Last weekend I took a trip to a mountain range 3-4 hours south of Christchurch, exploring new territory with a group of 4 other guys from work. Our agenda: shoot bull Tahr (a Himalayan mountain goat) in all their winter long-haired glory, and get some exercise to boot.
We stayed at one of the few huts that is 4wd accessible…. if you arrange ahead to get the key to a gate from the station owner that the track crosses over. The bikes belong to some guys that didn’t get the owner’s key.
Most of the huts in NZ were originally either sheep musters’ huts or deer cullers’ huts. This one was originally a private hut when the area was grazed, and acquired by DOC when the private lease ran out and the land returned to the Crown.
Very tight for 5 guys, “bugger all” headroom on the top bunk. Actually, one guy slept in the truck and another on the floor rather than bonk a forehead on a beam in the middle of the night.
We spent the entire day walking up in the mountains, glassing and looking for some tahr.
Two happy guys in their element, having a look on top of the peaks for some tahr.
Squint. There are a few tahr in the center of the photo, out on a bluff, feeling very safe from us two-legged hunters.
Zoomed in… I did not shoot any (except with the camera) though they were within range. Retrieving them would have entailed ropes, harnesses and rock/ice climbing prowess, something for another weekend. Tahr truly are an amazing animal. They make it look so easy jumping around on those cliffs.
A mountain tarn with my Aussie mate Mark walking around on it.
A fine dinner of meat and a side of meat, washed down with a little beer. Hang the veggies.
Mmmmm, roasting socks. After a day of 5 guys walking around in the mountains, socks can be pretty ripe drying over the wood stove.
I didn’t come back with a prize trophy (much to Molly’s relief), but it almost didn’t matter. Those mountains are wonderful. Not a cloud in the sky, meteors streaming at night, wild, untamed country, unhampered by societal rules. I could live up there with the tahr.