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Canyon Creek                                                                                                                                                 27th – 28th February


Six of us headed off early Saturday morning to the headwaters of the Ahuriri River, with a coffee stop at Omarama en route followed by a  long slow drive up to the car park at the end of the road. A sort out of gear and a re-arrangement of packs followed, then we tramped up the river flats to the edge of the bush. Here the going became very steep as we climbed up over the gorge, then a drop down into the hanging valley of Canyon Creek. Up the river flats for an hour until we encountered another gorge. A lunch stop here, then another steep climb through scrub avoiding numerous waterfalls and this brought us up to the upper basin which was very rocky on account of the scree slopes above. Some more rearrangement of packs here as the terrain became a lot harder, and we eventually saw the large bivvy rock ahead. If one wanted to go further up valley, it would be rather adventurous tramping. Some rustic building activity has resulted in two quite comfortable sleeping areas lined with tussock. Unfortunately one area was already occupied, so we had to erect tents in very windy and quite cool conditions. However, there was good shelter for cooking and we were able to cook up a good nourishing meal. Fortunately it remained dry despite the noise of the tents flapping in the wind all night.

The following morning was reasonably clear, but the peaks were obscured by cloud and the wind gradually decreased. So we carefully retraced our route of the previous day but much easier going down. This route would be quite tricky if it was wet. The wind had dropped by now so the rest of the day became very warm.

A good challenging tramp especially as it was my first over-nighter. I’ve got to do something about my pack weight.

Those present Pauline and Nicky from Ashburton, Robert, David, Christine and myself (scribe).

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