Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crossing the main divide - Harper Pass

In historic times, the Harper Pass was the main pathway to the west coast for maori trading greenstone and later for the miners in the gold rush of 1864-65. It is one of my favourite South Island tramping areas, and this is my 4th crossing through this part of the southern alps.

A wet afternoon spent writing up my notes

Hurunui No 3 hut - built in 1939

I had a couple of days of wet weather as I tramped up past Lake Sumner and on over the Harper Pass. There are plenty of good huts though, so a good chance to rest and relax.

A good opportunity to cook up some more substantial meals - this one is my favourite bacon risotto

Travelling down the Taramakau River on the western side is always a bit tricky after heavy rain, but the weather cleared by the time I crossed over the pass, making the frequent river crossing quite easy. I spent some of my childhood living and playing in this valley, so it always feels a bit like coming home for me. And this is a magic part of the world. You can feel the wilderness all about you, as if you are the only person on the planet.

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