Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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This was the only scheduled tramp that took place in the first 4 days at Arthurís Pass.  With a forecast for heavy rain and severe gales on the tops, backpacker hostel staff assured us this track was safe, with no river crossings. The other trampers who could not venture out on their options decided to join us as a day walk. After travelling through Otira to the north, we climbed the steep, stony, rough track through Beech forest. Day walkers forged ahead, whilst the overnight trampers trudged slowly carrying full packs. (As it was not going to be possible to pitch a tent, some items were extracted from packs and hidden on the track, to lighten the load, and collected by day walkers on return.)

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The ascent started with quite a noticeable gradient, and become steeper still the higher we climbed.  Finally a rocky path emerged from the bush, with alpine flowers in bloom. We emerged onto the plateau with only 100m to go to the hut as still only light rain fell. Day walkers had already lunched at the hut, and left on their descent.
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Overnight the predicted storm came, with heavy rain and very strong winds whipping around the hut. All six of us shivered in a cold, unheated hut! Don, Kitt and Junn played chess and a variety of games. Some reclined in sleeping bags to warm up. Kitt and Junn donned raincoats and weathered the storm to collect water from the stream. Michelle shared a devotions about team encouragement whilst tramping.
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After a stormy night the day emerged clear.  With day packs we climbed higher onto the Kelly Range and saddle, enjoying the alpine terrain, more alpine flowers and the picturesque tarns reflecting the blue sky!
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Finally we returned to the hut, loaded up with our full packs, then descended to a lunch spot where Barbara shared devotions about Godís Word being like rain and snow from Isaiah. The steep terrain meant we took a full 3 hours to descend over tree roots and steep drops.  Alex was there to meet us with the rental van.
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Base map extracted from NZ TopoOnline February 2008. Crown Copyright Reserved