on saturday i picked up kylie's brother brad at the aiport and immediately transported him to my new favourite valley: airplane creek, pictured above. our objective was to summit the north peak of baby munday, the pointy thing on the top right. as you can see, the approach involved a serious slog up steep treed slopes and then a long snowfield trek.
when we arrived the entire valley was cloaked in cloud. we hiked through fog for about 2 hours and had resigned ourselves to a cloudy day when suddenly we emerged at the treeline above the clouds. yay for sunshine!
above the clouds the peaks loomed magnificently.
also just as we cleared the treeline, we saw these crazy cloud rainbows. i have never seen these before and i have no idea what they are. brad decided that they were a good omen, and he should know.
crossing the snowfield took alot longer than expected. in the beginning we made great time, but as it got steeper we had to kick in every step, and place our ice axes for protection against sliding down down down.
at the very top of the snow we were quite exposed to a big slide onto nasty rocks. you can't actually see most of the slope in this picture as it is too steep to be in view. i heard brad humming behind me and it took me a minute to place the song: "its a long way down... a long way down... a long way down to the place where we started from".
finally we got off the ice slope and onto rock, only to realize that we had come up in the wrong spot and were in fact positioned to climb the crazy south peak, not the gentle north peak.
we contented ourselves with reaching the saddle of the southern peak of baby munday and after skirting sideways out over the exposed rock, we glissaded (read slid and ran) all the way back down to the tree line. you can see brad working his way past the rock in the top right of the below picture. those are the rocks you couldnt see in the above picture of the slope. they would not have been fun to bounce down.
the entire snowfield took us 2 hours to climb and 5 minutes to descend. it was seriously fun and we got seriously wet. good thing it was warm out!
next trip, mount stewart, accessible from the same valley. (or perhaps i will actually summit baby munday first, we were so close!)