If you’re thinking about joining the club; have a read of some trip reports or come along to a weekly meeting to figure out what we’re all about.We also have a pretty active Facebook page.
In general the club meets every Wednesday during term time at 7.30pm in room KH03 (this is a different room from 2016), Kirkwood Village, University of Canterbury. A map can be found here.
The best place to sign up is at one of out meetings however if none of these suit contact you can sign up online. To sign up online follow the instructions on the sign up page, fill out the form & pay the membership fee.
Friday evening Hamish and I made our way to Arthurs Pass, time passing quickly with good chat soon arriving at the cmc lodge. Roasting by the fire in lodge we organised our gear for the early morning start of 3.30am! I was pretty pumped to reach the summit tomorrow.
Before I knew it Hamish was shaking me awake and we had a fed before driving to the Otria carpark. A light mist rain was clearing and the stars were starting to peak through allowing us to hope for firmer snow. After crossing the footbridge we headed directly up a snowy ridge that lead to a cairned route leading to Warnock bluffs. The snow was soft which made tough work. We travelled quickly up and over the exposed Warnock bluffs that had a good mix of rock and snow making the climbing enjoyable. Reaching the top of the bluffs the sun began to rise over the eastern mountains lighting up Rolleston in the distance, making us realise how far we had to go.
A slow snow plod followed along with strong gusts of wind as we made our way up to Mt Philistine. We made the summit at 9.00am getting a view of the Philistine ridge we were to follow. We were both feeling unfit but both had good endurance so the soft snow did not stop us. After you go pass Mt Philistine there is no bail out options before Mt Rolleston so its a big commitment.
We pushed on along Philistine ridge where there was a mix of reasonably flat travel and tricky rock and snow narrow exposed sections, where careful down climbing was required. The cornices were very overhanging and open as the snow cover was not super deep. At point 2000m we got a direct view of the climb up to the summit of high peak Rolleston. An obvious snow gut lead straight up to the summit. Easy. However before the final climb we had to down climb down a very exposed part of the ridge were the snow was becoming soft due to the heat of the day. A mix of straddling, crawling, and down climbing the ridge was requiring to pass safety haha. Enough stress for me. Hamish did a sweet job of leading and finding a good route through this.
After a quick snack we continued our snow plod up towards to summit. Legs were pretty shattered by this point. As we made our way up the snow gut bits of ice and snow were cracking of the rocks from the heat and flying down at speed towards us. They hurt if they got you!
Popping out at the top of Rolleston high peak the views were stunning! Elevated above the cloud we could see over towards Mt Alexandra and down towards the Arrow smith range. Views down the Rolleston river were also pretty awesome! We didn’t have to much time to take in the view as it was about 3pm. The snow was very soft and slushy on the top making the traverse very nerve racking. A mix of tiredness, soft snow and exposure made some sections very challenging and scary! It is very easy to psych yourself out so you have to be very focused on what you are doing at that moment. Quite mentally draining.
Coming down the last section Hamish set up an abseil on an existing sling off a rock to get pass a icy step and down to the base of middle peak Rolleston. I was very grateful for this.
We sidled down and around middle peak then climbed back up into the ridge that lead to low peak.
By the time we reached low peak the sun had started to set and there was not a breath of wind. Low cloud had settled in the valleys and atmospheric high cloud spread out across the sky, changing colour as the sun lowered. We each go a photo on the rock that marks where you drop down onto the Otria slide. Being on top of a mountain when the sun is setting is a little concerning. Was an incredible moment though!
Making a way down the slide was a piece of cake compared to what we had tackled throughout the day. Making sure to go slightly left to avoid the bluffs as the light faded we descended into darkness stopping third of the way down for a snack as we we both about to hit a wall (lacking a bit of concentration). Half way down the snow became very soft and we were sinking in up to our mid thighs! A push and a huff and puff and we emerged out at the footbridge. After decramponing and rehydrating we finished the final walk back to the car. Both extremely shattered. The trip clocked up at 17 hours! The longest day I have done!
An absolutely awesome day out, great views, great company, and a sweet route. Highly Recommended.
If you have joined the club, paid your membership fee for 2016 and are receiving weekly emails, you should have also received a link to the website registration. You will need to go to this link and enter your details yourself to generate your own login. The website won’t know you until you have done this.
If you have signed up/paid fee and aren’t receiving any club emails: email email@example.com
If you have signed up/paid fee, are receiving club emails, but didn’t get the link to the website registration: email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have signed up/paid fee, are receiving club emails and filled in the website registration, but your login still doesn’t work: Please be patient, as it probably means that I have not had the time to activate your new account or am waiting for someone to confirm that you are actually a paid-up member.
A winter wonderland, indeed. I have never been over Porters Pass before with snow down to the road level. Fresh powdery snow covered literally everything, which is an absolute paradise for the skiing but not so much for the driving and tramping lot. Goodness knows what could have happened up that access road to the Broken River Skifield with those rented vans had the trailers still been attached. Continue reading “Slushy Snowcraft”→
“Pumped to get out of the city and climb a mountain”! Saturday evening the four of us, Hamish Cumming, Chris Sillars, Alan Williams and I drove through the falling snow in Porters and onwards to the CMC Lodge, Arthurs Pass. There had been talk of climbing Mt Rolleston via Rome Ridge for sometime. With the weather not looking ideal we were still keen to give it a crack.
After a quick pub snack and an intense P90X core session in the hope of getting some fabulous abs we were all tucked up getting some shut eye before our 4am wake up call. Consumed by deep sleep, warm and content, Hamish’s alarm activated, jumping us all right awake. With no time to waste a good 4am breakfast was hastily arranged, my body complaining about eating so early in the morning. There was quite a variety of breakfasts from oats – pizza – toasties – rice and tuna. Yum Yum. Continue reading “Mt Rolleston Via Rome Ridge”→
An 8 AM start in the UCSA carpark yielded 7 sleepy trampers, which resulted in a quick consensus to stop in Culverden pie and coffee. Following a mandatory group photo, off we set, discovering along the way that slopes make for interesting optical illusions. Continue reading “St James Walkway”→
This trip started with an unexpected call for a challenge. While having breakfast I was reading a TROG from 2006 and found exactly the same trip we would start just a couple of hours later: “Gloriana Peak: …not every CUTC group made it to the peak – give your best…” Ok, challenge accepted! The weather forecast did not look ideal at that time but with Jack, Wolf, Caroline and Phil we would start with a strong team. Everything would mainly depend on the weather! Continue reading “Glory to the Peak”→
Part 1: Zach and the Manky Fork
Enda found a manky fork on the track near the hut. Zach didn’t bring cutlery for his dinner so resorted to using said manky fork. Although, Zach did clean the manky fork with a wet wipe, this was after Enda cleaned the candle wax out of a candle holder with it.
I had been cooped up in front of my computer screen deciphering the intricacies of Latex for an unpleasant amount of time, so when Jeff suggested a weekend trip to Arthur’s Pass I thought “YES!” “Outside!”. And so despite knowing that Rome Ridge was a total chosspile in the middle of summer, I decided it would be a good idea to traverse said ridge with Jeff, Tania and Barbara. Continue reading “A slice of Pie and a Pile of Choss”→