Just for the hell of it, I bivouacked out for the night, with the intention of watching shooting stars. Despite the cold (about -12 deg C) I was reasonably comfortable in my warm sleeping bag. I quickly fell asleep and overslept – waking at 9am.
We spent the morning packing up the drill gear and piling it all in the net ready for the heli to carry it away. The chopper had a hard time lifting the weight, as there was a down draft of wind coming over the ridge above. Slowly it pulled away and left us in silence again. We got the rest of our gear back to the safe landing site, admired the spectacular views of Mount Cook and the other major peaks, and enjoyed our last moments ‘on top of the world’.
The helicopter could be heard approaching from a long way off. Once all aboard, we had the delicious sensation of dropping off the precipice as we left our peak for the last time. For once I decided to leave my camera in its case and just to watch the beautiful cliffs and glaciers passing underneath as we headed back to our base in Aoraki / Mount Cook Village.