NSTC CHRISTMAS TRIP 2021
27 December 2021 – 4 January 2022
Please note: You MUST be a paid up member to register.
The Christmas Tramp this year will be held in Arthurs Pass. This is an alpine region in the central part of the Southern Alps; the main road from Christchurch to the West Coast and the Trans-Alpine Train both cross the area. There are several large rivers, the Out Parties will have to ford some of these.
Home Party: $640
There are two Out Parties of 6 people, each will have two different routes:
Party A: (M/F):Harpers Pass (5 days) and
Avalanche Peak/Crow Hut(2 days) Cost: $420
Party B: (M/F):
Edwards-Hawdon Valley (3 days) and
Avalanche Peak - Carrington Hut (5 days) Cost: $375
Home Party: (M): Cost $640
The Home Party of 12 people will be based in Arthurs Pass Village and have a variety of one day tramps, with the option of an overnight tramp. Base camp is the Arthurs Pass Alpine Motel; the Home Party will stay here, the Out Parties will also stay here for two or three nights.
All Out Party huts are on a “first come, first served” basis and cannot be booked. Tents will need to be carried. Members of the Out Parties will be responsible for meeting the cost of hut accommodation themselves, either with DOC Hut tickets or a Back Country Hut Pass. (Tickets and passes are both available from Bivouac Outdoor store.) Note that we will be using different types of huts: basic (free), standard Blue ticket ($5 per night) and serviced Green ticket ($15). Out Party B will also have the option of staying at one of the huts owned by the Canterbury Mountain Club; these cost $10 per person per night, payment to CMC.
The out parties will be walking for between four and nine hours each day in rugged country, some of it above the bushline. Members of these parties should be physically fit and well-equipped. Heavy rain would make the rivers impassible and would definitely affect our plans, in this situation a degree of flexibility would be required. Group leaders should have a plan ‘B’ and even a plan ‘C.’
27 December 2021 (Monday)
12:00 noon Depart from Christchurch Airport.
We will have three hired vehicles. The Out Parties will be dropped off at the departure points for their tramps, the Home Party will check in to the motel and then have a short walk.
27 December – 3 January
Program for each group as described below.
3 January 2022
All parties return to Arthurs Pass Village.
6 pm Farewell dinner at the Bealey Hotel
4 January (Tuesday)
9 am: Return to Christchurch Airport in our hired vans, to arrive before noon.
OUT PARTY A
Harpers Pass route; we plan to walk this route from west to east. The major river crossings are on the first day; if there has been heavy rain just before we start, the group should start at the eastern end instead.
Maps; Moana BU20, Haupiri BU21, Lake Sumner BU22, Boyle BU23
The vehicle will drop them off at Aickens carpark on SH73, 5 km west of Otira township. There is a walk of 3-4 hours mostly over grassy flats to Kiwi Hut (8 bunks, standard Blue ticket). This walk includes crossing the Otira, Otehake and Taramakau rivers.
Kiwi Hut – Locke Stream Hut – Hurunui No. 3 Hut (8 – 10 hours)
From Kiwi Hut to Locke Stream Hut takes 2-3 hours following the river (this could be done on the 27th if time permits). Locke Stream Hut has 18 bunks (standard Blue ticket ). From Locke Stream Hut walk upstream for 3 km, the track then becomes steeper and rises to Harper Pass (962m). The track then drops steeply to Harper Pass bivvy, then becomes easier as it enters beech forest. Pass Camerons Hut (4 bunks, “showing its age”) and continue to Hurunui No. 3 Hut (16 bunks, standard Blue ticket).
Hurunui No. 3 to Hurunui Hut (4 hours)
Follow grassy flats along the valley floor, over the flats or in the forest. There is a short side track to some hot springs. The Hurunui Hut has 15 bunks, standard Blue ticket.
Hurunui Hut to Hope Kiwi Lodge (6 hours)
From the hut the track descends to a swing bridge across the Hurunui River. Cross the Matagouri Flats and turn right (eastwards) to follow the track just to the north of Lake Sumner, over Kiwi Saddle and down to the swampy grasslands and Hope Kiwi Lodge (20 bunks, serviced Green ticket).
Hope Kiwi Lodge – Lewis Pass Highway (5-6 hours)
Walk through grassy river flats and beech forest on the north bank of the Kiwi River and reach the Lewis Pass Road (SH7) at Windy Point, a few Kilometers south of Boyle village.
In mid-afternoon a vehicle should collect the group and bring them to Arthurs Pass Village.
1 January 2022
Arthurs Pass village; rest day or join the Home Party.
Avalanche Peak – Crow Valley
Map: Otira BV 20
Avalanche Peak-Crow Hut (5-6 hours)
From the village walk up Scotts Track to Avalanche Peak, then descend steep scree slopes to Crow Valley Hut (10 bunks, standard Blue ticket).
Walk from the hut to Klondyke Corner (4 hours)
The group should be picked up around midday and return to Arthurs Pass Village.
OUT PARTY B
Edwards – Hawdon Valleys via Tarn Col
“This interesting tramp and route takes you through spectacular rock falls, past mountain tarns and over two alpine passes. The picturesque hanging valley at Walker Pass is a fitting reward and worth every step over Taruahuna Pass and the steep climb up to Tarn Col.”
Maps: Otira BV20, Cass BV21
Road to Edwards Hut (4-5 hours)
The vehicle will bring the group to Greyneys Shelter, 5 km south of Arthurs Pass Village. Ford the Bealey River and follow the Edwards Hut Track up to Edwards Hut (16 bunks, serviced Green ticket)
Edwards Hut – Hawdon Hut (6-9 hours)
Continue walking up Edwards River to Taruahuna Pass, then there is a very steep climb up to Tarn Col (1368m). Drop down to the Otehake River East Branch, cross the Walker Pass (1095m) and reach Hawdon Hut (20 bunks, serviced Green ticket)
Hawdon Hut – Hawdon Shelter (3 hours)
Walk down the Hawdon River (some crossings will be required) to meet the road near Mt White Bridge.
Pick-up and return to Arthurs Pass Village.
Avalanche Peak-Carrington Hut
Map; Otira BV20
Avalanche Peak-Crow Hut (5-6 hours). From the Village walk up Scotts Track to Avalanche Peak, then descend steep scree slopes to Crow Valley Hut (10 bunks, standard Blue ticket).
Crow Hut – Carrington Hut (6 hours)
Follow the Crow River south to its junction with the Waimakariri River, ford the river and walk upstream to the Carrington Hut (36 bunks, serviced Green ticket).
Day trip to Waimakariri Falls Hut (6 – 10 hours return)
Day trip to White River (6 – 7 hours return)
Alternative programme for 1 and 2 January; stay the night of 1 January at either Waimakariri Falls Hut or Barker Hut in the White Valley (both huts owned by Canterbury Mountaineering Club) and return to Carrington Hut on the 2nd.
Carrington Hut – Klondyke Corner (4 – 6 hours)
Walk back along the Waimakariri River to Klondyke Corner on SH73.
Pick-up and return to Arthurs Pass Village.
Maps: Otira BV20
Detailed programme to be drawn up in consultation with participants. There will be a variety of one day walks of varying degrees of challenge, including Avalanche Peak, Temple Basin, Bealey Spur and Mt Aicken; there will also be an overnight option (Avalanche Peak – Crow Hut (10 bunks, standard Blue ticket - however this may require carrying a tent) and a one-day road trip to Greymouth/Punakaiki.
A list of recommended equipment will be found elsewhere on this website. Members of the Out Parties are required to bring tents as there is no guarantee that we will be able to stay in huts. You should also have a good pack-liner to ensure that contents of the pack do not get wet when fording rivers.
Home Party: $640
Organiser: Chris Bilham 022 657 3837