Tramping Hopkins Valley Jan 2015

I spent three full days tramping with Chris, Em, and Clare in around the Hopkins and Landsborough valleys.

Day 1:

We walked up the Hopkins Valley from Monument Hut to Elcho Hut. From there we headed up Elcho Stream and up to Chloe Col. We descended to a tarn just above 1500 m camped the night there.

Day 2:

We traversed South-West and camped on a spur some way below Mt Mackenzie.

Day 3:

We climbed Mt Mackenzie descending afterwards to Brodrick Pass. Then Chris, Em, And I headed up Mt Strauchon with many many pitches of a 30 m rope. We descended and collected Clare at Brodrick Hut before continuing a high speed trek out the Huxley Valley back to Monument Hut. We arrived just after midnight and stayed there until the morning.

 

Chris and Em enter a river (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)Clare climbing rock (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)Chris and Em kicking steps (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)

Above left: We drove down to the Hopkins Valley arriving late in the evening, then drove into Monument Hut the next day, left the car there and walked up the Hopkins, past Elcho Hut, towards Chloe Col. Above middle: We had some fun rock to scramble up as we ascended to Chloe Col. Clare didn’t let her 4.5 month pregnancy slow her down. Above right: From Chloe Col we did some traversing and descended a little towards the Landsborough.

Vanishing over the ridge (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)Tents (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)View towards Mt Hooker (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)

Above left: The mist and cloud emphasised the suns rays as we descended. Above middle: We camped near a tarn at around 1540 m above the Landsborough Valley. It rained a little in the evening but fined up the next morning. Above right: We spent the day traversing South West climbing into gullies and back out again. We had great views across the valley to Mt Hooker.

Descending (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)Tents infront of Mt Trent 3 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)

Above left: We had a steep descent before our last ascent to the camp site. Above right: The camp site had a nice view towards Mt Trent. The sky was impossibly blue and looked delicious with the white snow.

Us (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)Heading into the mist (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)Getting ready to belay Em across snow bridge (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)

Above left: We headed over Mt Mackenzie and down to Brodrick Pass. We left Clare there to amuse herself and Chris, Emily, and I headed up Mt Strauchon. Above middle: The mist came in a little but cleared again after we started pitching. Above right: We belayed across a snow bridge near the top and we had reached the summit. This is just before the snow bridge and looks more impressive than the summit itself!

Cris and Chris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)

Above: Then it was down down down. We made a speedy descent from Brodrick pass getting down from the pass to Brodrick Hut in 47 minutes. We then had a super speedy walk out to Monument Hut arriving there just after midnight.


View Larger Topographic Map
Above: A map courtesy of www.topomap.co.nz. The coloured tracks show our route. The missing bits show where my GPS battery was flat!

And the trip video:

And a few more photos here, or in the slideshow below.

Tramping Hopkins Valley Jan 2015 A view (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Walking up a valley (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Clare and river (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris and Emily (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Emily after crossing large snow/ice patch (Hopkins Valley Tramp Clare on moraine (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris and Em enter a river (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris helps Clare across (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Emily (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Climbing up a patch of rock (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Emily 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Emily 3 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Clare climbing rock (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris and rock (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris and rock 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris and rock 3 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Clare amongst snow and rock (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris amongst snow and rock (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Ascending Chloe Col (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris ascending Chloe Col (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Ascending Chloe Col 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris ascending Chloe Col 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Ascending Chloe Col 3 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) On Chloe Col (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris on Chloe Col (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris on Chloe Col (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris on snow (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris and Em on snow (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris and Em on snow 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris and Em kicking steps (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris with Chloe Col behind (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Panorama (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) View towards the Landsborough (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Descending towards the Landsborough (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 20 Clare (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Emily, Clare, and Chris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Emily, Clare, and Chris 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Emily, Clare, and Chris 3 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Lychen (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris with Landsborough in background (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2 View of Lansborough Valley (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Tramping down towards the Landsborough (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan Vanishing over the ridge (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Camp 1 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Camp in the morning (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cloud in the Landsborough Valley (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Tents (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Descending (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris crossing a stream (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) View towards Mt Hooker (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Mt Hooker (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Mt Hooker again (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris climbing (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) About to descend into a valley (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Descending (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris again (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Pointing towards camp site (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Pitching tents (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Tents infront of Mt Trent (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Tents infront of Mt Trent 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Tents infront of Mt Trent 3 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Tents infront of Mt Trent 3 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Evening at camp 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Night time at Camp 2 (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Heading off into snow (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris and snow (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Kiss kiss (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Crossing snow (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Em, Clare, and Cris on Mt Mackenzie summit (Hopkins Valley Tramp Em, Clare, and Chris on Mt Mackenzie Summit 2 (Hopkins Valley Tr On Mt Mackenzie Summit (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Crevase (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris again (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Sorting out ropes (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Us (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Glacier travel (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Heading into the mist (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris with rope (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Chris heads up before we decide to pitch it (Hopkins Valley Tram Emily belaying Chris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) First pitch (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Emily ascends on top rope (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Em and Cris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris again (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Getting ready to belay Em across snow bridge (Hopkins Valley Tra Em on snow bridge (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Cris and Chris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Descending (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Doing something with an anchor (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015)
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Cris and Chris (Hopkins Valley Tramp Jan 2015) Then it was down down down. We made a speedy descent from Brodrick pass getting down from the pass to Brodrick Hut in 47 minutes. We then had a super speedy walk out to Monument Hut arriving there just after midnight.

And a Google Earth file showing the trip with photos.

Tramping Hopkins Valley Jan 2015 – Images

Carroll Hut 2015

Katie, Kerry, and I hooned up to Arthurs Pass in the evening, arriving at Kelly’s Creek around 7 pm. From there we strutted up the track to Carroll Hut arriving just before 9 pm with still enough daylight to cook dinner. Yay. We spent the evening in the hut and then walked out along the Kelly Range the next day, dropping down to the Taipo and heading out to the road. The ladies were extremely efficient at getting a hitch back to the car, and then it was back to Christchurch in the evening.

Katie arriving at the hut (Tramping Carroll Hut)Little Katie in the land of big (Tramping Carroll Hut)Us 3 (Tramping Carroll Hut)

Above left: We headed up to Arthurs Pass in the evening arriving at Kelly’s Creek around 7 pm. From there we rambled up to Carroll Hut arriving with daylight to spare. Above middle: We walked along the Kelly Range the next day and dropped down to the Taipo river. Above right: Time for some posing.

Tramping Mt Somers

We organised a family tramp into Woolshed Creek Hut near Mt Somers. It was a family trip because we had Simon, Anita, and their little one, and Clare, and her little one. So it was me, Katie, Gina, and the families.

Walking 2 (Woolshed Creek Tramp)Descending to the hut (Woolshed Creek Tramp)Playing pigs (Woolshed Creek Tramp)

Above left: We headed into Woolshed Creek Hut for an overnighter with the little people. Above middle: The little people did well with a mix of walking and being carried. Above right: We hung about in the hut in the evening.

Cris goes fishing for his croc (Woolshed Creek Tramp)Tramping in the mist (Mt Somers)

Above left: Throw away Cris’s shoe was played on the way out the next day. Above right: It was quite misty on the way out although we kept getting glimpses of blue sky to tantalise us.

Rabbit Pass Tramp – Day 5 – Gillespie pass

After spending a day in the hut in torrential rain the weather had cleared. We headed off early in the morning towards Gillespie Pass, but then took a short detour across the valley where we dropped our packs and headed up to Crucible Lake. It was well worth the 600 m climb. The lake was filled with icebergs and two inquisitive keas joined us as we arrived.


Above: There were two very friendly keas at the lake.


Above: I was able to sit about 10 cm away from this fellow.


Above: I went for an adventure out onto the ice.

We then headed back down to the valley, collected our packs and walked over Gillespie Pass and down to the Young Hut. We had a quick 2 minute noodle cook up at the full hut and headed further down the valley to the Young Campsite where we camped the night by the river.

Kea 6 (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)Crucible Lake 2 (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)

Above left: On New Year’s Day we headed up to Crucible Lake in the morning and was greeted by this guy at the top. Above right: We were also greeted by this awesome view of the lake. The icebergs were bobbing happily in the water. I tried my luck and floated on one for a bit avoiding falling into the cold water.

Near Gillespie Pass (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)

Above: We headed down from the Crucible Lake and up to Gillespie Pass stopping somewhere along the way for lunch. Then we descended steeply into the south branch of the Young River before walking out to the Young Hut.


Above: After five days tramping I was still carrying fresh food.

Leonie and Cris at Young Hut 2 (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)Flowing stream 3 (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)

Above left: Young Hut was full when we arrived so we sat on the deck and cooked up a quick two-minute noodle feast before heading further down the valley to the Young Forks Campsite, where we pitched our tents by the river for the night. Above right: New Zealand is very pretty.

And the map, at least the bit from Crucible Lake to the Young Forks Campsite. Despite what it looks like, we didn’t jump across the lake when we left. Apparently my GPS did though…

View Larger Topographic Map

Rabbit Pass Tramp – Day 3 – Siberia Hut

Leonie, Gina, and I split off from the rest of the group and left Top Forks Hut in the morning. It was a bit overcast as we headed down the river towards Kerin Forks Hut. We hid inside once we arrived and tried to avoid the sand flies, but each time the door was opened they would eagerly fly in.

After a hot chocolate energy-refuel we had a stomach-level river crossing of the Wilkin and continued on to Siberia Hut. It was cold and wet by the time we arrived so the hut with smoke rising from the chimney was a welcome sight.

Leonie outside Kerin Forks Hut (Rabbit Pass Tramp Dec 2014)

Above: Leonie risking her bare legs outside Kerin Forks Hut.