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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Hayden

The Slump Buster (Shotover Saddle to Red Rock)

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Walking up hills is like my sport and believe you me, it's rather competitive.

Up there it's me vs the mountain, or more accurately, me vs the conditions.

As of late I've been on a bit of a losing streak😮‍💨


Since my last post I've made a second attempt at St Bathans, unfortunately there was so much snow in the valley I couldn't get to the carpark 😅



Morale has been low, with the weather keeping me grounded through September.

I've been fixating on this mountain range for weeks but I need a clear two day window, WHEN I make my third (and final) attempt 👊🏼


Two days seems to be a big ask at the moment, last weekend afforded me one I could work with 🌤️

I scanned the map in the days prior and stumbled across a track in an area I'm becoming quite familiar with.



The Shotover Saddle is atop the Matukituki Valley, from the Raspberry Creek Carpark it's roughly an hour of easy walking... before it gets hard.


The Shotover Saddle route takes a no vaseline approach, as soon as you turn off you get an idea of what you're in for.

It's steep, it's rugged and it's hot 🥵

Good thing there's no shortage of waterfalls😌

This swimming hole is in the middle of a two tier waterfall, the drop behind me would be triple what you can see 😳

If I had a towel on me I'd have probably gotten in, or so I tell myself 😅


 

Now high above the Valley things are really opening up, that's Triple Peak in the distance and the aptly named Fog Peak on the far right.



That jagged hunk of rock is Homestead Peak branching into the Rob Roy Glacier, the popular walking track into the belly of which is currently closed for construction.



Spot Aspiring Hut ⏫⏫


Six hundred metres above the valley floor I'd met the snow line,

Over the next five hundred metres that snow came to form my happy place ☺️




 

The Shotover Saddle is a good effort, but when you're on the saddle you wanna ride the horse 🤷🏾‍♀️

Red Rock is another three hundred metres.

That pic is just the beginning ⏫



Directly across is Cascade Saddle, one of the highlights from April's Rees Dart trip with Billy.


 

The scree slope is never to be taken at face value.


 

Waaaaaay over there on the hillside is Liverpool Hut.


My decision to climb Red Rock was the best one I could have made, it challenged and almost overwhelmed me 😅



What a spot 👌🏻

This ridgeline bears a uncanny resemblance to the Buchanan Peaks,

A range I often refer to as my babies 😂



As another adventure comes to an end I'm exhausted but accomplished,

and short one pair of sunglasses.

I should know better than to leave them on the ground🤦


It seems like a small price to pay,

I didn't mean to litter I swear ! 🫢


Back to Bathans part three soon 🤷🏻‍♂️


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