It was windy everywhere else – oh well, let’s do Mt Oxford! Harish was keen so we drove to View Hill car park from where we set off. I actually find this way to Mt Oxford a wee bit nicer than from Coopers Creek.
Jollie Brook Circuit is cirka 30 kms loop track close to Lake Sumner. To get there, there is about a 40 kms gravel road stretch that was quite easy to follow with 2WD.
Weirdly enough, this was my first climb to the Castle Hill Peak, probably the most popular high peak for Christchurchians. We started off at the Porters Pass car park, a neat carpark right on the top of the pass.
The Spurs in Birdwood Range are a couple of nearly 2000m high peaks (1964m and 1985m) overlooking Wilberforce Flat by Lake Coleridge. To climb The Spurs, you do need permission from a local station.
We started off at Craigieburn Campsite Shelter. Chris was leading us at an easy-going pace while Alan was covering the back. At Helicopter Hill Saddle, a few of us went to check out Helicopter Hill and the rest of the group continued along Craigieburn Edge Track. We had a quick lunch below Camp Saddle.
This was a last minute trip, as I realized a few days before the weekend that there wasn’t a day trip planned for the weekend. There were seven of us including 2 prospective members and Rodney who met us at the Wooden Gully carpark. Wooden Gully Track was closed so we chose the Ridge Track as a suitable replacement. It was the quickest way to get to the tops anyway.
As I don’t work Mondays, I decided to organize some Monday trips. The first one was to Mt Somers with only one brave participant, Heidi. We started off at Sharplin Falls Reserve and followed a well marked trail to the start of Mt Somers Summit Track. From there, a steep section of unstable rocks followed.
It’s becoming a tradition this summer that when we want to go tramping on the West Coast, it’s raining cats and dogs (see eg. our Black Range adventure just a few weeks before). With everywhere else under the covery of rain clouds, we were looking to do something different on the Canterbury Plains where the forecast was clear. Mt Taylor (2333m) in Mt Somers Range got our attention as a special enough trip for our weekend.
The time to lead another CTC trip had come. At the beginning, I wanted to go to Mt Winterslow. Everything looked good – there was no rain forecast, a few of the people who had signed up for my trip were experienced, the wind was due to be around 1 m/s…
Going to Black Hill Range wasn’t our first choice for this weekend. We reaaally wanted to go to the West Coast but the weather was so bad that weekend that we couldn’t do anything else but stay on the Canterbury Plains. So, we decided to do the Comnys Hut – Cookies Hut traverse via the North Branch Ashburton River / Hakatere.