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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

New Zealand: Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass
The view over Arthur's Pass from the path up to Avalanche Peak

I'd originally been planning to continue north from Punakaiki, but the weather had other ideas and turned distinctly miserable, so instead I headed back to Greymouth and turned inland towards the Southern Alps, hoping that things might improve away from the gusty coast. After a night in a rest area, I arrived at Arthur's Pass to surprisingly beautiful weather, and made the most of it to scoot up Avalanche Peak, a fairly steep track up to the top of a mountain with wonderful views over the pass and surrounding mountains. My timing was impeccable: as I sat at the top surveying the view, the clouds rolled in, and the visibility changed from tens of kilometres to tens of feet in a matter of minutes. It just goes to show that carrying all those spare clothes, even on the shortest tramp, is a good idea, because I went up in T-shirt and shorts and came down in trackie bottoms, three layers and my Gore-Tex top, and I still felt bloody freezing...

Mt Rolleston from Avalanche Peak
Mt Rolleston from Avalanche Peak