2016/08 August Bulletin

posted 2 Aug 2016, 19:59 by Wakatipu Walker   [ updated 26 Jan 2017, 00:08 ]

Ben Lomond Saddle – Arthurs Point 5th June 

Queen’s Birthday weekend tramp to Kepler was postponed due to the need for ice axe and crampons, so instead Sunday brought 9 trampers up and over Ben Lomond Saddle to Arthurs point via Moonlight. The day dawned with perfect clear skies and no wind and so after a car shuffle we set off from Lomond Crescent. Steady progress was made up through the pines, and out into the well packed snowy trail. Micro spikes were donned by those that had them, and Ben Lomond looked magnificent blanketed in snow. 1st lunch was enjoyed on the saddle, we saw and heard a couple of Keas, and a couple of goats. Sidling around Bowen Peak brought knee deep snow in places, but we soon descended into an easier path, with the tussocks poking through. The trail progressed to many cow pats, and curious cows gazing at us enjoying the winter sunshine and beautiful light. Afternoon tea was kindly enjoyed at Roger and Lorraine’s in front of the roaring fire. 7 hours total tramp time. Lindsay, Jude C, Jude F, Vicki and Bruce, Karen, Lois, Roger and Lorraine. The Queen would be delighted.

Report and photos: Lindsay

Heather Jock Hut 19th June


Four of us, Peter D, Lindsay,Vicki and Pip took advantage of a brief high pressure system to walk the Judah track at Glenorchy, doing the loop of interesting historic huts. The weather remained misty due to the dampness, but no wind and unseasonably warm for the winter Solstice due in two days time. We set off at 9 and began the track at 0940. Morning tea was enjoyed at the beginning of the loop, and Pip diverted to Bonnie Jean Hut whilst us three set off for Heather Jock Hut, avoiding the switch backs by heading straight up! (Peter’s recommendation!) The mist swirled about, not really lifting. We made it to Heather Jock Hut (1320 metres) and enjoyed lunch and hot tea before making our way down to rendezvous with Pip in Bonnie Jean Hut. The views were pretty well hidden but glimpses were visible here and there. We made it down to the car park at 2.40 pm (5 hours total) and headed to Glenorchy for coffee and ginger slice. Scribe Lindsay



Mid winter weekend – Kinloch 9 and 10 July


The winter solstice - mid winter celebration, had 10 of us heading to the top of the lake on a fine weekend. Lindsay, Peter D, Jude C, Claudia, Brian, Vicki, Lois, Pip, Rex and Peter DLM rendezvoused at the start of Greenstone Caples and set off to Lake Rere. Not too much frost was about this year, although Lake Rere was partially frozen, with beautiful reflections. We enjoyed lunch in the sun, with some noisy cows, and then carried on to the Greenstone turnoff, where Rex, Pip and Peter DLM carried on to the frosty Greenstone Hut, and the rest of us headed to Kinloch Lodge for a wonderful hot spa, delicious dinner and wine, and another hot spa under the stars! 5 hours to do the loop. Sunday took us to Mt Alfred where we endured a rather stiff climb through beautiful forest, morning tea at the bush line, and then followed the well poled route to the top. 1375 metres and stunning 360 degree views all around to the Beans Burn, Dart, Routeburn, Rees, Mt Earnslaw, Turret Head and down Lake Wakatipu. Perfect weather and no wind. This route is now sadly officially closed beyond the bush line, we just got in in the nick of time. Not sure if Earnslaw Station has closed it due to tourist mess or poaching, but it is very sad as it is such an amazing spot. Total hours to do the trip 6 hours

Report and photos: Lindsay


Lake Rere
Greenstone Valley
Mt Alfred

Routeburn Flats hut 15-17 July

This trip was unfortunately cancelled due to poor weather





Back in the early days of our club, a lot of “mountaineering” trips were included in our program. There was an active group of climbers in our membership who were Alpine Club members also, and it was before the Queenstown Climbing Club was even thought of.

The following report (quoted from the original) on Gifford’s Crack certainly comes under the definition of an alpine climbing trip.

Gifford’s Crack – Lake Adelaide   5&6 March 1988

This was a really enjoyable trip, where we experienced fine weather and spectacular scenery.

We drove down to Homer huts on the Friday night in 2 cars. On Saturday morning it was raining heavily, so there was no great hurry to get going. One car was dropped at the mouth of Moraine Creek, and we headed off for Gertrude Saddle in occasional showers. The view from the saddle was mostly obscured by cloud, but everyone was keen and fit, so we continued up towards Barrier Knob. The last 50m or so was ice, which required steps cut in it. Our arrival at the top coincided with a dramatic clearance in the weather- and what a fantastic view you get there.

A scramble down the north ridge, brought us to the much talked about “Crack”. This place is definitely steep, and slippery as well. Geoff threw a big rock over the edge just to make things more exiting. After careful progress, we all made it down, and wandered over to Gill’s bivvy – a most comfortable abode. Julie’s party games saw some strange goings on in the bivvy that night.

A beautiful fine day on Sunday saw us sidling around Lake Adelaide fairly early. This is a really scenic area, but photography stops had to be brief. Finding the quickest way through the moraine proved an interesting exercise – it is a bit of a lottery finding the best route.

Lunch stop was about where the hut used to be at the head of the bush, and above sandfly range. The trip down through the bush was uneventful, but took most of the afternoon. With an extra hour given us by the end of daylight saving, we made it to the Te Anau burger bus for a late tea.

Party: Judy D, Jillian, Julie, Mike, Geoff, Robert, Patrick, Peter DLM(leader and scribe)

2016 Postscript: Because there was no description in Moirs guidebook, we approached Gifford’s Crack from the wrong direction. This meant going round a section that was almost vertical, with our feet on small ledges and snowgrass for hand-holds. It was good to have done the trip, but I decided there were safer ways to access Lake Adelaide.

View from Barrier Knob


View down to Adelaide Saddle – Gifford’s Crack is off the right side


Looking up the route: Our entry point in red, correct route in blue


Bottom end of Lake Adelaide