The weather forecast was pretty poor for the weekend so I postponed my Mt Norma trip and offered a local Mt Herbert adventure instead. In the morning, we left a couple of cars at the end of Monument Track and one at the start of Packhorse Track where we all started. The track up to the hut wasn’t as muddy as I expected after the recent floods that swept a lot of Canterbury soil down to the ocean. We had our first break at Packhorse Hut where Chris entertained us with another story about Max (greetings to Timaru!). At Packhorse hut we met a group of young ladies, one of them was the daughter of Paul, one of the prospective members that came with us that day. It’s always great to see kids using backcountry huts!
The next stop was at Herbert Shelter. On the way up we saw a couple of impressive pine trees which we’ll try to take down during our next visit. At Herbert shelter, Josh was awarded with a present: pink long johns that Alan apparently bought 20 years ago. Josh was so happy with this unexpected surprise that he immediately put them on. Another unusual gift was an apple cake brought by Abhi, a prospective member who claimed that he brought cake on my advice. To clarify this, I wrote Abshishek: “Bring some cash to chip in for petrol, good boots and a cake. Actually one of these things is optional.” He did have boots and he also did have some cash so in my opinion he didn’t have to bring a cake at all but we were all happy that he did. He was also approved by the committee as a new member the day after (there is no connection between the cake and him becoming a member of course).
After lunch we continued to the top of Mt Herbert. Alan tried to trick Josh by pretending that he wasn’t interested in racing to the top but in fact he used this lie to get a head start. Then he challenged Josh, and even though he started 100m ahead, he lost by a minute. Now, I’m sure that Alan has his own side of the story but this is how it was perceived by an independent observer. After some compulsory photographs at the top we came down via Monument Track. The bottom part of the track goes through a nice bush with some sparse remnants of old growth forest including a few impressively sized kahikatea trees. Long life to them!
At the bottom of the valley, we faced the issue of how to squeeze 12 people into 2 cars but Alan came up with a creative solution that I’d rather not share publicly but it may be guessed from the photos. We finished at White Rabbit Cafe.
Overall it was a very chilled trip with a great company!
Tramped on 13th July 2021.
Rough stats: 5h 30 min, 15.5 km, 1000m up
Participants: Michal Klajban (leader, GPX, scribe), Mary Ogburn, Josh Sokolov Pearson, Alan Ross, Carmela Terrobias, Brenda Rainsbury, Xiaoqiu Jiang, Chris McGimpsey, Abhishek Nainwal, Paul Yeoman, Fengmin Chen, Garth Dever
Jiang’s video: https://youtu.be/bhpuuXtUujo
Max elevation: 930 m
Min elevation: 24 m
Total climbing: 4856 m
Total descent: -4667 m
Total time: 05:32:49