Snowdrift Range

Retrospective piece from same Snowdrift Range trip…

As I sit at home my extremely sore and stiff legs are a fond reminder of where I’ve just been. Several days ago we headed into the remote Snowdrift Range high in a far corner of the Southern Alps for four days to try and ski five mountains on my North Face/Australian Geographic challenge. I am trying to ski all 18 of the 2500m plus mountains in the Southern Lakes District.

It was one of the most amazing expeditions of my 20 years of NZ climbing and skiing. We barely rested during daylight hours and one day we climbed over 2500 vertical metres. We skied Mts Maoriri and Lydia, but unfortunately failed on Mt Ian, 50m below the summit, turned back by a lack of snow exposing thin sustrugi ice over loose vertical rock.

On our way home we skied an amazing line on the 1000m east face of Mt Edward, down under towering seracs, past deep crevasses and over hard avalanche rubble. Mt Ian is still there, so is Mt Maori and we’ll go back again for our second go soon.

Mark