A race against the clouds.
Distance 6km, 850m of elevation gain and loss
We left our campsite still half set up, since we were going to be returning in a couple hours. Initially we were almost foiled because we could not figure out where the trail for Mount Ritondu left based on the guidebook’s description, but we scrambled up the hill until we hit a distinct line of cairns leading upwards. We climbed up into a grassy bowl and then followed steep zigzags requiring a bit of hands on scrambling, up the far side to a rocky gap. In front of us we could see a couple moving steadily, behind us we saw a group of four, but they abandoned their ascent at some point.
From the gap we could see jumbled rocks and a couple blue tarns. We climbed down and then boulder hopped up to a larger lake.
Skirted the lake and picked our way up a rubbly talus slope to the Lance,a huge rocky spire sitting in the centre of a gap.
The clouds were already closing in so we hurried up the last scramble to the peak, which was just below the cloud ceiling.
The peak afforded an amazing view of the lake below, with Ritondo forming a long rock wall around the lake. We turned around promptly, watching the clouds build up. The peak was complete with a lightning shelter, for unlucky hikers caught in a storm. After a hurried descent we packed up our campsite and opted to continue despite the threat of rain.