Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary: Tramp No. 159
Avalanche Peak to Mt Bealey - 19 April 2015
There is a very good reason why Arthurs Pass is such a popular area for tramping and a trip up Avalanche peak is one of THE classic tramps of the area. I had been over Avalanche Peak before, back in '03, but I hadn't been on Bealey before, so was very keen to give this trip a go. A good party of 13 trampers left the DOC information center just before 9:30am on an almost perfect Sunday morning. The first 300m of the Avalanche Creek track was tackled at a frenetic pace and soon had the breath hard and the sweat flowing and it wasn't too long before clothing was shed. Things slowed down a little after this and the first rest was had at the bushline as we regrouped and snacked while enjoying the view towards Arthurs Pass itself. Off again and we soon clear the scrub and snow grass dotted with patches of the fresh snow from earlier in the week and hit the rocky stuff. It is all very firm under foot and the route well marked as we climb with the views getting better and better. Another stop is had in a small basin to regroup again before tackling the last part of the climb. Avalanche peak itself is quite a small peak and was already well populated with a group of Young Americans("Allright") as our party invaded and we jostled for photo spots. The views from here are outstanding and breathtaking and fabulous and my photos just cannot do it any kind of justice. The Americans departed and we settled in for some lunch, hoping the clouds rolling in over the tops from the West would keep at bay while we traversed the tops to Mt Bealey.
Dropping off Avalanche, out next stop was Lyell Peak, which was accessed by some fairly easy tops travel before the exposed rocky section between Lyell and Bealey. For some in the group this was their first experience on exposed rock like this but no one baulked and all traversed it in pretty good time so a good break was had on Bealey.Dropping off Bealey and over point 1760 we stopped to regroup above the scree that was to take us down to Rough Creek. Uncle Roddus, one of the best scree runners in the club, blitzed it in no time and gave it a scree rating of 8.5/10 and sat down at the bottom to wait for the rest to catch up. The rest of the trip was a boulder hop and some short bush bashing down Rough Creek back to the Cars which the first of the group made at about 4:50pm. Time 7 hours 30 minutes, distance 13.4Km, ascent total 1524m.