Uncle Roddus Tramping diary: Tramp No.160
Mt Taylor 3 May 2015
Mt Taylor is a 2300 meter peak overlooking Lake Heron in the Hakatere conservation reserve. We had spotted the peak on a recent ascent of nearby Mt Barossa and discussed the possibilities of climbing it. It turned out the Club was running a trip there soon after so I happily signed on. The intention was to park at Lake Heron and head into Double hut before the climb up Taylor. We were going to do this in one day instead of the usual overnight at Double Hut. After meeting at Mt Somers township, we arrived at Lake Heron just past 9am on a stunning day and were off on our adventure at about 9:20am, heading on a pretty direct route across the flats and a good pace. We reached the old musters hut, Double Hut, at about 10:40am where I had to do some patch up work on some blisters that were forming on the back of my feet. Fifteen minutes later we were off again for the more interesting part of out journey as we rock hopped up the south branch of the Swin River to the base of the sput we ascended. A short rest and regroup was taken along with some refueling before we started on the most arduous section of out walk. The first 500m ascent to point 1766 was taken at a brisk pace, being aware of the limited day light we had to get back to the cars, but after this the less fit members of the six in our group slowed some what and by point 2062 one member decided he wasn't going to make it in time and headed down into the Swin and back to the hut to wait for us, a second member was struggling with his knee and soon also dropped off sown to the Swin. The three super trampers in the group soon took off from this scribe, who was wondering if he too might not make the summit in time, but plodded on slowly and actually did make the summit at about 2:45PM and then only had a couple of minutes to snap some photos and have a drink before the descent started. We dropped off about half way between Mt Taylor and point 2084 and enjoyed a patchy scree for a quick decent down to the upper reaches of the Swin. We caught up with the knee person and proceeded down the straight forward boulder hop back to the hut by about 5pm, The other member had left a note saying he had already headed for the cars and so we rested for about 10minutes before the big slog back across the flats just as the sun was setting behind the distant mountains. About two thirds of our way back I looked back towards Taylor as we walked in the gloaming and noticed the light of the moon just about to crest the very mount we had just climbed and we were soon after presented with a very impressive moon rise and as it was near full, we managed to get back to the lake without head torches, arriving at the cars just on 6:30pm. We had to wait another 30 odd minutes for knee person to arrive, but all made it back safe and sound if somewhat sore. Approx distance 27KM, height gain 1650M, time 9 and a quarter hours.