Apprehensive we starred up at the immense scree slope above us knowing we had to scale the loose surface for several hundred metres. Not since Mt Rintoul had I felt that knot of anxiety. I tried to ignore it as we stuffed our feet into the lumpy grass clumps, or tussocks, that lead the initial way. “Just don’t look down and keep your focus on your feet” I kept telling myself… Trying to breathe slowly and carefully whilst remembering not to hold my breath for too long! Steeper and steeper it went until I was grabbing hold of handfuls of grass to stop myself falling backwards. I was starting to question why I came up here at that point! “Bloody idiot!” I thought to myself, “Why do I always agree to do this stuff?”
When looking up toward the pass from Lake Constance you see a massive double scree slope split in two by a thin strip of tussock, it’s those grassy tufts which form the first stage of our route up Waiau Pass.
I don’t want to put anyone off climbing over Waiau Pass who’s reading this! It’s by far the best days hiking we’ve done in New Zealand so far. When we talk about it being really hard & steep, that’s in the context of Nicky who’s hasn’t done this sort of thing before. Do it, it’s awesome!
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