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.
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.
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.
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.
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.