Horri's adventure from "Way Back
So we get this message from Horri Friday
"Hullo. Way back, Davie sorted me out with a Tahr Anarok for a trip to the snow with two absolute bloody maniacs, hahaha! On the way down they were telling me about the two week trip six of them had recently done down the Fiordland coast in home made kayaks. Naturally by the time we arrived at Fox, I'd developed a certain anxiety about the coming two weeks. But I survived. Just. We knocked over some nice bulls, and the coat worked bloody well, and still does. It had a prototype flavour about it because the zip came down past the top pocket at an angle in a slightly wanky way BUT it suits me fine because I shoot left handed because my right eye is wanky as well.
I've never forgotten him helping a broke young Dad out."
Horri had piqued our interest. Maniac hunting partners, home made kayaks and a dodgy eye - there's gotta be a bit more to that story. Lucky for us, Horri was only too happy to write a clan story....
Winter, 2001. Start of July, just after a wicked storm. Upper Landsborough. (Rock is the camp at Shelter Hollow). The trip I bought the Anarok for. I'd never been in the Southern Alps before. Had a few adventures during our week in there and I can still hear the glaciers cracking off at night. Was so cold my ballpoint pen hanging next to my head each night for my diary needed a couple of minutes thawing before I could write. My boots got so frozen it took me about fifteen minutes to get them on each morning.
We buried our tahr meat in the metre and a half snow beside our flycamp, and my mates told me to grid it off the corner of the tent and record the coordinates so I'd be able to find it (no probs there). Had to remove boots etc to cross the river because there was no way to dry anything.
I remember the crampon training: "Walk like you've shit yourself because if you open up a calf you'll bleed to death and if you put a crampon spike through a bootlace you'll fall to death, lol!! Still came home with clumsy holes in my $20.00 leggings).
One of the other two guys shot a tahr way above him in a snow chute and it came ripping down and missed him by inches, and carried on another 300m down the near vertical face.
My other mate shot a corker 12.5" bull with a really beautiful skin.
I got a couple of bulls too - my mates laughed hard out at the one in the river - right by our rock camp in the middle of the day with us three standing there having a cup of tea. They waited until I knocked it over then told me it would have crossed to our side on its own if I hadn't interrupted it! Took me ages to get the big waterlogged bugger to our side and I could only wear undies coz it was like chest bloody deep. Got heaps of "encouragement" the whole time of course. Lucky they didnt crack a rib the poor bastards.
Then there was the day my mate carelessly slung a stone behind him at a kea that kea chewing our radio aerial and knocked it clean out. (The boys had had a hell time with them the year before - trashed sleeping bags and packs etc.)
Anyway, this 'dead' kea lay in front of us while we had lunch and gave our mate the good news about the coming fine for killing the poor thing, and what old classic trout flies we could make out of it, and whether the drum sticks would be tasty - when suddenly and much to our amazement, 10 full minutes later it started twitching.
All this time its mate had been flying up and down, up and down across tge valley, screeching and swearing and abusing the living shit of us just for effect.
Finally after about twenty minutes, it had been sitting up looking around like it had a fearsome headache, and then it gave us the bird and took off to join its 'wife', where we could hear a huge argument develop before they disappeared downstream.
All in all, a memorable trip, and the Tahr Anarok earned its stripes! (I didn't, I left with my Mountain Muppet status stubbornly intact. The big mountains scare the shit out of me, hahaha).