2016/09 September Bulletin

posted 6 Sept 2016, 20:22 by Wakatipu Walker   [ updated 26 Jan 2017, 00:07 ]

Mid-Caples Hut – 6th – 7th July 2016

Brian, Roger, Lorraine, Lindsay and Judy met at the One Mile car park at 9.00am on a cool sunny Saturday ready for a lovely leisurely walk up to the Mid-Caples hut.  Di was collected along the way at Closeburn.

We started walking at 10.30am, as soon as we got through the stock gates we came across our first windfall to climb over/under.  By the time we got to the bridge across the Greenstone River we had crawled under or climb over three huge windfalls.

As leader I decided we’d take the easy and sunny route and cross the bridge and go up the Birchwood Homestead side of the valley.  So avoided more windfalls and be out in the sun and enjoy the beautiful view with the river, snow covered ground, and gorgeous mountains.  We had plenty of time for a look at the old Birchwood Homestead.  The creeks were a bit tricky to cross with ice on the rocks, but we all got over with dry feet.

We reached the Mid-Caples hut about 1.30pm.  After a brew, Di, Lorraine and Lindsay went fire wood hunting, Judy cleared some ice on the path to the loo, Brian empty the ashes and Roger started the fire.

Then we sat talking on the veranda in the sun until 4.30pm when the sun disappeared below a mountain taking all the heat with it.

After dinner Lindsay discovered the water tank was already starting to freeze at 7.30pm so water was brought in for the morning.

Sunday 7am we were all up after ten hours in bed.  We left the hut 9.20am. It was freezing.  The sun was only half way down the mountains, but promising to be another beautiful day.  At about 10.30am the sun found us and we stopped for our first cuppa enjoying the good company and views.  Then at 12noon we stopped again for lunch and another cuppa.  The day was too good to be rushing back to Queenstown.  We were out at the carpark by 1.20pm. 

As we made our way back to Glenorchy for a drink and clouds were coming in behind us.

Great weekend, with wonderful weather, views and company.            Report: Judy

Photos: Di

Welcome Flat hot pools 27-29 August


The keen trampers on our late winter tramp to Welcome Flat, Lois, Vicki, Nadine, Peter Dym, Jude C, Jude F, Roger (leader) Lorraine, Lindsay and Brian. We assembled at various times at the Haast Backpackers on Friday night, enjoyed a meal and a tipple, and headed off at 8 am up the West Coast to the trail head, enjoying great West Coast scenery on the way, and enthusiastic about the perfect day. Kahikatea, Ponga, Kamahi, Rimu and Totara and plenty of birdsong took us up this delightful track. The beautiful glacial fed Copland River, aqua instead of peaty brown, and plenty of snow on the tops, made for a picturesque walk. Lunch was enjoyed at Architect Hut and then the slow climb further up the valley. Shiel Creek was bridged by the amazing huge span of the Shiel Creek swing bridge, and shortly after the Welcome Hut was a welcome sight! 7 hours to get there. Many hot soaks in the thermal waters were enjoyed over the next couple of days. Day 2 took us up to Douglas Rock Hut, cloudy with some light rain. The track was considerably rougher, with windfalls, clambering, and quite a climb to the bush line. Douglas Rock Hut was quaint and very pleasant, especially to lunch in to avoid the rain. Rain cleared for our return journey, and we arrived “home” to hut and thermal soak and refreshments. 6 hours return. Only one other occupant. Heavy rain overnight made for a cosy night, including what sounded like a roaring landslide during the night. Went on for ages, and much louder than an avalanche. 6 hours to walk out. Fabulous weekend. Scribe & Photos: Lindsay



A tramper’s special moments:

0600 - All is quiet in the hut as I steal outside and creep up the gravel path to the hot pools. It is pitch black and raining hard. Hundreds of frogs croak loudly, as I slip into the hot water and away from the freezing rain drops. Head torch off. Bliss! A Kea screeches loudly overhead and as the darkness becomes half light the steep snowy slopes reveal themselves. An avalanche crashes down loudly. A splendid start to a tramper’s day!
Back at the hut all is bustle as we breakfast and prepare to depart.



Pisa Range Snow Shoeing 3rd September