Ski the Tasman Glacier

We flew out of Mt Cook airport about 10am on a winter’s day that was fine but threatening to deteriorate with an incoming  norwester.  Fortunately the expected deterioration did not occur and the weather improved to a sunny and relatively calm day.  Having each been fitted out with a harness and avalanche locator beacon for safety requirements, we were looking forward to two ski runs on the Tasman Glacier, being relocated by the plane after the first run.   Click on any image to enlarge.

big map 2


Attaching our skis

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Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track is one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks, a set of premier tramping tracks.  Straddling Fiordland National Park and Mt Aspiring National Park, the Routeburn’s highest point is 1300 metres and its lowest point is 477 metres.  There are  rivers, lakes, forests, tussocklands and alpine views  – wild and scenic landscapes in its 32 kilometres.  We set off from the Divide (near the Homer Tunnel on the Milford Road) and completed the track three days later at Glenorchy, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu.

Day One – the Divide to Lake Mackenzie Lodge (12km)

Heading up to Key Summit, with a view of Mt Christina

Track to Key Summit

Leaving our packs on the track at the turn-off, we took a 30 minute walk up to Key Summit.

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Heathcote Valley from the Bridle Path – what has happened in 135 years?


Heathcote Valley from Bridle Path, about 1880 (on the left) and 2015 (on the right).  Click to enlarge

As a pre-Christmas trek,  we walked  the Bridle Path, from the Heathcote Valley over the Port Hills to Lyttelton.  On the way we passed an information board which reminded us of the challenges faced by the early European settlers who arrived in Christchurch in 1850.  The photo on the left, originally from the Canterbury Museum and taken about 1880, appears on the information board.

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Deconstruction of Hilgendorf building at Lincoln University


The Hilgendorf building had a strong presence on the Lincoln University campus, comprising  about 30 % of Lincoln’s academic floor space.  Built in the brutalist style and opened in 1968, it was named after Frederick William Hilgendorf, who pioneered plant breeding in New Zealand, concentrating on wheat.  He joined the staff in 1899, and retired in 1936.  Continue reading