The Arrowsmith’s are the closest glaciated mountains to Christchurch and are great for a weekend smash for those who are keen.
During our approach on Saturday I hoped the fine forecast would cause Arrowsmith’s Central Couloir to shed excess snow but instead the sky alternated between broken and overcast. Therefore on the Sunday we were unsure if we could get up there safely.
After crossing the shrund a cement-like wet slide hosed the outside corner of our steepening skin track. I was then pelted in the face by a cluster of pinwheels while I failed to bat them away with a ski. The risk to reward ratio wasn’t weighing up so we skied to safer ground.
The South Cameron’s glacial corridors skied well. Above the bluffs I triggered a wet slide that was big enough to move some blocks of blue ice around! We then followed a chute to the Cameron Valley and eventually the hut.
After a quick break we repacked our bags and began the hike out. Towards the end Joel’s permanent smile was fading. We were stoked to meet the 2 bottles of IPA I had stashed back at the cars. I drove to Ashburton at granny speed to conserve gas. I was glad to get home and not miss my flight to Wellington the following day!