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.
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.
As you might know, I’m quite a new member of the Christchurch Tramping Club (CTC). The club organizes mostly day trips, every now and then you can join an overnighter or something special. One of these ‘special’ things that I decided to attend was a photography weekend in Arthur’s Pass in our club hut.