Wills – Stafford – Motatapu December 2015
Trip Wills Valley.
Dates Saturday 28th November through Wednesday 2nd December.
Participants Wayne, Jim, Stephen.
Originally planned as a grand traverse from the Wills Valley to the upper Makarora Valley via the Hunter Valley, it became a five day Wills Valley experience when snow and ice prevented passage over the 1,578m Wilson Pass.
Day #1. After a tricky start crossing a slip face upstream of the Gates of Haast Bridge we briefly had the benefit of a benched track on the old Haast road…
Photo from Department of Conservation signage at the start of the Makarora Track.
Then the track became rugged as it followed the Wills Gorge to the more expansive and gentler middle valley. Light rain had begun after a single crash of thunder and continued as we crossed the braided Wills River to the true left having descended to the valley floor at the head of the gorge. The 4-
Day #2 started with dew and misty cloud receding as we walked up the middle valley, crossing and re-
On day #3 we arose to a moderate frost and prepared breakfast under the bivvy rock before embarking on a day-
A helicopter flew up the valley at 5:30am waking us from slumber on day #4, this time scouting the valley floor for deer. The morning was dewy but not frosty and after breakfast we packed and departed the bivvy rock for Wills Hut. Knowledge of the gorge was an advantage and we made somewhat easier progress by taking a higher route to dodge the obstacles at the top of the gorge. Trails – probably from deer – helped when available in the thick bush. Back beside the river Jim took a dunking, taking the deep-
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