Trip Report: Freshers—the advanced crew

20 March 2018 |

Tramps: George (President), Ellen (Captain), and a varying number of other CUTC-ers Route: Sharplin Falls car-park to Woolshed Creek Hut via Pinnacles Hut; Return via the summit of Mt. Somers

The trip began at the Clyde Road carpark, with a large number of people and packs attempting to fit into a van (with no trailer). After some amount of effort (requiring top-notch Tetris skills), the van got underway with Ellen driving her car—also loaded to the gunnels.

A crammed van

Whilst it’s a mystery as to how the Toyota Hiace made it out of the Rakaia Gorge, somehow we ended up at the Sharplin Falls car-park. The blue skies above promised an excellent day of tramping!

Long story short, we went up, then back down again, then across a bridge, then up again to Pinnacles Hut. Discussion topics included: wasps, how hard it would be to mountain bike the trail, TWALK, and explaining New Zealand slang to bewildered international students (including ‘yeah nah’, ‘sweet as’, ‘goon’, ‘yonks’).

A bridge, hut and view from the hut

We had lunch, then carried on, going up even higher, then back down again to a river, then over to Woolshed Creek Hut, joining the other trampers. Tent pitching and dinner ensued, as well as a trip to the nearby water caves for an explore.

A number of people talking and preparing food beside tents

The rest of my evening consisted of some keen-as banter (#100percent) and multiple cups of tea whilst some other CUTC-ers headed off to the water caves for a party (our social officer Chris insists they were all accounted for in the morning).

A light on a dull background

The next morning, the advanced group set off up Mount Somers albeit with half the number who were originally in the group. After a decent slog up the hill (with everyone else being way fitter than me), we made it to the summit for lunch. (Pro tip: always bring lots of water when you’re out on the tops.)

A view of foothills and plains

Summit conquered, we began the very steep journey down from the top of Mt. Somers back to the car park (with a few breaks along the way), and following a quick cooling of feet in the river, we got back in the van for the journey home. (Pro tip: turn off air conditioning in your hired van for extra speed ascending the Rakaia Gorge)

A small wooden structure and people at the summit

All-in-all a great way to spend the weekend.

Useless stats: ~22.5km total, ~1880m ascent

This trip log was first recorded on the Canterbury University Tramping Club’s TROG ([Tr]ip L[og]) blog.