Te Araroa Trail – Glenariffe Station to Castleridge Station
Sunday 20th November – Tuesday 22nd November 2016
Northbound Party: Rob Birks, Leo Garmonsway.
Southbound Party: Jim Pearce, John Hyland, Stephen Keach.
Starting out from our comfortable backpackers in Methven on Sunday morning, one carload went up the Rakaia Valley to Glenrock Stream, the other car headed up the Ashburton Gorge to Castleridge Station. Both parties had a straightforward day’s tramping. The southbound party began with a steep climb onto the 1,120m Turtons Saddle, then a long descent to Comyns Hut. The northbound party had a gentle climb over the 963m Emily Hill and then down to Double Hut, meeting a couple of solo Te Araroa trampers en route, an Irishman and a German called Daniel.
An early start for the northbounders next morning, climbing to the 1,480m Clent Hills Saddle. This was a frustratingly long haul, basically following old indistinct fence lines through waist-
The next morning started with a long steady haul up to Turtons Saddle, then a quick descent through farmland to the Double Hill Run Road where the car was awaiting. A drive to Methven, lunch, an unsuccessful attempt to replace Leo’s gaiters, then onto Peel Forest where we stayed at the Deans’ Peel Forest Farmstay (highly recommended). We also met up with our German friend, Daniel, who recounted his experiences in Bush Stream, our intended next destination. Trying to cross on his own, he was washed off his feet and carried 50 metres downstream, losing his walking poles. A change of plan for us therefore, missing out Mesopotamia to instead drive to Lake Tekapo for a round trip including Royal Hut.
Sunday 20th November.
John and Jim ascending the four-
The Rakaia River, 525m Woolshed Hill, Wilberforce River, 1,633m Mt Oakden and the Birdwood Range are in the background.
Monday 21st November.
Jim and John fording Round Hill Creek in the Taylor Range on Te Araroa ascending to the 1,480, Clent Hills Saddle.
Monday 21st November.
Jim and John cross a wide scree slope in the Taylor Range on Te Araroa descending from the 1,480m Clent Hills Saddle.
Background: The 1,054m Longman Range, 1,014m Ricki Spur, South Branch Ashburton/Hakatere River valley and Wild Mans Brother Range.
Tuesday 22nd November.
Jim and John walking the four-
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