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.
tramping in canterbury
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.
Cass-Lagoon Saddle Track is one of the most popular tracks in Craigieburn Forest Park / Arthur’s Pass broader area. About half of the track is part of Te Araora Trail. Anna and I decided to see on our own eyes if it’s as pretty as people say (spoiler alert: yes, it is!).
Anna, Sanita and I started our Kaikoura adventure down at Mt Fyffe car park. It was Sunday morning and we were quite stiff after 2.5 hours drive from Christchurch. At the car park, there were quite a few cars suggesting that last night at Fyffe Hut was quite busy.
Anna was sick. She was so sick that she could only do one waist-deep river crossing and a 3 hour a hike with a fully loaded backpack with camping gear and food for 2 days. What a bummer. Pinchgut Hut will do.
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.
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.
Wharfedale Hut is a standard DoC hut with a nice, easy-going trail going all the way from a carpark at the end of Wharfedale Track Road to the hut. To get to the carpark, we had to cross a couple of rivers. One of them could cause troubles to the non-4WD vehicles so if you’re heading up there, make sure the water level is not too high. The crossing would be impassable and you’d have to leave your car by the river and hike about 5 km to the end of the road.
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.