Mt Huxley

My expedition, funded by the 2012 North Face/AG Outdoor Adventure Grant, is to ski all 18 2500m+ mountains in my home region of the Queenstown Lakes District. We kicked it off on the weekend making possibly the first ski descent of the remote Mt Huxley (2505m) with my two mates Dean Staples and Lionel Clay also of Lake Hawea/Wanaka. We were almost stifled by a 20m band of 65 degree water ice which wasn’t too difficult, until I broke my crampon half way up. Potentially risking a painful fall, I tied it back onto my boot with some string while Dean and Lionel made a belay at the top of the ice, allowing me to climb without falling. Whew! We carried on to the summit and skied down another route full of lovely knee deep powder on a 45 degree slope, but it was above the 20 cliff so there was no room for avalanches. We skied into a 150m 50-55 degree couloir with several free fall jump turns on hard ice before popping out the bottom onto the glacier. Lastly, for a slow breath and a mellow ski down between cliff bands as far as the snow would take us. One down, 17 to go……

Mark