We treated ourselves to another night in a cabin at the holiday park in Fox Glacier. And steak. And bakery treats, chocolate, and deliciously cold ciders. That’s the thing about spending five days in the bush, you feel as though you deserve all of the indulging in the world when you come back. After our indulging session and our comfy night in the cabin we took a quick visit to Fox Glacier in the morning. The glacier was beautiful, but it felt distinctly odd due to the overflow of tourists, considering how secluded our last few days had been. We then began the trip inlands towards Wanaka, which could be compared a bit to Banff – adorable mountain town, picturesque lake, and a healthy combination of gear shops, trendy cafes, and tourists. We spent two nights in a campground just outside of town, right on the lake, and happened to be checked in to our campsite by Adriana, an incredibly sweet Mexican girl who definitely helped peak the excitement about the fact that we were leaving for Mexico in around a week. Tim used to own a mountain bike guiding business that operated out of Wanaka, and looking at the hills surrounding town, you could certainly see how it would be an excellent area for it. On this trip, however, our aim was climbing, not biking. We went out for a few drinks the first night we got in, mostly in an effort to be around people for a couple of hours – too long in secluded mountain huts doesn’t sit well with my system, I’ve discovered. We then woke up in the morning and headed off towards Hospital Flat where we aimed to spend the day climbing.
We played around for a bit on the rock, and even brought Adriana out to do her first ever climb. The pinnacle of the day was what we accomplished at the end: a three-pitch climb that ended in a very exposed but easy traverse before a two-stage abseil back down to the ground. Multi-pitching is, again, a whole different ball game. It involves one person leading the first pitch of the climb, anchoring themselves at the top, pulling up most of the rope, and belaying the second climber from above. Once the second climber reaches the first, the whole process is repeated again. This involves belaying on the wall, anchored to a point 15, 25, or 40 metres off of the ground. Scary? Yes. Exhilarating? Yes. Would I jump at the opportunity to do another multi-pitch climb? Absolutely.