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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kirwans Hut (Again) - 14-15th September 2013

Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary:tramp No.138
Kirwans Hut (Again) - 14-15th September 2013

So good to finally get out in the hills again after nearly 5 months of working nearly every weekend through the winter. Thought I'd start off the season with a moderately easy trip up to a favourite hut that I had been intending to visit during the winter while there was snow about and also hoping to entice out some people who had been interested in doing some trips but weren't up to the usual harder trips I normally tackle. After putting off this trip the previous weekend due to weather and the fact that my new hot house had arrived and I wanted to make a start on getting it erected, I managed to entice a couple of friends to accompany me. Alan, a participant from several earlier trips was keen for another visit to kirwans hut and Lesley, whom I was sure this would be a trip that she could handle. Unfortunately her husband had to stay home due to their sheep lambing. 
Lesley and I arrived at Capelston carpark at just past 10:30am as I had indicated to Alan, who was coming from Greymouth. Alan's car was already there but he had started off ahead of us, Me presuming he figured we would catch up with him at some point. The track is a very well formed bench track that had been built to take men and equipment up onto Kirwans hill late in the 19th century to mine quartz. The weather was cool but mostly fine as we set off up the track, noticing the very recent track damage from the very heavy rains that had had earlier in the week. There were no real problems walking the route but DOC will have quite a bit of maintenance to do over the summer. As we climbed the gradual incline up the track we got to experience a couple of short localised light hail storms before finally catching Alan not far over the half way point. After introductions we continued on over the saddle and up into the very mossy silver beach forest of the upper regions of the hills.
We arrived at the hut around 4:00pm after just over 5 hours of tramping with a height gain of 1000M but over a long distance.
The first thing I noticed as the hut came into view was that all the old wooden framed latticed windows has been replaced with new double glazed aluminium sliding windows. I was disappointed with this as the old windows gave the hut much more character but I suppose there must have been a good reason for it. We spent a pleasant night in the warm hut with the fire keeping us warm and the two Ecology Phd's keeping the conversation interesting while the an unexpected but welcome snow fell outside.
Sunday arrived after a quite windy night and a nice covering of snow. Alan, Lesley and myself left the hut at about 7:50am and after leaving our packs at the junction, we headed up onto kirwans hill to enjoy the fabulous views on offer. The trip out was fairly uneventful but the day was pleasent and we made the car in just over 4 hours.

The river still slightly swollen from the heavy rain earlier in the week.

My new car.

Found this old mine shaft, had to have a look.

This washed out creek looked fresh enough to have happened from the rains earlier in the week.

A well formed track.

Ah! Look, there is Uncle Alan.

Apparently they held the Olympics here sometime. 

Approaching the Hut.

And the first thing I notice is the new windows.

A bit of snow overnight.

Heading off on Sunday.

Just popping up to the hilltop.



Honora said...

The snow makes it even prettier.

Roddus said...

Yep, just what I ordered.