Fairy Meadows – Day 6 Echo Glacier – Friendship Col – Practise Slopes

Ho hum another day … another 20 cms new in the last 24 hours. Get up – overstuff face – eat sandwiches with butter and peanut butter. Realize I am out of cream horns and almost panic so down more butter in a losing attempt to keep body weight on. Dig out the bathrooms, probe for the sauna, get water out of the hole and hope it doesn’t cave in on you. At least the sky clears enough in the morning to get some good sun shots.

Interior of the sleeping quarters upstairs

Antony and Jasmine in the cold-storage now pine-marten proof anteroom

Sunlight has been a furtive lurking companion this entire week and today is no exception. Clouds quickly move in from the Granite Glacier as a large group of us head up to Friendship Col.

Trevor setting out in the morning sun

Front of the hut – notice the clouds sneaking in from the Granite Glacier on picture left

Clouds and winds really get going as we get higher on the Echo Glacier and up to Friendship Col. It’s tricky skinning approaching the last section of the col but not impossible. Some of the group elects to bootpack, which in my opinion, makes it even harder to get up there.

… and clouds descend again at Gog and Magog

Windy, stormy Friendship Col and group wigging out

Pete breaks a very nice track through the cornice windlip seperating the col from the Gothics Glacier. No-one seems interested in venturing and trying out whiteout navigation despite the very good maps we have. In fact there’s a remarkable amount of wigging out and wanting to go back down immediately. Such is the nature of travelling with large groups. Not everyone is happy hanging out on a windy col and I get no time to even discuss the possibility of going up to Damon or to trying out skiing some interesting steep ramps framing Friendship Col. I’ve memorized the clear-day shots of the Echo Glacier from the very useful climbing book and elect to ski down the glacier, somewhat rescuing the wasted effort of getting to Friendship Col and getting 400m of beautiful powder. The rest of the day is then spent in the trees yet again thwarted from high-alpine.

Pete slices and dices the Echo Glacier

Day 6 travels

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