The road up from Greymouth to Arthur’s Pass hugs the steep mountain sides with a raging river below. After half a meter of rain in the past couple days (that’s right, more than a foot and a half of rain), the rivers were full and land slides were being cleared by road crews. This is a clever solution to water and gravel pouring down onto the road–make a water bridge! The big bird is a parrot, a Kea, native to New Zealand. They seem to like posing for photographs.
The west side of the mountains were still spitting rain, but as soon as we crossed the divide, the eastern side had blue skies and fresh snow on the peaks. We could once again feel the warmth of the sun. What a relief!
I’m not good at guessing heights, but this is a no-nonsense waterfall, several stories high (Jeremiah, feel free to comment here). All over the mountains were sniveling and dribbling with water, like giant runny noses, if you’ll excuse the analogy, shedding rain and melting snow from the past few days. All over were fresh gravel deposits, mountains crumbling slowly into the valleys, rivers moving the gravel down, eventually, to the plains.
We chose a day hike and started climbing.
There’s a little glacier, cradled up in that mountain.
We followed this no-joking-around “trail” up a steep ridge with loose scree drop-offs on both sides. Bravo Jeremiah for carrying Milo sure-footed up that path. When we reached the top my first inclination was to crouch down to avoid falling over the side.
Aw, another family portrait. Milo’s in that blue lump on Jeremiah’s back.
Milo could actually see out believe it or not. Down in the valley in the sun was short sleeve weather, but it was still spitting a little snow up here, so we had him bundled away and he seemed happy with that ride.
These Kea parrots are inquisitive and naughty, not at all too shy to steal your shiny possessions if you but turn your back on them. I saw one take a bright green cup and drop it over the side of the mountain, apparently just for fun. When they fly they flash the bright orange feathers under their wings.
Slightly battered but in amazingly good condition considering the fierce wind and snow over the past couple days, this ranunculus was probably glad to see the sun again.
A classic view of the southern alps from Avalanche Peak.
Doesn’t this orange moss look like 70’s shag carpet? Probably smells about the same too–musty.