelman Hut. As being not secured with a rope, I could only move slowly to this glacier edge near the hut with the assistance of an ice axe. By the time I set up my camera, a full moon was still hung on the sky and moonlight was shedding on the mountains. The sparkling dots on the snowy foreground were the effect of star reflections under moonlight.

Caption from New Zealand Geographic: "The eastern horizon has already started to glow, but the reflections of stars linger on the snow of the Tasman Saddle - still visible thanks to the lingering moonlight."