The speeding clouds waft and swirl around us revealing tiny glimpses of the glacier alongside, against a brilliant blue sky. Like a sped up time-lapse they swiftly layer and unfold in all directions, blown in spirals by the eddying gusts of icy air. Illuminated bright white and gold by the sun they form both a dramatic curtain and performance in one, showing slices of vista and fleeting windows down into the valley below. Hopefully, building to the grand finale – the grand centre piece itself… We wait.
After taking hundreds of shots of the unfurling clouds and glimpses of exciting rock and ice it was revealing, we decide to climb yet further up through the whiteness all around in search of a bigger break, and a shot of the real drama that ought to be looming at the end of the valley. But that involves a bit more ‘up’.
The hut warden at Muller Hut was a little smaller than we’re used to. But boy, was he keen to see us. He seemed extremely eager to check the contents of our sandwiches weren’t breaking any conservation laws. Very diligent.
He was a brilliantly entertaining little Kea. I say ‘little’ but at 18inches high this fella had managed to accumulate quite a curvature of belly on him. I’m surprised he could fly to be honest. But even with that adorable cheeky grin and a fake tears in his shiny eyes, his cuteness wasn’t going to liberate our sandwiches away from their intended fate. We’d walked too hard for them. Sorry mate!