Welcome!

If you’re thinking about joining the club; have a read of some trip reportsIMG_0045 or come to a meeting to figure out what we’re all about. However if you’re allready convinced you can sign up right now. We also have a pretty active Facebook page.

Meetings

Our meetings occur weekly in KF07 (in Kirkwood Village on campus) at 7.30pm on Wednesdays. Come along to meet everyone, learn something, sign up to trips and join the club!

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Refreshers Weekend

Date: Jul 25-26, 2015
Words & Images: Kendall Coffman
Tramps: 55 all up
Location: Woolshed Creek Hut

 

This past weekend I hiked along the Woolshed Creek with the Tramping Club! For those asking yourself, “what is tramping???”, it is hiking! There were four different routes that the club took groups on and I went on the second hardest route. This meant 6+ hours of tramping with my pack – a challenge since this was my first time going on a backpacking trip, but a fun adventure!

Saturday: Met in the car park at 8 am and loaded up the vans to drive about 1.5 hours to the bottom of the trail. The weather was BEAUTIFUL. The sky was a clear blue which was a wonderful break from constant cloudy skies and chances of rain. We hiked for about 3.5 hours before stopping for lunch. We had just emerged from the woods so we took advantage of a big rock in the sun to warm up and relax. After regrouping, we were back on the trail and got to the Woolshed Hut just as the sun set behind the mountains. The sunset as we travelled up the last incline was breathtaking! Almost all New Zealand trails have “huts” along them – these are buildings with a few bunks to sleep on, some tables to relax at, an outhouse, and some running water. We weren’t so lucky with the pipes on this trip though, they were frozen! The amazing thing: we could fill up our water bottles from the streams without having to worry about contaminated water! It was really cool to see an environment so unharmed from human interaction. My group was the last one to make it to the hut, and by the time we arrived there was a growing tent village just across a stream from the hut (there were about 55 of us from the club on this trip!). My group joined in and pitched our tents before heading to the hut to cook up some much needed warm food – my cooking group made couscous with carrots and salami! Before we knew it the wind started to violently blow and the trip leaders were telling us all to check our tents and their stability. My tentmates and I went out, put some heavy rocks on our stakes to keep everything in place, then headed back to the warmth. As the night drew on the wind grew stronger and when we finally decided to go to bed we discovered that one of our tent poles had broken! Back to the hut we went…. and we were not the only ones. There weren’t enough bunks for everyone who was affected by the great winds, so we all grabbed some floor space and dozed off into some much needed sleep – frequently interrupted by the sound of a monstrous wind attacking the hut.

Sunday: We were woken up just before 8 by the trip leaders saying that there was a nasty storm rolling in and we had 45 minutes before we all hit the trails again. When I looked out of the hut window across the stream I saw about 4 tents still left standing…. we started with around 20 up there. That wind was crazy – and we weren’t done with it yet. We all quickly made some breakfast (oatmeal for my friends and I), got our gear together, and headed off in groups of 8 along the shortest trail – one that should take around 2 or 3 hours to hike. Just minutes after setting off, we were hit with massive winds and rain. As we got further up the mountain the rain felt like sleet was slapping against my face and the wind nearly blew me and my pack over a few times. Adding to the fun – ICE. There was a lot of snow and ice on the trail the previous day, but with no other weather obstacles, it was manageable, but with  heavy rain and wind, it definitely slowed us down. We slowly but surely made our way down the mountain and, just as the sun came out, we made it to the car park. I quickly stripped off my drenched clothing and threw on the only dry items I had left. Just as I was repacking my bag, the rain returned and we all huddled under the small structure in the car park. We then piled back into the vans and made our way to a small town halfway between Christchurch and the trail. We gave the small supermarket and coffee shop some great business as we showed up hungry for warm food. We also got to enjoy the yummy food beneath some wonderful sunshine. It is crazy how fast the weather changes in New Zealand! After filling our bellies and drying ourselves out a little, we travelled the rest of the way home.

First thing I did when I got back to my flat was unpack my bag to air everything out and then took a much needed warm shower! So many different things went “wrong” this weekend, but my motto for while I am abroad (and hopefully for when I return as well) is “it is all part of the adventure!!” (or some variation of that…). Tents breaking, disgusting morning oatmeal mixed with last nights burnt couscous, freezing rain and wind, it is ALL just another part of a wonderful adventure! I also got to meet some really great people this weekend – a couple awesome kiwis and lots of other international students all pumped to take advantage of the awesome country that we get to study in.

What I learned from this weekend: hiking pants are SO underrated and TOTALLY awesome. I had a pair of pants, capris, AND shorts all in one, and they have so many awesome pockets! I kept my gopro in my pocket all day Saturday and it was always available to grab an awesome shot (as seen above). I wore them this morning in the pouring rain, and though they aren’t waterproof, they didn’t soak the water in like a pair of my leggings might, so they got the job done! Might not be the most fashionable item, but they sure do rock!

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The Kegspedition

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Words: Sam Stephenson,

Images: Matthew Falloon

Last years bushball was followed by something of a shenanigan.

Somehow we found ourselves in the Avoca homestead carpark with an unfinished keg of beer, two inflatable rafts and an idea…

 

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Deep in the Winter Snow

Words & images: Caroline Bellamy
Tramps: Caroline Bellamy, Hamish Cumming, Sam Stephenson, Kate Wootton

6.00 pm on a bone chilling Friday night in mid July we all slipped and stumbled our way up to Carrington Hut. Keen we were…braving this cold. The Waimakariri river was filled with rocks blanketed with snow illuminating the path for the five of us as chat broke up the long 4hr valley walk. Guided by Venus and a little sneaky GPS we made it to Carrington Hut on a pretty direct route sticking to the river the whole way.
Carrington hut was very big and very cold and very empty. With a hot drink and sleeping bags lofting we gradually warmed amongst the -10°C air temperature surroundings. Up nice an early, Barkers Hut up the White River was the destination. As the horizon lightened, the clear sky came alive and we got the first view of how low the snow was. It had filled the Waimak valley as far as we could see. Absolutely beautiful and a unique view of Mt Rolleston was visible from the hut.

Heading towards White River

Heading towards White River

We were not to leave right away though… my boots had completely frozen solid overnight inside the hut, as well as Kate’s and Sam’s shoes and gaiters! The shoes eased after some manipulation however the boots were very stubborn and after 30 min of pain to the feet from forcing them in water had to be boiled to defrost the boots. Much better! Incredible how cold it can get! Even the mice weren’t out that night.
Four of us set off to Barkers hut and Brandon decided to stay at Carrington another night with his 308. to see out his chances with getting a deer or chamois. A fire for that night was defiantly on the list.

We all hit rather deep snow just after leaving before heading out to the river bed again where the crisp morning air would refreeze our gaiters straight after crossing the river. I had been part way up the White River before in Autumn however with all the snow it was a completely different place, a winter wonderland that sparkled in the warm morning sun. There were huge snow flakes/ frost crystals in the valley which were quite usual and parts of the river had frozen alongside the banks.

We knew at this stage the trek up to Barkers was going to take over the recommended 4 hours because of conditions so we decided to leave Mt Murchison for tomorrow to give us of Saturday to get up to Barkers Hut. Crossing impressive avalanche debris and viewing the many frozen waterfalls up the white river the snow started to get deeper and deeper.

A very comical bunny rabbit tiring to scramble up a snowy bank only succeeding after about 6 attempts made us laugh. Felt sorry for the little guy.

Approaching the head of the valley we encountered a nice steep climb up to the hut. The first ridge required a bit of mixed climbing before we reached some steep soft powder snow. When it was your time to lead you were guaranteed to build up a very large sweat. It was tough work.

The last ridge was very icy so we put on our crampons just as we reached the hut. After a good effort of getting the hut door open and about 15mins of breaking through ice with an ice axe to get water, we all took in the awesome views from the hut with not a breath of wind to disturb them. You were able to see right down the White Valley and apparently could see the Waimakariri Falls Hut as well. Such a cool spot for a hut although apparently in high winds.

Arriving at Barkers Hut and cracking through to water supply

Arriving at Barkers Hut and cracking through to water supply

It can be pretty scary (feels like a magnitude 7 earthquake) as it is pretty exposed. They have lost the toilet a few times! Defiantly well secured down now haha.

Three of us hopped into our sleeping bags at the early hour of 4pm- at least they will be warm by the time we go to sleep! The brave Hamish with his non suffering dry warm snow boots decided to check out the route up to Mt Murchison while it was still light and pug in some tracks. While Hamish was hard at work the rest of us played find the avalanche transceiver in the hut which didn’t quite work… too many metal things around… Quick peaks of the incredible winter sunset were made by those brave enough venture out into the very cold and clear alpine night. Kate even had to put crampons on to get to the toilet. Not many places you stay you have to do that haha.

All being a little concerned for Hamish he finally came back well and safe and a hot dinner was consumed before the 7.30 pm weather report (reporter quite humorous), which was looking pretty damn fine! Barker Hut was ten thousand times warmer than Carrington! I guess being smaller alpine hut and out of the valley it held much more heat. Actually got too hot during the night… in mid winter!

Winter sunset from Barkers Hut

Winter sunset from Barkers Hut

After a great sleep Hamish and Sam and I were up at 5am ready for Mt Murchison with Kate staying at Barkers as she was feeling a little under the weather. It was truly cold outside with the sharp chill of frozen snow piercing through our layers. With snow shovels, probes, avalanches transceivers in place and harnesses, crampons and helmets on we were ready to go. Not really knowing what snow conditions to expect I was nervous but ready, feeling good and motivated to do anything that came our way. Hamish plugging the previous night made the first part much much quicker- a nice way to ease into the day… You could not see the big drops hidden beneath the morning darkness, almost keeping you most focused. Before we knew it we were plugging/ slipping/ on all fours going up very soft snow. Slowly but steady we climbed up to White Glacier. The sun had started to rise so we stopped for a bit to take it in, trying to ignore the painful cold feet. The sun was so warm in contrast to the harsh cold surroundings.

Sunrise on Sunday morning

Sunrise on Sunday morning

Attempting the last climb up Murchison-Kahutea Col

Attempting the last climb up Murchison-Kahutea Col

We roped together for the next section of the glacier in case of any hidden crevasses, With Sam leading quite a fast fit pace it was quite an effort to keep in time. We soon reached the base of Mt Murchison and decided on going up a side gut leading to the summit. It was hard to tell what the snow conditions were like so a bit of risk was involved whether there may be avalanche risk or be very hard dangerous ice. With Hamish already been to the summit in summer he warned us the top was also very exposed and would take time. Time we did not have unfortunately. The plan was to pitch the route up the ice however we just did not have enough time. The short days of winter catch up on you before you know it. Instead a quick trip to the Kahutea col to see the views down the Wilberforce river and onwards to Mt Cook made the snow plug totally worth it. The still clear day made it prefect conditions.

It took us about 4 hours to get up to Mt Murchison and only 1.5 hours back down to Barkers. Greeted by Kate who had done some awesome sunrise photography, we all enjoyed lunch in the sun taking in the views before packing up for the long walk out.

Shutting the hut door

Shutting the hut door

Leaving a cutc printed trog in the hut we were ready to go…. yea… Took us about 20mins of hammering and heaving the door before it finally managed to shut. Hopefully the next people can actually open it! Again following our tracks from the previous day we made good time, also seeing many fresh animal tracks made us realize how much life is here despite the cold. About 2 hours out from Barkers my feet began to thaw out and were incredibly painful to walk on. It was so intense I could barely swallow. Panadol was taken and with 7hrs walking to go I just had to push through it.

Everyone was feeling good though and we approached Carrington Hut before dark. Brandon had a great few days out seeing a few hind, getting fairly close but not quite able to get a shot. But even just seeing the animals in their natural environment was pretty awesome.

Nina Dickerholf and her team just left the hut before us also going back to the car park. We weren’t the only crazy winter adventurers. With a few a snacks consumed and layers applied we were off. Again the intense evening hues reflected in the Waimakariri river and lit up the surrounding snowy peaks before gradually retreating into darkness.

After crossing the river numerous times, at 8.30 pm the car park was in sight and we had caught up with Nina. Lucky that, as being so cold our vehicle would not start. Might have had to spend another night in this coldness haha. We jump started it and were off!!
15hr day done and dusted. Great trip guys! Highly recommend this trip, Barkers hut is awesome and in winter for those who are brave enough!

Unfortunately, I did end up getting frostbite and have been to the hospital twice so far. Its not too pleasant and I won’t get feeling back in my toes for at least another 2 months. Take care of yourselves out there.

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How not to go tramping

Date: 20th June 2015
Tramps: Andrew Seward, Tania Seward, Glen Baxter
Words: Andrew Seward
Photos: there aren’t any. Read on and you’ll see why.

Weekends are a precious commodity. Between full time work and study, there aren’t many free. With this in mind, we decided to make the most of it. Ball Pass, near Mt Cook was the plan. As the date approached the 10 day forecast wasn’t looking fantastic with storms, snow and sleet predicted. The tramping guru Geoff Spearpoint suggested we find a nice hut with a fire not too far from the road. He even suggested a few places. We decided to continue with our plan. Geoff is probably mellowing with age, we’ll be right, we are definitely going tramping.

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Devil’s Den Biv, Lewis Pass

Jeff, Zeinab and Rachael en route to Nina Hut

Date: 12-13th April 2014
Tramps: Zeinab Chegini, Tania Seward, Jeff Ducrot, Rachael Horner
Words: Zeinab Chegini
Photos: Tania Seward

Cuddling, huddling, huggling, snuggling; these are the terms that are discussed when four happy trampers share a two bunk biv. What would an overnight tramp be without copious amounts of huddling anyway?

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Tara Tama Traverse

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Words and images: Caroline Bellamy

Participants: Caroline Bellamy, Hamish Cumming, Alastair McDowell, Philip Sültrop and Phil Wallace

After dinner at Darfield we arrived 9.00pm Friday in Arthurs Pass, where all the fun began. With our five packs loaded and ice gear secured we began our way towards Rocky creek hut on the pleasant warm night it was, pumped and excited for what was to come. We estimated a 2-3 hour walk in…. well……

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Andrews Stream

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Location: Andrews Shelter, Arthur’s Pass
Date: 21 March, 2015
Participants: Matt Falloon and a crew of happy tramps

Words & Images: Susanne Birgelen

On a very sunny Saturday Matt and a group of motivated trampers met at the UCSA carpark. Everyone arrived well prepared with towels and extra clothing, since we were going to be wet. Our plan called for an adventure, so we were very glad for the great weather. We started walking at Andrews Shelter, about 25km south of Arthur’s Pass Village. Right at the beginning we had to walk steeply uphill. But the rest of the first half of the tramp was rather a nice stroll tramping up the Andrews Stream Track. We had plenty of time and pleasure to enjoy the forest, take pictures and watch birds.

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Concerning Freshers

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Location: Magdalen Hut, St James Walkway, Lewis Pass
Date: March 7-8, 2015
Participants: 60+ Freshers

Images by Samuel Chau and Josie Dransfeld

“This trog is largely concerned with Freshers – CUTC’s first big annual tramping trip – and from its pages a reader may discover much of its character and a little of its history”

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A Journey to the Top of New Zealand – Aoraki Ascent

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Words & images: Alastair McDowell
Participants: David Chen, Elisha Nutall, Alastair McDowell

There are only a few days each year when the many suns, stars and moons that govern perfect mountaineering conditions at Mt Cook line up. To be there ready, with a climbing partner, feeling fit and primed to pounce at this very moment – the chances seem impossibly slim. But on one such day in mid-December, the impossible happened.

Good weather was moving in for the weekend, so we made our move to advanced base-camp – Plateau Hut – on a miserably wet Wednesday. Although my climbing partners Elisha and David were quite keen, as most are, to fly from Mt Cook village up to the Grand Plateau, I was determined to make a clean ascent from the road-end, and eventually convinced them to join me.

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Brilliant Ball Pass

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Words & images: Enda Walsh
Participants: Simon Litchwark, Jeff Ducrot, Enda Walsh

So Ball Pass. It had been on my mind for some time. I’d first heard about it from Alex Warnaar when we did our Basic Alpine Skills course with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club. We were up at Mueller hut and Alex mentioned it as a route from across the Mount Cook Range from the Hooker to the Tasman Valleys, one that was good to do in Winter if you were confident in your snow and ice skills.

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The Brass Monkey Balls Up

Participants: Enda, Alex, Simon, Joe, Mark, Clare and Richie

Date: 16th & 17th August 2014

Words and images: Richie White

Right so my first Trog, and what a tramp I’m picking to write about! As per usual, we met at the slightly earlier time of 7am, packed up our gear and were quickly under way. The plan was to meet at Culverden Bakery, grab a coffee, munch down some pies and hit the road again fairly promptly. Next stop was the drop off point for the passengers while the drivers went off to leave one car by Rough Creek (our exit point on day 2 if all goes well). While they were gone we got ready and had a peek about the place. Just round the corner of a track there was a little frozen lake, it was just the start of some of the most stunning sc Continue reading

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Jolliebrook Hut

Participants: Mathew Falloon, Sergey White, Clara Voirol, Lisa Wiesent, Jenny Hamilton, Samuel Rademaker, Timothy Manning, Marie Riis, Amalie Watchmann, Andrew Nesbit, Kevin Polak, Dan Goodwin.

Date: 2-3rd August 2014

Words: Matt Falloon

 

Well shit. Earlier in the week I’d indicated to the club that I intended to lead an overnight trip to Kirwans Hut by the town of Reefton on the Westcoast and at the time the weather forecast looked promising. Alas as most of us know a week is a long time in New Zealand forecasting. By the Wednesday meeting the Metservice was predicting a great big red blob of rainy doom to descend upon the location of the intended trip and loiter for the duration which would probably cause a few issues. For one the track I intended to take followed a reasonably substantial river with a large catchment for most of the second day raising the risk of getting caught by a flooding… Continue reading

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Frozen Snowcraft

Participants: The 6 Ice Masters (Tania, Glen, Woulter, Richard, Enda and Sam) + 36 brave ice wanderers

Dates: Aug 9 – Aug 10

Words: Josie Dransfeld

Once upon a time when the beloved and yet accursed Mistress Winter finally decided to bless New Zealand’s mountains with a decent dumping of fresh and powdery snow, it was time for another attempt of getting Snowcraft underway. Postponed and cancelled due to a lack of the fluffy white stuff countless times earlier it now so happened that we almost had too much of it. The Ice Masters had to assess the situation, call up highway and ski patrols alike to make sure the roads were clear and avalanche danger manageable. Luckily, everything could go ahead! Continue reading

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High Country Winter Slog

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Participant: Alex Warnaar
Location: Mt Catherine, Taylor Range
Date: 26th July 2014
Words and images: Alex Warnaar

The Canterbury High Country is special. That is all there is to say.

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The cold, the pools, the stars…and a crazy challenge

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Participants: 39 cray-cray tramping club members

Date: 27-28th July 2014

Words and images: Josie Dransfeld

You want a proper introduction to tramping in New Zealand?

Come along to Refreshers and learn one of the two most essential skills to survive the back country straight away:

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The Three Passes and the Ellerslie Flower Show

Participants: Rose Pearson (scribe), Andre Eger, Nick Riordan, Mathew Falloon

Dates: 2013

It began with a text:

Mathew F: Would you be interested in going to the Ellerslie Flower show? For extra difficulty Saturday or Sunday.

Rose P: Oh maybe Sunday. I’m planning to fast pack the 3 passes tramp around Arthurs Pass. Depends on how fast we go.

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Elephants, keas and an irate farmer’s wife

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Participants: Tae Park, Glen Baxter, Josie Dransfeld, Charlotte Stephen-Brownie, Sergei, Gordy Kast, Andrew Spencer, Arty

Date: 19-20th July

Words and images: Charlotte Stephen-Brownie

The forecast said “snow flurries to 500 m in the Canterbury High Country, blowing in from the south east”. Our gamble, after much discussion, was that the Torlesse Range would catch the snow, and leave us, on the Cass-Lagoon track in the middle of winter, comfortably high and dry. Fortunately, the gamble paid off, and we enjoyed a crisp, clear weather window.

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How to go bush-bashing in the Kaikouras

Participants: Alex Warnaar, Jeff Ducrot, Rachael Horner, Tania Seward, Richard White.

Date: 28-29th June 2014

Words and images: Tania Seward

Bushbashing (noun): the process of forcing a path through the bush

How to go bush bashing in the Kaikouras, in 13 easy steps:

  • Pack your gaiters, your gloves, your confidence and your resolve. These things are necessary for bush-bashing in the Kaikouras.
  • Don’t bother packing your self-esteem or your dignity. These things are not required. Continue reading
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Lazy Sunday at Mt Richardson

Participants: Various CUTC club members, and Holly the dog

Date: 20th July 2014

Words: Roger Rougemont
Images: Matthias Heyne and Michelle Lambert

If the problem is a grey drizzly day in Christchurch, what is the answer?

If the problem is low energy, or general lethargy, what is the answer?

You guessed it! Go TRAMPING.

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