2014/09 September Bulletin

posted 31 Aug 2014, 15:11 by Wakatipu Walker   [ updated 31 Aug 2014, 15:21 ]

Moke Lake to Arthur's Point 10th August 

A dull winter Sunday brought 7 Wakatipu trampers out of their warm beds to walk from Moke Lake to Arthur's Point via the Moonlight track. Snow and ice along the Moke Lake road meant an extra hour's walk as we abandoned our cars, but this allowed us to soon warm up as the morning was chilly. The track was deserted and the snowy hills reflected in the lake were delightful. Morning tea was enjoyed along the track, and lunch at Seffertown sitting at the picnic table by the private hut. By now the day had brightened and we sidetracked to the old school, and then wandered along the Moonlight to Arthurs Point, admiring the new markers to show the way. Pip and Lindsay endeavoured to save a trapped sheep, sadly its days were certainly numbered. Afternoon tea was hosted by Lorraine and Roger at their lovely home complete with Lorraine's home baking! What more could we want. Report: Lindsay

Party: Peter, Lindsay, Louise, Roger, Lorraine, Pip, Judy

Snow  Shoeing Trip – Pisa Range Sunday 17th August 2014 

An absolutely stunning day greeted us at the Snowfarm base building. No wind, cloudless sky, crisp temperatures and plenty of snow. It felt like you could see for ever, the air was so clear.

Many of the group were first timers to snow shoeing, so there was a bit of sorting out to do with fitting hired gear – yes there is a “left” and a “right” folks!  But eventually we were all underway and heading down the DoC poled easement route through the snow farm  XC ski field down to Merino Flat and a crossing of the upper Roaring Meg (Kirtle Burn)  . Fortunately the intake weir dam was frozen over and we crossed the ice without any drama.  We had a morning tea stop here to re-group and adjust gear and take in our magic surrounds. For many it was a revelation where snow shoes could take them and the potential to open up a whole new world of winter tramping.

From here we were on our own away from groomed ski tracks and free to wander at will over the seemingly endless snow covered landscape of the Pisa Conservation Area. We headed up the leading spur between the Prince Burn & the Leopold Burn tributaries of the Meg on perfect snow for snowshoeing – firm and crusty – heading towards Column Rocks on the summit of the range. It soon became apparent that not all snow shoes are created equal and those with the latest MSR designs were at a distinct advantage. We stopped for lunch at a group of Tors on the Range Crest at about 1850m taking in the 360 deg view, including virtually the whole of Central Otago and the main divide from Aoraki/Mt Cook to Fiordland. What a day !

After lunch we headed straight down an unnamed tributary of the Prince Burn in deep soft powder snow that had been sculpted in places into huge overhanging wind scoops. Things steepened up a bit at a little cascade in the valley but the snow was so soft and forgiving that it was no problem to negotiate.  In the valley floor of the Prince Burn it was hot & sultry and we all soon stripped off for the trip down valley in soft snow, taking turns at breaking trail. The stream was beautiful and clear and bound by high banks of snow – a magic little sheltered valley (I can vouch that it is equally attractive in summer). 

After re-crossing the Meg on the ice bridge and another fuel up, we faced the uphill trudge back to the Snowfarm base building – something of a killer climb that finished many of us off.  Nevertheless, it was a tired and happy bunch who relaxed in the bar of the Snowfarm for a coffee and planning of future snow shoeing trips.

Scribe & leader Peter Dymock for Judy F, Lindsay, Louise, Roger, Lorraine, Pip, Margaret, Vicki, Jude C & Peter DLM


Biking Walter Peak...Sunday 24th August 
Was a stunning day so 5 of us headed over on 12noon sailing of the Earnslaw....the road had recently been graded so biking was a little harder than normal...so we only went as far as the top of the hill above Von River. Lunch in the sun before biking back to Walter Peak for a yummy afternoon tea at The Homestead. .
Bikers...Judy, Margaret, Peter, Pip and Peter's brother in law, another Peter.