Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Shelter from the storm - New Zealand



I have been two and a half weeks in New Zealand and my time is drawing to a close. The weather has been simply wild and has reinforced to me yet again, we humans are but intruders on Nature’s landscape. With a flick of her tail, we are crippled by floods, high winds and high tides. The weather has certainly prevented me from a trip to the Mount Cook region, but at least it gave me some unplanned time to go through my slide collection which I have recently converted to digital copy.

I have posted a few historic photos of my younger days in the New Zealand outdoors, and a few from overseas expeditions. As I post this and the wind swirls outside, I think of the words of Bob Dylan's song, "Come in she said, I will give you shelter from the storm."

My favourite photo above was taken in 1991, when two teachers (Bruce White and Bruce Barnes)and myself from Westland High took a group of High School students up three 8,000 foot peaks at the head of the Franz Josef Glacier. This photo was taken on the summit of Mt. Mildred with the Franz Josef neve, Mt.De la Beche and Minarets, together with other peaks of the Southern Alps, in the background.




In 1990 Chris Bonnington was invited to New Zealand as a 'Living Treasure'and a group of us took him climbing at the head of the Fox Glacier. (L to R)Colin Monteath, Mike Browne, Dave Bamford, Chris Bonnington, John Nankervis and Ed Cotter.



Bob McKerrow on the summit of Malte Brun, Dec 1967.



(L to R) Keith McIvor, Bob McKerrow, Jan Sarnquist and Jim Cowie after a successful first ascent of a variation on the Notch Route, Mt. Talbot. Photo taken near Homer Hut near the Homer tunnel 1969.



With my daughter Tania at Almer Hut, Franz Josef Glacier, Winter 1991


Teaching Tania to move safely on the Franz Josef Glacier, 1991



Jim Cowie, myself, Rod McLeod on the summit of Mt. Malte Brun. Mount Cook Aoraki is behind Jim’s left shoulder. Dec. 1967.



Taken after a double crossing of Cook Strait with Adrian Kingi in February 1988. We paddled from Makara near Wellington, to the entrance of Tory Channel in the South Island and returned to Mana Island and then into Plimmerton. Later that year I did a ten hour solo crossing from Raumati in the North Island to Cape Jackson in the South Island



I lived at Franz Josef from 1990 to 92 and this was an outing with my five daughters up the valley with the mighty Franz Josef Glacier behind,



The last guided glacier trip by Rangi Tinarau, the famous Franz Josef guide. Ther THC lost the concession in 1991 as they sold the Hotel. Rangi is in the blue shirt crouching to the left of centre in the front.


Bob McKerrow leading out along the ridge of La Aguja with Ken McNatty roped to him. Paul Green took the photo. Paul did the lead to the unclimbed summit between the snow and rock on the left side of the Needle. 1968 NZ Andean Expedition to Peru

The highest road in the world. The Khardung La in Leh, India. 2001.


During the winter of 1970, when I wintered over at Vanda Station, Antarctica.


With one of the lead dogs on the 1986 Steger International North Pole expedition. Taken on the Arctic Ocean.

28 comments:

D'Arcy said...

Between you and Robb, I believe my next adventure needs to take place in the mountains of New Zealand.

Thank you for these photos and memories.

Bob McKerrow said...

Good morning D'Arcy

I am pleased Robb and I have convinced you to come to the mountains of New Zealand. Where to climb is the hardest part. Take care and if I can help in any way, please let me know.

Bob

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
I always love your photos, particularly the old ones. So much history there. What sort of guy was Bonnington? I have read different reactions to him.
Wasn't it Dylan who also wrote, and sang, "you don't need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind is blowin".
Kia ora Bob, a pity the weather gods were not so cooperative for you, but that is life, and no doubt gave you more time with those special people in your life. I know last time I went home to the states for a month and it passed in a blur and I was unable to see or do half of what I intended. Still those memories burn bright. Travel safe brother and god speed. Glad you are out there fighting the good fight!
Rangimarie,
Robb

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Robb

Thanks for the Dylan quote which was a first for me.

Chris Bonnington I liked. I met him first in 1975 after he climbed the South Face of Everest and then again in 1990. As he matured, he became more modest and more focussed. He was a very skilled mountaineer and a talented writer.

I leave Monday morning and look forward to moving again.

Take care my brother.

Bob

pohanginapete said...

Well, the power's back on here again at last... it's been quite an eventful week. Sorry you're not around for longer, Bob, but I'm glad you've had some time back here to catch up with friends and places. Your old photos really moved me; I don't think it's mere nostalgia (nor envy, although I admit to a bit of that!) I think it's a reminder that life's there to be lived, and clearly you're doing just that — not just for your own satisfaction but for the benefit of others too. I'm impressed and inspired, Bob. Thank you, and safe travels.

Bob McKerrow said...

Dear Pete

I value your comments deeply. Sometimes I wonder about blogging. Why do I do it ? Is it for ego, recognition or is it because I enjoy communicating and feel I have something to share ?

I believe we can learn from each other and share our highs and lows.

I am back in November to have total knee replacements on both legs. Hopefully I will be able to run up a few mountains after that.

Warm regards

Bob

Marja said...

How magic these pictures are and interesting to see a younger version of you. I would love walking on a glacier one day it looks magical. You lived such an amazing live. I had to laugh at your frozen moustache. I remember when I was young it was sometimes so cold that the lakes and rivers were frozen and than we went iceskating. We also had ice in our eyebrows and hair. Of course not as bad. The ice was often cleaned by the firebrigade and big lamps were put next to it so we could scate at night. I loved it but I am very discoordinated so wasn't able to stop. When I approached everybody went out of my way.
Anyway I hope you had a good trip back

Bob McKerrow said...

Dear marja

Thanks for your comments. I had a safe and relaxing trip back to Jakarta. I was most interested to read of your young days back in Holland skating. Those cold, cold days bring back great memories for you and me.

take care

Bob

PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...

Hi Bob

It is great that you have returned to NZ for your vacation. For me, today is one of the many days I pine for my return to NZ so I had to play my favourite Video, "Pokarekare Ana" and others they help my state of mind a lot.

The down memory lane trip blog with you was awesome. Those pictures to my way of thinking are priceless. You are truly gorgeous dude amid your beautiful daughters...then and now from what I have seen in the pictures. Thank you very much for sharing such awesome memories. Your blogs are always refreshing to read.

Bob McKerrow said...

Kia Ora Paterika

Dometimes a little self-indulgence with a trip down memory lane is OK, but usually I prefer dreams to memories. It is my dreams that give me vision and motivation.

Always good to hear from you.

Bob

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