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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Mt Harper/Mahaanui - 19 September 2020

 Uncle Roddus Tramping Dairy; Tramp No.177

Mt Harper/Mahaanui - 19 September 2020

So there are two Mt Harpers in the mountains of the South Island and they are not all that far apart, but the one I was interested in this weekend was the lower of the two, the one that overlooks Lake Camp and Lake Clearwater in the Hakatere area behind Mt Somers. I had not climbed this hill before and the views from this stand alone peak promised to be pretty stunning if visibility was good. A few days previously, a good front of weather had passed through and dumped a bit of fresh snow on the mountains, and although it was melting fast, it was anticipated that there might be a reasonable amount on top of our destination.

As this was a club trip, I meet the rest of the party at Mt Somers about 8:45am on a pleasantly mild Saturday morning, before driving on to Lake Camp.  The Hakatere area is a wonderful collection of hills and lakes with very little trees about and wide vista to enthrall our eyes as we  started out climb up the Northern face of Mahaanui, The scrub was very low so as not to impede our ascent as we slowly slogged up the the ridge. After two or three stops on the way up to regroup and refuel, we finally made the summit around 1pm in disappointing amounts of snow but with the fantastic views promised. We didn't stick around long as we still had a ways to go on our planned route, so continued on in a Southeasterly direction with out aim being Balmacaan Saddle, but when we got to just past point 1644 we decided to drop down an inviting bit of scree into the creek that flowed down to below the aforementioned saddle. The going got a little slower nearer the bottom with plenty of Spaniards and Matagouri to scratch our legs but we hit the track out down Balmacaan Stream without any mishaps and then slogged it out down the well formed track back to the cars by about 5:30PM.

Walked about 17km with around 1300+m height gain in around 8 hours.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Camp Saddle - 13 September 2020

 Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary: Tramp No.176

Camp Saddle - 14 September 2020

Club trip, as 20 people went for a bit of a womble about on the Cragieburn range. The weather stayed mostly fine, with light breezes lower down but stronger and cooler on the tops. We didn't get the gales forecast on Met Service. A lovely bush walk with some of us loping up to Helicopter hill for the views before catching the rest of the group for pre-lunch on the track below Camp saddle. Some members spent this time eradicating plenty of wilding pines on the way to the saddle. Proper lunch was had on Camp saddle where it was rather nice out of the wind but in the sun. From Camp saddle, we headed up over points 1550 and 1525 before the scree run that took us back down to the track back to the cars. Total distance a bit under 12Km and about 1100+m ascent. took just under 6 hours.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Around Mt Bruce - 30 August 2020

 Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary: Tramp No. 175

Mt Bruce - 30 August 2020

The vagaries of spring weather dictated the location of this weekends trek, the original destination was Mt O'Malley in Arthurs Pass National Park but with some weather sites predicting rather strong winds upon the tops at our destination and the possible avalanche risk stated as rather high, the trip leader wisely decided to have a go at Mt Bruce instead.

11 keen trampers arrived at Cora Lynn station in bright sunshine and light winds and set off on the usual track to Lagoon Saddle Hut. As we sidled across the  North face of Mt Bruce, we could see the clag hovering over Mt O'Malley,  although conditions didn't appear to get as bad as some predicted. Lunch was had at the hut and there it was decided by the leader to head up to the saddle south of Mt Bruce and from there assault the mountain.It was a nice creak bash up to the saddle and then rest and enjoy the views while the party regrouped. Everyone was keen to head up onto the top but one of the party was struggling and it was now after 3pm. I decided I also might not have enough fitness to storm up to the summit in time before dark and so offered to stay with the struggling member and guide them back to the road via Broad stream. The track down Broad Stream was well formed and very pleasant, through lovely beech forest. We made it back to the road to find one of the fast team there to take us back to the cars and found the rest of the crew not long arrived off the hill.