Saturday, 18 May 2013

Saturday 18th May 2013

At 0900 Darron, Lloyd and I left for Rumdoodle for a trip around the central Massons in the green Hagglunds. It was a pretty rough trip up the plateau as there was lots of deep sastrugi from all the blizzards last month. As the sun was low the colours in the sky were amazing. It was bitterly cold around minus twenty five and the scenery as Buz Aldrin would say was "beautiful desolation". We drove past some beautiful rugged ranges and mountains displaying their toughness and ruggedness needed to survive in this hostile land. Our first stop was Patterned lake and walked in via a steep wind scowl descent. It was beautiful but extremely cold and my hand started to go off and was extremely painful.

I got some nice photos and eventually managed to warm my hand up. Darron wanted to climb peak 958 but by the time we got to the top of the steep scree slope time was running out so we decided to drop back down the other side and continue on with our journey as we didn't have much day light left. It was a very steep descent down the scree slope on the other side and the last section on ice me and the doc slid down on our bums having great fun. High up on the rock face was this slab of rock that was perfectly balanced and defying gravity. It must have weighed twenty tones and was the size of a car. We theorised it must have snapped off and slid down slowly coming to rest where it is. Time in this place is measured thousands of years.

It was a really nice and interesting walk back to the Hag through the moraine line. I found the tie down bolts for the CM Camp near peak 995 and really enjoyed walking amongst the huge boulders. I find moraine lines fascinating as the rocks and boulders could have come from hundreds of miles away and could have been floating along for thousands of years. I would love to see a time laps video of a moraine line to see the rocks moving. Lots of the rocks are a different material to the mountains they are flowing past so they must be carried in from afar. It's also fascinating how they sink down into the ice while others seem to float, but I think they all eventually sink into the ice and disappear. It was so bloody cold, I carried a spare camera battery in my glove and I would only get about six photos before I would have to change battery's and warm the other one up. The cold also stopped the display on my camera from working and also the telephoto lens would bind up and I wasn't able to turn it. In these conditions it is so hard just to perform the most basic task.

We spent the rest of the day circumnavigating the Central Masson Range in the relative warmth and comfort of the Hagglunds eventually heading back to Rumdoodle hut for the night after the sun had gone down about three thirty in the afternoon. The sunset and colours were amazing and it was a very enjoyable day with breath taking scenery in every direction.

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