On the Friday night we ate like kings – tortillas warmed on top of the cast iron fire, filled to overflowing with hot sticky beans, carrots, cheese, greens, even sour cream had made its way in! No weight saving de-hy to be seen. One of our members had forgotten his spoon and proceeded to chisel himself one straight out of wood. The two long evenings were spent chatting about past adventures, future dreams, and entertaining ourselves with the cathartic process of melting snow to water above the fire (better than any TV show I know of). Chocolate, flickering lights, low murmurs, and a few sips of whiskey lulled us into a deep sense of relaxation, disrupted only by the occasional dash through wind and sleet to the loos.
Without a doubt, the summiting of Mt Angeles on the Saturday was a highlight for me, as this was my first experience of what really felt like “real alpining”! Clag had settled as we made our way up the mountain. Wind was blowing hard and all I could see was the slope in front of me, which was becoming increasingly steep. Right when we needed it, we found a sheltered area of rock to sit down in, eat some goodies, and figure out where we were. Andy determined that the summit was within reach, just one gruelling traverse across a wide open slope, and then straight up a steep slope (don’t look down at the bluffs below). As I trudged the final steps to the summit, dolling high-fives out as I went, I felt an incredible sense of achievement and awe at the spectacle of mountain tops around me.
A challenge for me is learning about the organisational side of alpine trips, particularly how to read the weather conditions in advance, navigation, and identifying risks and alternative plans and routes. On the Sat night we gathered around and Andy, trip leader, took us through the steps he had taken in organising the trip. I learnt a lot from this and now am looking forward to organising some small trips myself where I can build my confidence in the areas of planning, weather forecasting, and risk assessment. Zoe
One highlight for me was coming over the ridge to see frozen Lake Angelus, the hut, and the surrounding terrain all cloaked in snow: “a winter wonderland” in the words of our wise leader. Climbing Mt Angelus was also a highlight and a challenge for this newbie: not physically so much as mentally – more so on the descent as you are constantly looking at the trajectory of a potential slide.
The weather was amazing: got to experience a full palette without any unpleasantness: Winds were never headwinds; the clag gave a slight sense of disorientation then cleared at the most opportune moments; sleet and rain came when we were back cozied in the hut; a bit of snowfall, a bit of sunshine… Simon
The whole trip was absolutely banger but the highlight for me was that feeling when my borrowed crampons from the Apline Club (the ones with ice cream containers on the bottom) stuck, and knew I wasn’t gonna slip down a slope in whiteout conditions and plummit to my doom. That was a good feeling. Jacob