An attempt at Mt Arrowsmith

On what proved to be a rare weather window in October, Ryan Taylor and myself headed up to Cameron Hut in an attempt to ski the Central Couloir on Mount Arrowsmith.

Cameron Hut is located 13.6km as the crow flies from the road but 20km of real walking, taking a solid six hours of walking along a sometimes track.

Walking up the track to Cameron Hut
Walking up the track to Cameron Hut
Riverbed walking in the upper section of the Cameron Hut Track.
Riverbed walking in the upper section of the Cameron Hut Track.
Ryan Taylor and Joel in font of Cameron Hut.
Ryan Taylor and Joel in font of Cameron Hut.

Awakening early, on October 22, we ascended from the hut up the road looking moraine ramp on the lookers left of the valley that ends a short rock scramble to get access to the South Cameron Glacier.

Icy rock scrambles for breakfast.
Icy rock scrambles for breakfast.

Unfortunately, as we made the top of the glacier and started to ascend the couloir, the sunshine and warm temperatures meant that the new snow that had fallen in the previous days (about 20cm) started to become wet and fall off the steep headwalls in size one avalanches all around us. We wisely made the decision to not continue up the couloir and had a break on the glacier and watched as several more avalanches descended down the couloirs. Unfortunately, the last 200 vertical metres of Arrowsmith will need to wait until next season.

Central Couloir of Mt. Arrowsmith and the sun at work destabilising everything.
Central Couloir of Mt. Arrowsmith and the sun at work destabilising everything.

We skied wet, but fun snow down the glacier and back to the hut for another 6 hour walk out of the valley. As we walked down the track back to the cars we passed many people heading into Cameron Hut for the long weekend, many more than there are beds in the hut. We arrived back at the cars in the dark at about 9pm in a worse for wear shape but glad to have had a look around the Arrowsmiths.

Ryan skiing on the glacier - his layering may indicate the temperature in the sunshine.
Ryan skiing on the glacier – his layering may indicate the temperature in the sunshine.
Glacial formations that look like garden gnomes.
Glacial formations that look like garden gnomes.
arrowsmith-oct16-4-of-18
Joel skiing the South Cameron Glacier.

 

Ryan skiing the South Cameron Glacier.
Ryan skiing the South Cameron Glacier.

One funny thing about Cameron Hut is that Paul Ellis and Ross McSwiney stayed at the hut last year as part of a Whiteroom Tours trip. Having a look through the hut log book it’s hard to say if they were  #cleanlinessisnexttogodliness or if it was a case of #whiteroomgrubs, depends on your interpretation of the dates of the log entries.

Ryan Taylor, myself and Paul Ellis.
Ryan Taylor, myself and Paul Ellis.
Hut Log Entry from the Whiteroom Tours group last year.
Hut Log Entry from the Whiteroom Tours group last year.