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.
After our first day trip to Packhorse Hut, we felt like we knew the basics and were ready to try an overnighter. I still think that the most difficult part of the whole “going tramping with a 10 week old” is the planning stage. A cloth? How many? Clothes? How many? A blanket? How big? Wool or polar fleece?
I had a leg injury a few weeks ago. As I’d like to do Three passes at the end of January, I thought that I should give my leg a proper test if it’s capable of such a demanding adventure.
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.
As fresh parents, everything is still very new to us but we thought that we’d done enough reading and short trips that it was time to tackle the first wee tramp with our little man.
Scenery Nook is a wee inlet on the far side of Banks Peninsula. It’s accessible by boat or across private land – as the CTC unfortunately doesn’t own a yacht just yet, we chose to approach on foot.
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.