Cabin Fever High on the Mountain – Shelter from the storm

Pioneer Hut, Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Pioneer Hut, Fox Glacier, New Zealand

It is often said that too much of a good thing, is not such a good thing.

 And after three weeks in the spectacular South Island of New Zealand, mountaineering, climbing, jet-boating, taking to the skies in a Tiger Moth, and leaping 100 metres into a canyon screaming at the top of my lungs, seemingly a good thing came to an abrupt end this week.

Baz traversing Mt Aurora
Baz traversing Mt Aurora

 It was back to work…

Yes I do work, although my colleagues have often said, with a wink, that at times there is too much day dreaming going on and not enough work.

 But putting that aside…

My usual daily routine starts around 4am each day up in the shed with a row, a weight session, or perhaps even a bit of both. Other days it is a walk with a 25 or 30-kilogram backpack for company.

But I must say it was a little tough getting motivated these past few days, not so much because of the early start, after all, I had a few alpine starts these past three weeks where you rise around 3am in the morning to ready for a day of climbing.

Jet-boating with Janet & TomO, New Zealand
Jet-boating with Janet & TomO, New Zealand

Initially I put it down to a change in routine, let’s face it, it is pretty easy to get out of bed for a day of climbing in the spectacular Southern Alps; the walk to the shed just didn’t cut it.

Maybe it was cabin fever I thought, after all “the shed” is about the size of some of the alpine huts.

Baz over Wanaka
Baz over Wanaka

Now let me say the alpine huts dotted throughout the alpine regions are basic, but comfortable and what you would expect of this type of shelter and accommodation.

Mind you, heating is limited to clothing and a warm sleeping bag.

Franz Joseph Glacier - Centennial Hut
Franz Joseph Glacier – Centennial Hut

And given there is one big refrigerator outside, keeping perishable food is no great problem, just bury it in the snow and hope the Keas’ don’t find it before you eat it. So you can actually eat very well, which is great given the mountains tend to give you a solid appetite.

Good food - Colin Todd Hutt
Good food – Colin Todd Hutt

But back to this cabin fever thing, the weather turned particularly bad, and I mean badass bad, during the week I was attempting to climb Mt Aspiring.

We had two quite reasonable days before it all went pear-shaped and the wind howled gusting at up to 180 kilometres an hour at times, sleet, snow and rain, pounded Colin Todd Hutt relentlessly for almost three days and nights.

Practicing rope rescue techniques
Practicing rope rescue techniques

The lightening was striking all around the hut, but its flashes struck silently because you couldn’t hear the thunder over the roar of the wind.

We did keep ourselves occupied during the storm with plenty of knot tying, practicing rescue techniques, cups of sweet tea, and book reading tucked up in a warm down sleeping bag.

Relaxing during the storm, Colin Todd Hut
Relaxing during the storm, Colin Todd Hut

 But there was some floor pacing as well…

Actually, it was a great experience, if you had to have it, as it demonstrated what nature will toss at you in the mountains, a good lesson in patience.

I’ve just given myself a bit of a slap…

 C’mon Baz, you’re not suffering cabin fever, you love the shed, and after all it is a sanctuary, the font of all knowledge and some tall tales.

The Shed - Font of all knowledge
The Shed – Font of all knowledge

And besides you have plenty of training ahead of that climbing you are going to do in Nepal later this year.

Best you get reacquainted with the shed sooner, rather than later…

Hey, and remember, if all else fails, remain out of control and see what develops…

Baz climbing Sweet Dreams, Blue Mountains, Australia
Baz climbing Sweet Dreams, Blue Mountains, Australia
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21 thoughts on “Cabin Fever High on the Mountain – Shelter from the storm

  1. linhartb February 10, 2013 / 11:11 am

    Amazing view of Franz Joseph Glacier from Centennial Hut!

    Like

    • Baz - The Landy February 10, 2013 / 4:03 pm

      Spectacular, isn’t it. You can be standing in an Alpine region looking down the glacier to the Tasman Sea.

      How good is that! Cheers….

      Like

  2. Alarna Rose Gray February 6, 2013 / 10:18 pm

    I honestly don’t know how you get up at those hours, and do what you do, and work?! And yeah, blog…

    Like

    • Baz - The Landy February 8, 2013 / 2:11 pm

      It does take some effort at times, but I think if you want something badly enough you just go for it…! Take care, Baz

      Like

  3. Michelle Martin February 6, 2013 / 11:25 am

    umm, I don’t think you’re being totally honest with us Baz… where does it say you also schedule in 3 hours to write and illustrate these amazing blogs LOL 😉

    Like

    • Baz - The Landy February 6, 2013 / 12:21 pm

      Shooosh 😉 …Actually I do try to write them in the evening…!

      And I think we should see you both lining up in Wanaka next year. Be a great holiday as well..Cheers, Baz

      Like

  4. Baz - The Landy February 6, 2013 / 9:23 am

    Thankyou Seth, I am humbled by a comment like that from such an accomplished photographer!

    Like

  5. sethsnap February 6, 2013 / 6:18 am

    Wow. These are amazing.

    Like

  6. barbara grandberg February 6, 2013 / 5:17 am

    sooooo…how was today’s workout in the shed???????

    Like

    • Baz - The Landy February 6, 2013 / 5:30 am

      Hi BG..Lot’s of stretching today…I had a procedure (PRP Treatment) on my achillies a couple of days ago so need to “ease” in…how’s the running?

      Like

  7. Deliberately Delicious February 6, 2013 / 3:02 am

    Honestly, Baz, I don’t know how you find time to work! I imagine three days stuck in a cabin would have sorely tested your patience, but as you say, it’s a good reminder about the power of nature, particularly in the mountains. Good learning before you get to Nepal.

    Like

    • Baz - The Landy February 6, 2013 / 5:29 am

      Actually it wasn’t too bad. A lot of climbing at altitude involves just seating around resting and acclimatising. So yes, good practice!

      Like

  8. Cowboys and Crossbones February 6, 2013 / 2:41 am

    Eewww! Work! Back to the grind, back to the shed, my friend! You’ll be happy you did when Nepal comes around. Also, how in the hell do you get up at 4am?! Sometimes that’s when I’m going to bed!

    Like

    • Baz - The Landy February 6, 2013 / 5:28 am

      And that is for sure about Nepal…and 4am, with great difficulty sometimes, but once you get the routine going it is okay…

      Like

  9. icescreammama February 5, 2013 / 10:38 pm

    oh no! back to work! say it ain’t so! alrighty then, go to it. man up and get back to that shed. it’s calling your name. you can do it. go landy go. go landy go. see, i can cheer from way over here. 🙂

    (a m a z i n g last picture!)

    Like

    • Baz - The Landy February 6, 2013 / 5:34 am

      Thankyou! I wondered where that cheering was coming from!!!

      Like

  10. myfitfoot February 5, 2013 / 10:12 pm

    That last picture is insane and has given me a small dose of vertigo.

    Like

    • Baz - The Landy February 6, 2013 / 5:33 am

      Great place to climb, very spectacular view, and quite exposed!

      Like

  11. austerpilot February 5, 2013 / 10:11 pm

    Keep sight of the goal, Baz. Each pull of those ‘oars’ is another step up an 8000m peak! 👍

    Like

    • Baz - The Landy February 6, 2013 / 5:32 am

      And I suspect you’ll never have done enough once you get to those altitudes!

      Like

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