2016/03 April bulletin

posted 3 Apr 2016, 20:46 by Wakatipu Walker

Queens Drive  28th February 


Seven club members and two guests (Heather and Richard - Lindsay’s and Alan’s friends respectively) gathered at the foot of the Remarkables at 0700 for the Queens Drive circuit. An early start to comply with the travel restrictions on the ski road which many others seemed to ignore. The early start was otherwise a prudent call as very high winds were forecast to develop during the day which would make the face a rather alarming place to be. As it was, the first spur on the face where we paused to assess conditions was badly buffeted by strong cold winds. However as soon as we dropped into the main traverse we were reassuringly sheltered. For those who had not completed the route before the traverse was the usual mix of exhilaration and anticipation and then some amazement as we all looked back and struggled to see our route at all.

After the traverse we walked up to one of the outlying peaks with spectacular views up and down the lake. We were pleased to move into the sun for morning tea. A tent sized space and low rock wall had been constructed here. Lindsay immediately suggested an overnight camping trip to catch the sunset. An excellent idea for next summer.

Moving around the looming bulk of the southern end of the Remark’s we had about an hour of rough, unstable boulder hopping to negotiate before reaching the easier spur that leads logically down to the largest of the many tarns in the upper Wye valley. This is a favourite lunch spot amongst the tussock with wonderful views across the water and up to the formidable southern face of Double Cone.

After lunch a little trudging ensued amongst an increasingly buffeting breeze. We were getting out just in time and scuttled over the Wye Saddle and down through Curvey Basin to the cars and home.

Report: Alan

On the face. L - R: Andrew, Lindsay, Heather, Lorraine, Prit, Margaret, Roger and Alan (leader). Photographer Richard.



Glacier Burn Sunday March 6 

We started our walk at 9.15 and the track through the bush was easy, apart from several windfalls and a few slippery spots due to recent rain. Some clearing work was noticed, with some large rounds of potential firewood available if only it could be extracted. We were expecting a hot day but with intermittent cloud cover and a stiff breeze at times, tramping conditions were cooler than expected but quite pleasant.

This valley has scope for a range of objectives. You don’t have to walk more than a couple of hours to experience an alpine environment above the bush line with great views. Yet the area offers more challenge for those wanting it.

We had no particular objective apart from enjoying some time above the bush-line, but noticed that the area underneath the glacier was free of snow and that it could be possible to reach the glacier if we had enough time. We had made good time up the track and were well up the valley by the time we stopped for lunch,

so we set off just before 1pm to see how far we could get before needing to turn back. Eventually five of us reached the edge of the glacier. The lower part of the glacier is mostly covered with loose rock but we could see a fan of what looked like permanent snow extending towards to the top of the valley. It was difficult to assess the amount of glacial ice without further exploration. We noticed a depression further on which could have contained a tarn.

We started our descent at 2pm and were back at the cars just after 4.30.

For those of us who had done the Glacier Burn tramp before but had not managed to reach the Glacier, it was a particularly satisfying trip.

Party members: Roger & Lorraine, Judy, Jude, Lindsay, Peter DLM , Eric (student from Germany), Paul.

Report and photos: Paul