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A 20-hour visit to Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park during Easter 2008


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Author Topic: A 20-hour visit to Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park during Easter 2008  (Read 5242 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #75 on: February 09, 2009, 06:25:44 pm »

After about fifteen minutes on the ice, we climbed aboard the skiplane and took-off, then flew across the adjacent ridge into the upper Douglas Valley, and there it was — the hidden side of Mount Sefton and the awesome Douglas Glacier. This glacier has a huge névé on the southern flanks of the Sierra Range and the western face of Mount Sefton, and an icefall that consists of a massive vertical cliff varying between 3,000 and 3,500 feet high along its three-kilometre length, over which thousands of tonnes of ice at a time avalanches, to explode into the valley down below, then reforms as a glacier and continues to flow down the valley for another three kilometres before melting into a terminal lake. The continual ice avalanches also set off massive rock avalanches from the other mountain faces around the head of the valley, and all of this rock is carried away by the lower section of the glacier. The ice you can see on the névé in the photographs of the Douglas Glacier is more than 100 metres thick.



Flying past Blizzard Peak (with the Horace-Walker Glacier just out of sight to the left of the picture); with the Douglas Glacier névé and Mount Sefton (partially obscured by the skiplane wing) coming into view in the centre of the photograph at 11:13am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Flying past Blizzard Peak (with the Horace-Walker Glacier just out of sight to the left of the picture); with the Douglas Glacier névé and Mount Sefton
(partially obscured by the skiplane wing) coming into view in the centre of the photograph.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #76 on: February 09, 2009, 06:27:05 pm »

The western side of Mount Sefton with the Douglas Glacier prominent in the photograph and the 3,000 foot high vertical cliff separating the upper and lower sections of the glacier visible in the lower-right of the photograph — 11:13am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

The western side of Mount Sefton with the Douglas Glacier prominent in the photograph and the 3,000 foot high vertical cliff separating the upper and lower
sections of the glacier visible in the lower-right of the photograph.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #77 on: February 09, 2009, 06:28:07 pm »

The upper section of the Douglas Glacier with the western side of The Footstool visible behind the Main Divide at the left of the picture; behind and to the right of that is the top of the South Face and Summit Ridge of Aoraki-Mount Cook, with Mount Sefton on the Divide to the right of the photo just below trailing edge of the the skiplane's wingtip — as viewed at 11:13am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

The upper section of the Douglas Glacier with the western side of The Footstool visible behind the Main Divide at the left of the picture;
behind and to the right of that is the top of the South Face and Summit Ridge of Aoraki-Mount Cook, with Mount Sefton on the Divide
to the right of the photo just below the trailing edge of the skiplane's wingtip.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #78 on: February 09, 2009, 06:28:58 pm »

Flying past the Douglas Glacier with the vertical cliffs separating the glacier névé from the lower section of the glacier in the foreground; and Mount Sefton on the Main Divide prominent in the centre background — 11:14am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Flying past the Douglas Glacier with the vertical cliffs separating the glacier névé from the lower section of the glacier in the foreground; and Mount Sefton
on the Main Divide prominent in the centre background.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #79 on: February 09, 2009, 06:31:48 pm »

The Douglas Glacier in the foreground, with the South Face and part of the summit ridge of Aoraki-Mount Cook in the background at the left, Mount Sefton in the centre, and Mount Thomson on the right as viewed beneath the skiplane's wing — 11:14am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

The Douglas Glacier in the foreground, with the South Face and part of the summit ridge of Aoraki-Mount Cook in the background at the left, Mount Sefton
in the centre, and Mount Thomson on the right as viewed beneath the skiplane's wing.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #80 on: February 09, 2009, 07:09:04 pm »

Flying past the Douglas Glacier; with in the background at the left, NZ's three highest mountains — Mount Tasman, Mount Dampier and Aoraki-Mount Cook; and with Mount Sefton just to the right of centre on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps — 11:14am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Flying past the Douglas Glacier; with in the background at the left, NZ's three highest mountains — Mount Tasman, Mount Dampier and Aoraki-Mount Cook;
and with Mount Sefton just to the right of centre on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #81 on: February 09, 2009, 07:10:00 pm »

As we flew across Douglas Pass and over the McKerrow Glacier feeding the Landsborough River, we could see across Karangarua Saddle into the head of the Karangarua Valley, as well as down the Landsborough Valley towards some of the big mountains to the south on the Hooker Range.



The view while flying across the headwaters of the Lansborough Valley looking across the Karangarua Saddle into the head of the Karangarua Valley at 11:15am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

The view while flying across the headwaters of the Lansborough Valley looking across the Karangarua Saddle into the head of the Karangarua Valley.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #82 on: February 09, 2009, 07:10:52 pm »

Looking down the Landsborough Valley towards Fettes Peak, Mount Strachan and Mount Dechen (with their prominent glaciers); and Mount Hooker in the far distance — photo taken at 11:15am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Looking down the Landsborough Valley towards Fettes Peak, Mount Strachan and Mount Dechen (with their prominent glaciers); and Mount Hooker in the far distance.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #83 on: February 09, 2009, 07:11:37 pm »

Looking down the Landsborough Valley towards Fettes Peak, Mount Strachan and Mount Dechen (with their prominent glaciers); and Mount Hooker in the far distance — photo taken at 11:15am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Looking down the Landsborough Valley towards Fettes Peak, Mount Strachan and Mount Dechen (with their prominent glaciers); and Mount Hooker in the far distance.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #84 on: February 09, 2009, 07:12:12 pm »

A telephoto view down the Landsborough Valley with Mount Strachan (and the Strachan Glacier), Mount Dechen (with its associated glacier); and Mount Hooker in the far distance — 11:15am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

A telephoto view down the Landsborough Valley with Mount Strachan (and the Strachan Glacier), Mount Dechen (with its associated glacier);
and Mount Hooker in the far distance.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #85 on: February 09, 2009, 09:50:18 pm »

From the head of the Landsborough Valley, we crossed the Main Divide of the Southern Alps over Bernard Col, then past Barron Saddle and the head of the Dobson Valley, and across the Ben Ohau Range towards Birch Hill.



Flying across the Main Divide over Bernard Col to the Mueller Glacier valley with the Welchman Glacier prominent in the scene — 11:16am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Flying across the Main Divide over Bernard Col to the Mueller Glacier valley with the Welchman Glacier prominent in the scene.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #86 on: February 09, 2009, 09:51:10 pm »

The Bannie Glacier in bottom left-of-centre view, Christopher Col above the head of the glacier and Mount Sefton behind that; and with Aoraki-Mount Cook on the skyline right-of-centre in the photograph — 11:16am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

The Bannie Glacier in bottom left-of-centre view, Christopher Col above the head of the glacier and Mount Sefton behind that; and with Aoraki-Mount Cook
on the skyline right-of-centre in the photograph.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #87 on: February 09, 2009, 09:52:04 pm »

Flying across the Mueller Valley with the Bannie Glacier at left, Mount Sefton and Aoraki-Mount Cook on the skyline, and the rubble-covered Mueller Glacier down below beneath the skiplane's wing as viewed at 11:16am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Flying across the Mueller Valley with the Bannie Glacier at left, Mount Sefton and Aoraki-Mount Cook on the skyline, and the rubble-covered Mueller Glacier
down below beneath the skiplane's wing.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #88 on: February 09, 2009, 09:56:09 pm »

Flying past Baron Saddle into the head of the Hopkins Valley with Sissors being the prominent peak in the photograph, the Selwyn Glacier visible on the south-east face of Sissors, and the Hooker Range across The Divide in the background — 11:16am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Flying past Baron Saddle into the head of the Hopkins Valley with Sissors being the prominent peak in the photograph, the Selwyn Glacier visible on the
south-east face of Sissors, and the Hooker Range across the divide in the background.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #89 on: February 09, 2009, 09:59:24 pm »

Flying across the headwaters of the Hopkins River, with a good view down the Hopkins Valley, and with the Neuman Range to the right and the Ben Ohau Range to the left of the picture at 11:17am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Flying across the headwaters of the Hopkins River, with a good view down the Hopkins Valley, and with the Neuman Range to the right
and the Ben Ohau Range to the left of the picture.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #90 on: February 09, 2009, 10:00:40 pm »

Ben Ohau Range out the window on the starboard side of the skiplane with the Neuman Range in the background as viewed at 11:17am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Ben Ohau Range out the window on the starboard side of the skiplane with the Neuman Range in the background.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #91 on: February 09, 2009, 10:01:47 pm »

Flying over Jamieson Saddle towards Birch Hill in the Tasman Valley with the flanks of Mount Edgar Thomson and an un-named glacier outside the skiplane's window; and with Mount Cook Airport also visible down on the valley floor as viewed at 11:18am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Flying over Jamieson Saddle towards Birch Hill in the Tasman Valley with the flanks of Mount Edgar Thomson and an un-named glacier outside the skiplane's
window; and with Mount Cook Airport also visible down on the valley floor.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #92 on: February 09, 2009, 10:02:42 pm »

Just after crossing Jamieson Saddle into the Tasman Valley, the South Face and summit ridge of Aoraki-Mount Cook flanked on the left by Mount Hicks (St David's Dome) comes into view as does the terminal lake of the Tasman Glacier complete with icebergs — 11:18am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Just after crossing Jamieson Saddle into the Tasman Valley, the South Face and summit ridge of Aoraki-Mount Cook flanked on the left by Mount Hicks
(St David's Dome) comes into view as does the terminal lake of the Tasman Glacier complete with icebergs.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #93 on: February 10, 2009, 01:48:33 am »

Back to the lower Tasman valley followed by an approach and landing at Mount Cook Airport.



Turning onto the crosswind leg prior to appraching Mount Cook Airport (visible in the photograph) with an awesome view into the heart of Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park visible out the port side of the skiplane — 11:19am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Turning onto the crosswind leg prior to appraching Mount Cook Airport (visible in the photograph) with an awesome view into the heart
of Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park visible out the port side of the skiplane.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #94 on: February 10, 2009, 01:49:43 am »

Looking down the Tasman Valley towards Lake Pukaki while flying the crosswind leg prior to approaching to land at Mount Cook Airport — 11:19am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Looking down the Tasman Valley towards Lake Pukaki while flying the crosswind leg prior to approaching to land at Mount Cook Airport.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #95 on: February 10, 2009, 01:50:56 am »

Turning onto finals to land at Mount Cook Airport (visible in the picture), with Mount Sefton and The Footstool prominent on the Main Divide and La Perouse behind the lower Mount Cook Range — 11:19am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Turning onto finals to land at Mount Cook Airport (visible in the picture), with Mount Sefton and The Footstool prominent on the Main Divide and La Perouse
behind the lower Mount Cook Range.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #96 on: February 10, 2009, 01:51:48 am »

Birch Hill Stream and Rocky Knob slip past with the Ben Ohau Range in the background during an approach to Mount Cook Airport at 11:20am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Birch Hill Stream and Rocky Knob slip past with the Ben Ohau Range in the background during an approach to Mount Cook Airport.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #97 on: February 10, 2009, 01:52:47 am »

Final approach to Runway 31 at Mount Cook Airport — 11:21am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Final approach to Runway 31 at Mount Cook Airport on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #98 on: February 10, 2009, 01:53:44 am »

Time for a couple of photographs from the airport carpark before returning to Mount Cook Village.



Mount Sefton and The Footstool as viewed from the carpark at Mount Cook Airport — photo taken at 11:31am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Mount Sefton and The Footstool as viewed from the carpark at Mount Cook Airport.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #99 on: February 10, 2009, 01:54:23 am »

Looking up the Tasman Valley from the carpark at Mount Cook Airport, with De La Beche Corner, the Rudolf Glacier, the Graham Saddle, De La Beche Ridge, Mount De La Beche and The Minarets all visible — 11:32am on Easter Monday, 24th March 2008.

Looking up the Tasman Valley from the carpark at Mount Cook Airport, with De La Beche Corner, the Rudolf Glacier, the Graham Saddle, De La Beche Ridge,
Mount De La Beche and The Minarets all visible.
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