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Heels 1967

Blyth Hut A.I.C. 1966

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Blyth Hut A.I.C. 1966.

Saturday morning at Blyth Hut:-

"All right, everybody up; come on, got your breakfast."

Gradually everyone got up, had breakfast and put their boots on. A little heckling over who was to carry the pack first and off they all want to a convenient little gully.

"Looks a bit steep, would anyone like to show the others self-arrest?" No reply. So, the instructor jumped. Soon everyone else jumped. Before long this slope seemed too safe, so the leader chose a stopper one. At first the little party had trouble walking on this steep frozen slope.

"Now I want you all to lie on your backs facing downhill= - I will hold your feet until you are ready and then let you go," said the leader. Very soon it was discovered that no one was going to hurt themselves doing this. So then the leader made then prctise their be lays - but the slope was net even steep enough for this. So raped together in twos the party clambered over rocks and up little cornices above the gully and throw big rocks down at the others in the gully But no-one was hurt so they all climbed up the gully to the too and had lunch.

"Next we shall practise our dynamic belays," said the leader, and he demonstrated one to the group.

"There are some nice gullies up there," he then reported. So the party made its way up to those little gullies. Once there they roped in twos again and walked along the top of one of the gullies. Every now and then some-one would jump inte that gully and the other would stop his with the rope. But no-one was hurt so they went up to another gully that had a vertical wall along one side.. Here members of the party threw themselves vainly into the little valley. But no- one was hurt so they went to a much deeper gully. Here members of the party leapt with even nor enthusiasm than before - but no-one was hurt. So they took off the ropes and once again leant with great enthusiasm into the dark. But no-one was hurt so they found steeper slopes and dug little trenches and built low walls of snow for these jumping down the slopes. Still no-one was hurt sc they gave up and went back to the hut.

Then next morning a voice yelled "We're leaving in 45 minutes." 45 minutes later they seft and set off on a pilgrimage to the South Col of Mount Ruapehu. Howover one select little group incurred the wrath of the leader by net going the way tbs leader went. Still, by midday the whole party was on the col. Here some of the party stayed to climb Pareteitonga while the rest descended the north col to the top of the Bruce road and thence home by thumb. Those remaining to climb Paretetaitonge arrived at the Bruce rather later, in fact almos t too late. Not a king it to Wellington that night is the reason why one person dressed in full climbing gear including waist loop and karabiner was seen at Varsity that Monday morning.

Clive Bolt.