Castle Hill, New Zealand
November 27, 2008
Today was exhausting but incredible. The drive out of Christchurch and into the alps was strange... The day was overcast, and drizzly when we started, so you couldn't see the mountains at all. They came out of nowhere. They looked like the high alpine meadows on Baker and Rainier, loaded with choss and gorgeous wildflowers. Sheep everywhere.
Castle Hill was surreal. These huge, round, ultra-smooth limestone boulders that looked like they'd been placed there instead of carved from the landscape. Sculpted like clay with strange archways and contours. The rock was so smooth and polished that my shoes squeaked when I moved on it. The ground made a hollow noise when you walked. I can see how this place would make you sick strong, cos if you can learn to climb on these slopers you could openhand anything.
Met this Dutch guy travelling with two girls and chatted about the number of projects between Castle [where I was], Flock, and Spittle Hills [up the highway towards Arthur's Pass], and the V6 [sandbagged! felt like a v7] that I was working.
The backpacker mentality I miss, having the freedom to go anywhere like they were, wherever the day took you. There's a freedom to wanderlust, where your mind just lets go and you don't think about anything but the moment.
Hands are in pain from working the slopers with no texture [transcribed this from my handwritten journal]. Tomorrow is a trip to The Tors; have no idea what to expect, but the area is a volcanic crater so the rock should be unique. And sharp.