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Heels 1973


page 19


At midday one fine Friday Nickletit Logan Esq. suggested a moonlight southern that night so we arranged to be dropped at Otaki Forks and follow other intrepid moonlighters over the Southern Crossing.

It was with no small amount of amusement therefore when we found the others stuck in Roaring Meg in some wog van where they had spent about an hour trying to get the recalcitrant animal out. Joining forces we gave the raspberry to the cremos going to Penn Creek and proceeded to wend our way to Fields Hut. By the time we arrived there the party had split into two groups as for some reason some members had decided to stay at Alpha and were carrying such ridiculous articles as sleeping bags. The moon was poking its beautiful snout over the horizon at about 10.30 p.m. as we progressed up to Vosseler where there was tussock high snow as well as hot and cold water available. Waiting for the others became a bit cold necessitating a strip at Kime of some of the warmer garments bods were ensconsed in. Crampons on at Field peak and over to Hector with stops for photographs. (Which didn't come out.) Conditions could have been better but not by much. Clear and cold, ¾ moon and a reasonable amount of snow, plus a chilling breeze thrown in for good measure. Mind you in spite of the moonlight there were still some fools who insisted on using their torches. After zapping round the Dress Circle the hardy team pulled into Alpha at about 4.00 a.m., where Tim Owen and Geoff decided to stay. The remaining four of us decided to push on and so the torture began. Hells Gate wasn't too bad but after that feet really started to drag down Marchant Ridge. For a while Nickletit seemed determined to go to sleep on the moss at the side of the track but a few choice words soon put a stop to that. There was some dispute as to whether or not we had actually reached Block XVI or not but it didn't really seem to matter as the ridge was unending. Dawn broke as we approached that hump known as Mt. Marchant and by this time the party was spread out. Chris out in front, Nick and Mike not too far behind and yours truly way in the rear. (Not that I'm all that partial to rears.) Finally we arrived at Kaitoke between 9.30 and 10.00 a.m. and shot home to bed to sleep for 17 hours (with one rude awakening from Tim who rang up to see if we were still asleep.)

Moonlighters were: Chris Hathaway, Mike Hyson, Nick Logan, Andy Wright, Tim Stern, Owen Springford and Geoff Byrant.