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Sunday, September 14, 2003

Bealey Spur/Jordon Stream 14th September 2003

Uncle Roddus Tramping diary:Tramp No.24
Bealey Spur/Jordon Stream 14th September 2003
This was another trip I did with the CTC and below is the report I wrote that was posted on their web page.

And so it was that your humble scribe decided it was again time to get off my behind and venture out into the wilderness with those nice people from the CTC. After having to pull out of the trip to Tarn Hut the weekend before, I figured that a nice moderate day trip up Bealey spur with Bernard would be a good way to start getting back in shape for the summers tramping. Now because this scribe is not always the most motivated tramper, it had been some months since my last outing, and due to my complete abhorrence to any form of regular exercise outside of tramping I figured that a moderate trip would about be my limit. A quick glance at my topo map on the computer at the area to be tackled and I was sure that it would be no problem.
9:00 am Sunday and I met our party of 5 blokes and no women (!!) at Springfield as I usually do. Weather was slightly overcast, not too windy, with patchy rain on the way up, as it was to stay for most of the day. The usual confused car shuffle occurred at Bealey huts resulting in Bernard leaving his car at the Waimak bridge and myself taking us back to Bealey huts and a game of catch up to the others who were now 10-15 minutes ahead of us. With great gusto we set off up Bealey Spur, with myself setting a brisk pace (by my standards) in hot pursuit of the rest of our party.
We caught up with the rest of the crew at a lookout point with great views of Bruce Stream. It was at this point that we picked up our hitchhiker. When Bernard and I arrived, the guys were chatting with a young Japanese woman whose name sounded something like Ume. She was well equipped with cameras and was staying at Arthurs Pass. After a few photos of my own, and the donning of our precipitation protection apparatus, we set of for the Bealey hut, with Ume accompanying.
Considering that I was wearing a watch, I am not sure what time we arrived at the hut, but I was definitely lagging behind at this stage. At the hut we found the easy trip crew had beaten us to all the comfortable places inside the hut and so we were relegated to standing round outside, eating and having photos taken with Ume.
A quick lunch and Bernard is ready to go as he knows better than most of us that there is a way yet to go and the intention is to be out by 5:00pm. I am especially keen on this plan as I have a party to go to that night and wish to get away as soon as possible. Ume decides that she is going to continue along the spur with us, although she probably had no idea of where we were actually heading to. (Of course it turns out that I had no idea of where we were actually heading to either).
Now it is from this point on that we hit the snow, and it is with great gratitude and relief from this unfit scribe to our leader and Mike for making our lives so much easier that day (of course they were in front because no one else could keep up with them).
At about 2:30pm, with Ume still with us and merrily snapping away with all her cameras, Bernard stopped on a snowy peak looking down on Little Jordon stream and announced that we would have to adopt "Plan B".
"What's Plan B?" I asked.
"To start our descent from here." He replied.
"So what was Plan A.?" I inquired.
"To continue along this snow covered ridge to that high point along there and then travel down that long spur there, to that stream way down there." He pointed.
"Oh" I exclaimed, "Plan B sounds much better to me, are you sure that is a moderate trip?"

We walked back along the ridge a way, and then Bernard made his next announcement.
"We could just go straight back along this ridge the way we came or we could drop down along here somewhere and bushbash our way down to the river flat. I'm gonna bushbash, if you want we could split up and those who want to can travel back along the track. You can follow me, but I take no responsibility for where we are heading."
One thing I'll say for CTC members, they don't shy away from adventure, and so it was that a bushbashing we did go, in time honoured CTC fashion, with Ume still game enough (or mad enough) to stay with us no matter where we went.
A plunging we did go into the bush. A stumbling and a slipping. A crunching and a cursing. With an oching and a snagging, with cries of "rock" echoing across the river flat. Until just when I thought this descent would never end, a voice called out from the River flat:
"They must be CTC members to be mad enough to come down there!"
As we tumbled out of the bush, we were met by Keith Johnston and Pam, walking their dog and trying to find where we were going to come out.
Your unfit scribe was rather knackered by this time and struggled complainingly over the last small hill towards the car, unsure whether he would be able to still stand at the end, let alone go to this party that night. We took Ume back to her car and gave her a copy of the CTC newsletter. So maybe our hitchhiker may turn up on another CTC tramp sometime soon.
As for me, not only did I get to the party but I even danced half the night away. There's hope for me yet.

me, on Bealey Spur

Bealy hut, Lunch.

Power Stream

A nice bit of snow to keep us on our toes. It was soft though, didn't need crampons thank god, didn't bring any.

Power Stream again.

looking down the waimack river

The Bush bash

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