FATMAP difficulty grade
This was where we left our four legged friends in a nice make shift pen, and continued on our own.
They had enough food for three days and access to water from a nearby mountain creek - that gave us a day to reach the high camp, a day to ski, and a day to make it back.
Breaking our low camp in record time, we made it to the first river crossing, safe to say any signs of tiredness were eradicated from the nervous system via frozen feet.
The climb through the layers of dense bush was very challenging, slippery roots, snow laden trees and large packs with skis on seemed to hook and catch more than a luck fisherman.
And it didn’t get any easier as we pushed up the ridge.
Putting skins on was a relief once the terrain relaxed, hours later we were about to pick a solid high camp as our base for the next three nights.
With the temperatures being a rare -15 for New Zealand, we would have to remelt all our water each morning despite storing it next to our sleeping bags inside our tents.
As for the skiing, any signs of consistent and soft snow were hard to come by.
A wind event had stripped the tops, yet the weather was clear, so we were still determined to climb Mt Turnbull and hunt out some fresh turns before returning to the valley and our trusty steeds.
This phase required a lot of research, a reconnaissance trip prior to the low snowfall, and the snowfall itself to allow the access to the alpine.
We stripped as much weight as possible.
It took us 16 hours to reach the furthest point, where we set our camped, then 14 hours to return.