Mt Anne... almost

(Rather belated post — this dates back over a month now!)

A friend, now living in NZ, was back in the state and keen to do an ascent of Mt Anne. The signs were good, with 4 days of fine weather predicted, and we set out intending to camp between Mts Eliza and Anne on an overnight trip.

Weather in the south-west of course is somewhat less reliable and predictable than you might like. As we left the carpark in the morning it was overcast and cool, seemingly quite pleasant conditions for the climb ahead. Not long after we started climbing, it started misting... and only got heavier! Visibility reduced, and because we weren't dressed for the developing conditions by the time we got to the hut below the summit of Mt Eliza we were quite drenched.

After trying to warm up for a bit we re-scheduled and decided to sleep in the hut and climb Mt Anne in the morning, assuming the weather cleared a bit (to be fair, there were "isolated showers" predicted for the first day!). We put on more sensible clothes and set off on a shorter excursion just up Mt Eliza. This is quite a fun stretch, and is borderline rock-climbing (Paul demonstrating in the first photo). For about 30 seconds, we looked behind us on our way up as the clouds parted slightly, enabling the first panorama... then it quickly shut again. The summit is classic alpine vegetation and quite pretty, although visibility was down to about 20m at this point. I'm sure there's a lovely view at times too.

After a fairly sleepless night (the hyperactive mouse also living in the hut is a bit of a log-book legend, and darted over our sleeping bags numerous times!) we woke to see... not much, just a whole lot more wet. Disappointed, we made the decision to just go back down. Of course, the further down we got the clearer the weather became; looking back up though the summits were still not visible so I'm clinging to the belief that they stayed that way for the weekend.

So, it was fun, we just didn't see a lot! I'd like to try it as a day-walk next summer, perhaps when the weather is a bit more unambiguous!

Mark Hepburn 19 April 2011
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