2015/02 February Bulletin

posted 9 Feb 2015, 01:10 by Wakatipu Walker   [ updated 9 Feb 2015, 01:35 ]

Rock and Pillar 6 and 7 December 2014 

An unstable weather pattern had 6 trampers nervously setting off to Rock and Pillar Range and Big Hut, a historic hut near Middlemarch. Flat light prevailed initially, but enthusiasm mounted after a delicious morning tea in Oturehua. Lois was collected in Ranfurly and then Lindsay, Peter, Paul, Lois, Sally and Di set off up the 1300 metre climb to Big Hut, near the top of the range. A steady trudge took us past first lunch, then huge gale force winds greeted us for the last half hour before the tops. It was a welcome sight to spy the hut. With a brew and snack under our belts, we had a wonderful afternoon scrambling amongst the tors and pillars 3 million years in the making. The skies, rainbow and alpine flora were magnificent. We finished the evening with a pilates session with Lois and a table tennis tournament! Next morning took us to the highest point in the range, before we scooted back down to the car park, by the correct route that we failed to see the day before! A great overnight trip and well worth the drive to get there.

Report: Lindsay



Photos: Peter, Di, Lindsay, Peter

Brewster Hut  12-14 December 2014

A perfect weather forecast meant 5 of us were keen enough to add Friday to this trip. We left Queenstown at a leisurely hour, arriving at the Fantail Falls carpark just after midday. There were only a couple of cars parked up, so we left our tents in the car, and crossed the cool river to have lunch. After a hot climb up through the bush, there was a breeze up higher to help the ascent which took us 3.5 hours. The hut appeared to be ours alone to enjoy, many photos were taken of the panoramic views of mountain peaks, especially later when the clouds cleared from Mt Brewster. We were just getting into our sleeping bags when 3 persons arrived – this meant moving bunks for one of our party.

We awoke on Saturday to mist and a cold wind, however it was gradually clearing, so late morning we set off up the track to the glacier/Mt Armstrong. At the Mt Armstrong turnoff we decided to go for the peak. Higher up there were patches of hard snow, and one steepish section encouraged us to scramble up the rock bluff beside it. Paul’s hidden talent for rock climbing got us through and on to the easier slopes to the summit. By now the wind had almost disappeared and we marvelled at the fantastic view of snow covered mountain peaks all around, and the precipice to the east. It took us 2 hours from the hut to the top, and going down was pretty quick. A glider passed silently by just a hundred metres or so away. Getting near the hut it was obvious that crowds of people had arrived, so we were glad we had our bunks reserved. The hut ended up being full (12 bunks), with 2 sleeping on the floor, and a couple of groups going further up the hill to camp. Because of the beautiful weather a lot of people lounged on the deck, so it didn’t seem crowded.

Sunday was another beautiful day – a kea came to try and wake us up at 5am. Sometime later we ate, visited the horrible toilet one last time, and started down the hill about 9:45am. Another look at the Mt Cook lilies just above bushline which were in perfect bloom, and a long rest in the bush, saw us back down in just over 2hrs. The river crossing was enjoyed this time -lovely cool water. After a look at the Diana Falls slip, we then proceeded to Makarora and a coffee under the sun umbrella (a very rare event)

This had to be one of the more perfect trips I’ve experienced

Party: Sally, Lois, Paul, Alan, Peter DLM(scribe)

Photos: Peter

Old Man Range 18th Jan 2015

10 people did this trip, strong winds on top kept the temperature down.

Photos by Pip:


Meg Hut – Deep Creek Hut  - January 25th & 26th

Prit was the only tramper for the one day trip to Meg Hut. Lorraine, Roger, Louise and Judy went on the overnight trip to Deep Creek Hut.

We started at Tuohys car park in the Cardrona valley at 10am.  The day was hot as we went up to Meg Hut.  We met Kay and Pip coming down from their overnight at the Meg. We got to Meg at about 1pm.  6 guys on motor bikes arrived from the Snow farm direction and went off to Tuohys carpark. At 2pm Prit went back and the others continued along to Deep Creek. A breeze had come up so the tops were peasant to walk along. We cut out the 2 pine trees we’d seen on a previous trip.  The Tors were great to see, we were amazed that the creeks were flowing and bogs wet.  Where does the water come from?   We got to Deep Creek hut at 6pm.  The Hut is a neat old musterers hut. With 44 gallon drums dug into the hill for kennels for dogs.

On Sunday morning after breakfast we walked up for a look across to Dunstan range and down to Lowburn and Cromwell. After a second cuppa we left the hut at 8.45am and were at Meg hut for lunch and out to Touhys car park by 2.30pm. The day was windy and coats were worn to keep the cold out.  Very different from the day before.

Report and photos: Judy