The Port Hills are the closest hills to Christchurch and I’d been thinking about traversing them since I first moved to the city. One day in July I asked Emma if she’d be keen to co-lead this trip as we would need 2 cars, and I knew that Emma was used to running trips like this before breakfast. She enthusiastically agreed – though at the time we had no idea that 30 trampers would sign up for the trip!
One day hikes
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.
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.
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.
After lockdown, a lot of CTC members and prospective members were so much ready for an adventure! To start the tramping season off, I led a trip to Mt Herbert via Gebbies Pass. What I thought would be quite an easy stroll with a few people, turned out to be quite a long tramp of a group of 23 people. The weather was great which probably contributed to good attendance.
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…
Mons Sex Millia (1835m) is the highest point of Poplars Range near Lewis Pass. It was quite a lazy looking Sunday morning when 11 CTC members, yawning after the early start and being eaten alive by sandflies, appeared at the Boyle Village carpark. After a short briefing, we took an obvious path leading to Boyle Village.
This was my first trip as a leader of the Christchurch Tramping Club. I scheduled the trip for Friday 15th November which was a public holiday. Until Thursday night it was only me and a couple of prospective members on the list which I thought would be fun. Then unexpected happened: all 3 multi-day trips that were planned for the long weekend were canceled due to a bad weather on Saturday.
Mount Herbert / Te Ahu Patiki is the highest peak on Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. It’s proximity to Christchurch makes it an ideal spot for a day trip. The peak used to be covered in an ancient forest but that didn’t go very well with farming needs for open, grassy areas. Nowadays it’s all covered in grass and gorse.
Foggy Peak (1741m) is a popular peak among Christchurch trampers. It’s well situated right next to a car park at Porters Pass and it’s one of the closest high mountains from Christchurch.