Avalanche Peak is the most famous mountain in Arthur’s Pass National Park, New Zealand. It’s also the mountain that gets often underestimated, especially if you take Scotts Track on the way up because it’s much easier and the rocky exposed tops may come as a surprise.
I had this very ambitious plan: going to Sudden Valley, climb Mt Scott and Mt Wilson and come back. All that in a day. Kate Taylor was keen to join so off we went, leaving Christchurch just after 6 am.
There wasn’t any CTC trip for the coming weekend. The weather forecast was so good that I just couldn’t resist putting a trip out. I chose The Pyramid where I wanted to go for a while.
Since I’ve got myself into #52peakschallenge this year, I naturally started looking for places where I can climb 2 peaks in one day. Packard Peak (2066m) had been dragging my attention that week as there was a possibility to climb Mid Hill on the same day. It also didn’t seem to be very popular among Christchurchians which is always a plus.
9 early birds met at Z Russley at 7am from where we drove to Arthur’s Pass Village. We parked at a wee car park at the end of Mount Bealey Road and off we went to battle a steep hill. Somewhere in the middle of this initial steep and bushy part most of us appreciated the early start as the sun was already up, shining harshly on our sweaty backs.
The Three Passes is one of New Zealand’s iconic multi day tramps. It goes across the Main Divide from Klondyke corner to the Styx River car park, or, more broadly, from Arthur’s Pass to Hokitika. You can walk it in either direction, however, East to West is nicer as going down Browning Pass is a little bit airy.
I had had this tramp in mind for a while so I was quite excited when the day finally came to try out this epic day adventure in Black Range. 4 brave CTC souls, the ideal number for a car load, started off at Bealey Spur Hut car park at around 8.30 am.
On my first CTC trip about 1.5 years ago there were around 12 trampers and I was quite shocked to find such a big group! I hadn’t tramped in groups of more than 3 people before. Well, in a year and half of being a member of the club I’ve grown to appreciate these bigger groups. So far the biggest group I’ve experienced was on this trip to Bealey Spur Hut where 28 people came to enjoy a beautiful day on the edge of Arthur’s Pass National Park.
Autumn has arrived in Arthur’s Pass. It’s much more gentle than the European autumn. There are no yellow or red coloured leaves falling towards the ground, everything stays green. Yet you do get autumny vibes from nature – the light becomes much more gentle than in the summer, the mornings are chillier and the water is very fresh once again.
Anna and I set off quite late. It was around 12PM when we left Christchurch and around 2pm when we arrived at Greyneys Shelter by SH73. We left some chips in the car to welcome us on our return, and off we went up Mingha River.