What did you do this weekend?
Time for another what I did this weekend thread ... Headed up the Makarora to Makarora hut with grand plans and poor forecast on Friday evening. Saturday: woke to torrential rain. Sat and watched the rain until midday. Sat and watched the flooded river for most of the afternoon. Plans of a monster mission into the Hunter and back to the Cameron silently abandoned. Then suddenly between 4pm and 5pm the river decides to drop. 5 hours of daylight left - enough for a mission to Brewster. Clag on the tops and presumably sodden snow on Mt Kaye, so it seems a good opportunity to try out the 'low route' - which turns out good. A great open beech spur starting 100m up the sidecreek 2km below Makarora hut: climbs 1200m to hit ridgeline south of Mt Kaye opposite Hawk Spur. Beech changes to rolling tussock basins & numerous tarns and campspots. From the ridgeline an easy sidle with good flat terraces at 1700m on the west face of Kaye to Portent Spur. Then the proverbial custard. With the hut clearly visible 700m away and less than an hour of daylight left: a series of bluffs make the descent into Fantail Creek look unlikely. It takes four attempts to find a way down - on the true left of the southern fork of Fantail. A very tired slog up the couple of hundred meters to the hut - bang on 9:30pm. A couple of people in residence. They play dice & talk till 2am - which would have been really annoying except that the thunder is making the hut shake on its piles every minute or so meaning sleep isn't really an option. An amazing light show - just inconveniently timed. Would have been fun in the test! Sunday: Back down the scoured out Brewster track to the road as rain recommences; a quick walk along the highway and bridle track to the van at Davis Flat. Arrive at Makarora Wilderness Lodge at 10.01am to be told that the kitchen is only open until 10am, and that no they can't make an exception just because I stop there for a feed after every tramp.
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@ian_h - no, not been through to Lake Hope from the east, and my photos from the west side miss the key part of the face you'd need to look at. Maybe someone else has info?
@Madpom - Thanks. I have pictures of the face I came down to reach Lake Hope after I got through, taken from the Lake Hope Outlet. I'm trying to figure a sensible way to share them, couldn't get them to upload to "Your Photographs". I got through alright, and fairly close to the line marked on Danilo's map, though it was a little sketchy. Once down I was looking back up trying to see if there was a better way, but couldn't see anything I liked better. This a panorama from Lake Hope looking back north, I'll try to annotate a zoomed in shot. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50963999803_29e256905f_h.jpg OK, it's showing in the post now, you can right click on it and open in a new window to see full size. This is a zoomed in and annotated shot of the face, Pt 2087 on the right. https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50965162902_5791528ac3_b.jpg Danilo's map shows coming over from the tarn north of there to the west of Pt 2087. I first reached the ridge at red arrow 1, close to Danilo's line on the map. Didn't like the look of what was below, retreated then regained the ridge close to red arrow 2, considered the scree slope going diagonally down to the right (as you look at the photo), but it was steep and pebbly and seemed to go over a bluff. In the end I came down the green line, there was a bit of a downward sloping ledge with over hanging bluff above and bluff below, then it was just picking my way down a big boulder field and around the remaining bluffy bits. This pin is the [point on the ridge](https://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap?v=2&ll=-45.129076,168.82699&z=15&pin=1) where I headed down the slope. It's remarkable how innocuous the contours look on the ridge and either side of it on the map!
About 15 years ago, Frank and I did a circuit in the area. We stayed at an old hut in 12 Mile Ck which now belongs to a ski touring operator. Then we did a day climb of Ben Nevis and the next day dropped into the South Branch of Wye Ck where we met a hunter and his girlfriend who wasn't feeling well and was sheltering in the shade of a rock. On the way we nearly stepped on a stag having a rest! We admired the pretty red heiraceum flowers until we found out what they were. We continued up the northern tributary but failed to find a rock biv mentioned. It began to rain so we improved the southern wall of a rock biv we did find and stayed there the night. It had flat paving stone-like sleeping platforms. Then we travelled past L. Hope and dropped over the ridge into Wye Ck, camping around the 1200m level. I recall the rocks being a bit tedious to travel on but can't recall much else except it was quite a long descent. We elected to camp because I recall it was about another 900m descent to the car which we'd parked down by L. Wakatipu by some pine trees. Someone dumped a big bag of rubbish under the car which I elected to burn, much to Frank's annoyance. The fireworks went off at midnight, announcing the New Year.
How technical was the climb of Ben Nevis? What route? Been eyeing that one - and scoping it out was one purpose of my weekend trip. Looks viable from the north without ropes etc. Correct?
Album from my trip through the Nevis Range 19-20 Feb 2021. (Is that the right name, the [range immediately to the east of the Remarkables and Wye Creek](https://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap?v=2&ll=-45.109635,168.836002&z=13)?) https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B16G6XBubHQCpYz
@madpom: we climbed it from the west. It was straightforward. All I remember is I approached it via the spur directly but Frank went a little to the north of this route for some reason I can't recall. I did write up a report but can't find it. I described my route as 'diretissima'.
I have something to contribute — since I actually got out last weekend! Took advantage of a work trip over to Napier and managed to get in to the Kawekas and the Manson Tops. Only previous time I had been up there it was pouring down and just a little bit cold so was great to wander the tops on some sunny days.
Ah, the Kawekas: great tracks and plentiful huts, all in good nick, offering a plethora of options.
100% right @Gregor. Was a bit naughty as I did not have definitive trip intentions. Just wanted to go for a walk and ended up visiting 7 huts staying at Manson on Friday and Kiwi Mouth on Saturday night. A great tops wander on Saturday going from Manson to Otutu (via the "shortcut" so less tops there) then round the tops and out to Manson Biv and back around and down to Kiwi Mouth. As you say great to have a trip — albeit a short one — with a lot of options open.
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