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.

Climbing at Transmitter Crag

I ran up Worsley’s and met Simon, Anita, and her friend Sarah at the Flying Nun MTB track. We wandered over to Transmitter Crag and Simon and I did some climbing there. The ladies talked lady-talk, looked after Elayna, and fed us delicious lunch goodies.

Cris at the top of a climb (Transmitter crag)Simon abseiling (Transmitter Crag)

Above left: Simon and I found some nice climbs to lead and got to it. Above right: Some abseiling from the anchor bolt was involved.

Simon looks down from the top (Transmitter Crag)Simon at the top of a climb (Transmitter Crag)

Above left: Belaying was also involved. Myesss. Above right: I convinced Simon to take the camera and take happy snaps at the top of one of the climbs. Didn’t he do well?

V Notch Pass

Day 2 of our tramp over V Notch Pass.

We left South Temple Hut in the morning and continued up the river. The track/route had been washed away in parts so there were some premium bush bashing moments to be had with some spiky spaniard goodness. After a while the track split in two with one branch heading up to Gun Sight Pass and the other branch heading up to V Notch pass. Craig was feeling ill so we stopped for lunch just after the junction and munched on things in the sunshine.

We decided to split up. Craig, Regan, and Jeremy were to attempt Gun Sight Pass or walk back to South Temple Hut and possibly back to the road end to meet Kenith who had already walked out with a bung knee. Gina, Francis, Beth, and I were to attempt V Notch Pass.

We headed off up the river and it wasn’t so long before we reached the scree slopes at the head of the valley. We did some scree clambering until we reached a long thin patch of snow that ascended towards the summit. We stuck on our crampons and kicked steps up the snow. It turned out to be quite steep – I reckoned between 35 and 40 degrees – but the snow was good and Gina and I became step kicking factories.

We jumped back on to the rock at some point and plodded up in the wind and spindrift that was being blown into our faces. We had a great view of the snowy mountains at the top as we traversed around to V Notch Pass with some snow plodding again at the end. We descended backwards on a tongue of snow from the pass, front pointing into the snow and using our ice axes as hand holds. It was then a little more steep rock and then snow grass and we reached the scrub which continued into the valley.

The scrub proved to be quite entertaining. We wallowed and swam our way down the steep slopes. At times we fell down little banks but were always caught by various branches. We managed to avoid falling off any of the larger bluffs and found our way to the grass below where Beth informed us that she had been raped by hundreds of trees.

It was looking decidedly like evening as we headed down the river. Around about 9 pm we spotted some orange Minarets on the true right of the river next to the South Huxely Biv. It was Keren, Achim, Mikey, and Hazel and we found them cozied up in the biv. Francis and Beth cooked dinner while we hung about in the biv and ate truffels. We ate and briefly celebrated the Samoan new year which happily allowed us to go to bed an hour earlier than if we’d celebrated the NZ new year.

View along the riverbed (Tramping V Notch Pass)Bush bashing fun (Tramping V Notch Pass)Gina and Beth walking (Tramping V Notch Pass)

Above left: Arthurs Pass April 2009. Above middle: We had some trouble following the route as it had been washed away in parts so we had some bush bashing fun along the side of the river at times. Above right: Gina, Beth, Francis, and I headed up over V Notch Pass while the others headed over Gun Sight Pass.

Gina walking (Tramping V Notch Pass)Some steep snow to ascend (Tramping V Notch Pass)Traversing to the pass (Tramping V Notch Pass)

Above left: The route to V Notch Pass involved ascending to a ridge and then traversing around to the pass. The route became more alpine as we ascended. Above middle: We had a steep section of snow to navigate. I reckoned between 35 and 40 degrees. Gina and I kicked steps to the top. Above right: And a nice traverse over to V Notch Pass. That’s the flat section of snow at the low point on the ridge.

Gina below the pass (Tramping V Notch Pass)Gina and Beth talking (Tramping V Notch Pass)

Above left: Gina waits during the last ascent to the pass. You can see footprints from the other half of our party that walked up the Ahuriri valley. Above right: Beth and Gina do some nattering at the pass.

Gina down climbing (Tramping V Notch Pass)Cris and Gina descending on the tongue of snow at V Notch Pass (Tramping V Notch Pass)Gina kicking in (Tramping V Notch Pass)

Above left: Then it was time to down climb. The snow was quite happy and soft. Above middle: Gina and I lead the way front pointing and using our ice axes. Above right: Gina shows off her kicking skills.

Gina on a bluffy bit (Tramping V Notch Pass)Heading down the river (Tramping V Notch Pass)

Above left: After descending from the pass we eventually reached the bush line and had some gnarly scrub to navigate. We went for the approach of tumbling through the scrub trying to avoid the bigger bluffs. It worked well. Above right: It was getting later by the time we neared the Biv.

South Huxley Biv (Tramping V Notch Pass)

Above: We stayed the night in and around the South Huxley Biv. The rest of our party that had gone up the Ahuriri were in the Biv so we celebrated New Years Eve with them.

Above: We slogged up to V Notch pass while the weather couldn’t make up its mind.


Above: Our descent from V Notch pass was a bush bashing game.

Above: There was some trudging involved. But it was good trudging.

View Larger Topographic Map
Above: And a dinky map of our route courtesy of

Seakayaking Manapouri Jan 2013

Leonie and I zipped down to Lake Manapouri from our camp in Te Anau for an overnight seakayaking trip. We hired gear at the lake and not long after midday we were on the water paddling out of Pearl Harbour. After not long we portaged over to Circle Cove and stopped and had lunch on the beach. We then found a camp site a little further to the North on a nice little deserted beach. After pitching the tent we went for a cruise up around Mahara Island, had a peak into the Hope Arm and returned to camp. We had a cosy evening in front of a fantastic fire that Leonie rustled up although the wet and cooler temperatures seemed to take their toll as we both woke up with colds the next day. A speedy kayak back out the way we came and we were zooming back up to Te Anau.

Leonie with kayak about to launch (Seakayaking Manapouri)Kayak portage (Seakayaking Manapouri)

Above left:  Leonie about to set off for a quick overnight sea kayaking mission on lake Manapouri. Due to limited time we zoomed down to the lake from our camp in Te Anau and hired a kayak for a couple of days. Spontaneous trips are fun. Above right: Not long into the trip we had to portage the kayak over a low section of land to avoid a longer kayak around into Circle Cove. The portage section was from Surprise Bay to Circle Cove and took five minutes or so but only because the lake was in flood and the portage section had almost enough water in it to allow us to kayak through. A couple of families were camping on the remains of the beach (flooding again) and helped us with the portage.

Landed on a beach (Seakayaking Manapouri)Kayak on beach 2 (Seakayaking Manapouri)Leonie looks around (Seakayaking Manapouri)

Above left: Leonie and Cris at our lunch spot on a beach at the south end of Circle Cove. Above middle: Parked up. The kayak on the beach in Cricle Cove at our campsite. Above right: Leonie kayaking.

Leonie burning the beach down (Seakayaking Manapouri)Leonie at campsite (Seakayaking Manapouri)Leonie on campsite beach 4 (Seakayaking Manapouri)

Above left: Leonie rustled up a great fire in the evening at our camp site in Cricle Cove. Someone before us had already set up a fire place so it was just a case of grabbing some of the dried leaves and twigs on the dead tree in the picture and finding some bigger drift wood. We cooked around the fire and tried to dry some of our clothes. In my case this resulted in me melting some stuff instead. Above middle: Our campsite viewed from the fallen beach tree. Above right: Leonie standing on the beach at our campsite.

Mmm fire (Seakayaking Manapouri)View from campsite 2 (Seakayaking Manapouri)

Above left: The fire kept us warm in the evening. Above right: View of the kayak on the beach at camp.

Rainbow across the water (Seakayaking Manapouri)Rainbow on the water (Seakayaking Manapouri)

Above left: A rainbow on the water in the morning. Above right: The lake seemed to be filled with rainbows.

Above: Seakayaking on Lake Manapouri with seabirds.

Above: Rainbow in the morning.

Above: Seakayaking on Lake Manapouri.