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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lucretia Tarn 10-11December 2011

Uncle Roddus Tramping Dairy:Tramp No.111
Lucretia Tarn 10-11December 2011

The Tops above the Lewis Pass offer stunning views with fairly easy access and great camping spots, making for great summer overnight trips. The forecast was very promising as Uncle Roddus met the other seven in the party at Amberly on Saturday Morning, led by the easy going Gareth Gilbert. Arriving at The St James car park just before 11am and while preparing ourselves for departure for our weekends adventures, Uncle Roddus found the mysteriously missing expensive tramping sock, in his tramping boot, that he had hasseled Mrs Roddus about the night before. He seriously considered not returning home after the weekend, but decided instead to just slip it in with the rest of the washing and keep quiet about it.
The track up to the Lewis tops and Lucretia Tarn starts just across the road from the car park and winds its way up through some beautiful mossy beech before clearing the bush about the 1300M mark. The travel along the tops follows a well used track through short but lush snow grass passing several lovely tarns and offering excellent views of Trovatore, Zampa, Freyberg, Mueller and also down to the Lewis Highway and Maruia Springs.
Heading West along the tops, Uncle Roddus, Craig and Lovisa, decided to bag The Apprentice, as we were passing by so close to it, with the rest of the party happy to just womble over the saddle to the tarn. After admiring the views from The Apprentice, the three dropped directly down the southern face 100m to the Tarn and beat the rest of the party there and thus nabbing the best waterfront real estate. Time from cars about 5 hours. Uncle Roddus was quite keen to have a crack at Mt Technical, as there was still plenty of daylight hours left and at only another 300 odd meters height gain from our camp, was just too tempting to let pass. After pitching tents and refueling, he conned Craig and Lovisa to accompany him.
They quickly made the top of the ridge, passing under the first two rocky outcrops before scrambling over more rocks to where the ridge changes direction. From here the ridge looked pretty difficult but it looked like others had been along this route before and so they carefully battled on until the last bit that looked a bit too technical, but were able to slip below and under before climbing up a gut to about the 1820M mark. With only a short distance to go to the radio mast things started to get much more difficult and two of the party decided they weren't comfortable with the terrain here. Uncle Roddus Had already navigated this bit and called back that he would see if he could get along any further. He was only about 100M from the summit, but after careful consideration decided it was too technical to safely traverse this last bit and had to settle for taking a photo of the top from his vantage point. He rejoined the others and they returned to camp for dinner and rest.
Sunday dawned to a very early rising and the sight of mist in Lucretia valley. Our three intrepid explorers from the night before were today joined by Andrew, as the loop party who wanted to continue down to the Lucretia Biv and out down the Nina to the highway, while Gareth and the rest just wandered back out the way they came in and picked up the cars to meet the rest at the NZDA Hut. The loop party left about 7:45am and carefully dropped down the steep col of Lucretia Stream and then struggled along the patchy but well ribboned track to the Biv. After negotiating some flood damage to the Nina Valley Track, the loop party arrived at the NZDA hut in about 6 and a quarter hours.

Climbing up through the forest

Zampa in background.

Heading up.

looking back towards Trovatore

One of the many Tarns.

Mt Technical from Apprentice

Looking down to Lucretia Tarn and Valley.

Uncle Roddus On Apprentice

Looking back to camp while heading up Technical.

Scrambling along Technical.

The Mast on Technical from the closest point we got to it.

Morning mist in Lucretia and Nina Valleys

Looking Back up Lucretia Col from Lucretia Stream.


Anonymous said...

neat trip, i was on top of Mt Haast near Rahu Saddle on the 10th, i should have called out to ya!

Roddus said...

Cool, We had good views of Mt Haast and one of our party had been there.

Anonymous said...

didn't quite know where to look for the Lewis Tops when i was up the hill, but some of me photos should be pointed right at them. this trip has given me an idea for a wee mission, your groups walk to the tarn, then, continuing along the tops to the brass monkey biv, then next day from the biv down Rough Creek (One Mile Creek emergency bush bash) to the Maruia Valley. just need to get back to Lewis Pass area from Dunedin before the weather turns suss again!

Roddus said...

Yes, that route you suggest is quite a common trip, although I havent done it myself yet. I did do Rough Creek to Christabel hut, many years ago.One Mile Creek looks a bit gorgy on the map though. Another variation I have heard is to come up the Lucretia to Brass Monkey and then out Rough Creek.