Mt Torlesse – Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Mt Torlesse was scheduled on our PTC programme for Sunday 14th July, but yet again this winter, nor’west gales were forecast. So I canned it. Tuesday’s forecast was still westerlies. Wednesday’s suggested snow to 700m but clearing later. Thursday’s said started fine but packing in later. So a small window on Wednesday then? A Communicator elicited a ‘yes please’ from Danny Lee, but no one else turned up at the Russley Rd corner, so just us two set out at 7.30am.

We drove out of the Christchurch rain after ten minutes and continued under blue skies. Walking from the pine tree at 8.35am it was obvious that the remaining snow was going to be higher up and boney. Mostly soft as well, so not easy climbing. The range was now mostly clouded over. As we ascended in calm conditions into the cloud, we started getting very fine snow and then a light easterly; not westerly. Time continued and by 1.00pm we could see we still had 50m plus to go, so decided to drop down to look for an ideal spot for lunch. The area below now had a light snow cover. Looked lovely, but we decided to drop all the way down to the Research Hut for a late lunch. There by 3.15pm, the weather cleared while we had lunch, leaving the now snow covered spur above us sparkling in the afternoon sun.

Walking out we met someone coming in to the hut so he could get an early start on Thursday morning to climb Mt Torlesse and maybe more, before the weather changed. We were out to the car just nicely by 5.05pm after what had been an interesting day in mostly calm, pleasant condition.
Merv M (leader) and Danny Lee PMM