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Cass Lagoon                                                                                                                       11th – 12th November 2017

We drove from Timaru on Friday after work (5.30pm) and arrived at our destination of Lake Pearson at 8.30pm still in daylight and a beautiful still clear evening with time to put tents up before darkness arrived.

It was quite chilly overnight and up in the morning to a bit of cloud to start the day. We were packed up and away now with just a short drive to firstly organise the drop off of a car at the Bealey end of the track and leaving the other vehicle at Cass end of track. There were a few cars in the car-park so we made decision to leave vehicle there.

The first part of the walk was through a cleared area which was now engulfed in broom and very in flower. After a good hour we arrived at the start of the more interesting scenery and river crossing (Cass River) then after 4 hours arrived at the Cass Saddle Hut where we stopped for lunch.

From here into the open tussock alpine area not far to the top (Cass Saddle) Great view back and ahead with a glimpse of the Hamilton Hut in the distance. Day clouds had dissipated and now a gorgeous day with little breeze and a clear sky. It was a pleasant walk downwards traverse then onto well used track through the beech forest to the valley below through largely beech bush to the Hamilton river flat below and arriving at the well-appointed Hamilton Hut (20 bunk) at around 3.30pm. Plenty of time to sit out and take in the amazing scenery in the sun. After a busy evening at the Hut which was very hot (fire stoked) we were up and away at 8am.

After crossing the Hamilton river walk wire we took a detour up to Mirror Tarn, just a short steep climb and circuit around the tarns back onto the track, now following the Harper River to the historic West Harper Hut (morning tea stop) then on to Lagoon Saddle and A frame hut for lunch. The weather had cooled somewhat so we were keen to get up and walking. Now still slightly climbing and a sidle, a view down to some tarns then turning the corner to views to the Bealey and Waimakariri Rivers. Last leg a steady downward walk to the Bealey Hut and from here 10mins to the Cora Lynn car-park (4pm) This was a great weekend tramp enjoyed and blessed with good weather and company.

Those on the trip were Wayne C, Catherine, Wayne K, Robert, Dorothy, Dawn and myself Christine.