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South Island High Country Adventure Ride

So far this winter the weather has been very accommodating for adventure riding, and with the weather forecast again looking great up in the High Country I studied topos and selected a valley to ride. After a couple of phone calls to get access permission the bike was packed and I was off.

Photo 1 of High Country Goodness
Although the weather was looking good for the upcoming three days, there was a bit of crap that had to blow through overnight. Riding for around an hour an a half into increasingly gloomy looking skies had me wondering if this had actually blown through or not
Photo 2 of High Country Goodness
Concerns were soon put to rest as I rounded the corner aside Mount Barrosa and the valley was lit up with blue skies... simply stunning!
Photo 3 of High Country Goodness
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Photo 6 of High Country Goodness
After dropping off some beers to the station owner I dropped into the Clyde River to begin some pretty lengthy open riverbed work
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Photo 8 of High Country Goodness
All tracks up the true left of the Clyde had been washed away, as much as you would try to pick nice lines, bouldery sections like this were frequently encountered
Photo 9 of High Country Goodness
Once the Lawrence River was reached I headed up the true right, the remnants of 4x4 tracks that cut in and out made the going a bit easier
Photo 10 of High Country Goodness
After not too long I made it to Lawrence Hut, my base for the three days
Photo 11 of High Country Goodness
There were only a couple of daylight hours left so I took the rifle for a quick wander up Bush Basin
Photo 12 of High Country Goodness
This was a cold south facing basin with plenty of snow and avalanche debris. I sat up on one of the ridge lines and glassed the surrounding faces however nothing was to be seen
Photo 13 of High Country Goodness
The next morning presented beautiful blue skies, ya couldn't ask for a better day. The day's mission was to ride up to Lawrence Biv, I had been told this was not doable, we would soon see...
Photo 14 of High Country Goodness
The majority of the Lawrence River is good riding, plenty of small rock/shingle lines to take with ice and snow patchs as you get higher up the valley. The blue sky gives a sense of warmth, but I assure you there was very little of that!
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The further up the valley you get the tougher going but perseverance got me up to Hells Gates Flats with just a 5 minute walk to the biv which sits up on a tussock shelf
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Lawrence Biv
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The view behind the biv into Hells Gates
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Looking back down the valley
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After lunch it was a return trip back to Lawrence Hut. Along the way I selected a nice looking ridge line to climb for an evening shoot. After climbing up to 1400 metres this is the view of the basin I was hoping would hold some Thar
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Looking up the valley from the ridge line
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Looking down the valley from the ridge line. Unfortunately no animals were seen but just the way the game goes sometimes, it was a magic evening spent in the mountains anyway
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The next morning was a relaxed pace ride out, I rode one of the old 4x4 tracks along the base of Mount McRae thinking that heading out down the middle of the Clyde River might be easier going
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There were slightly more easy-to-ride shingle sections but still plenty of rocky riverbed work
Photo 24 of High Country Goodness
Heading back out the weather was still stunning
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Photo 26 of High Country Goodness
A quick bite to eat at the Rakaia River and it was back home winding up a great trip!