Thursday, September 24, 2015

The last tramp to Casey's Hut

Thomas, Amy and Josiah 
The ski season had just finished up so we figured it was time to check out a couple of the mountains on the opposite side of the road. So we jumped in the Barina with our flatmate Josiah and made the drive into the mountains. We departed Highway 73 and headed across the Waimakariri River on a rickety looking, but reliable bridge over to Mt White Station. We spotted the Trail head area, so we parked up, sorted our gear and headed in what we thought was the right direction. 

Unfortunately, we were so engrossed in what must have been a very good discussion and missed the actual trail head and jumped head long into the bush up the creek bed. We were suspicious that we may have been not quite where we were meant to be, but pushed on criss-crossing the steam, getting into denser and denser forest, up steeper and steeper terrain. Thinking we might need to redirect, we decided to scramble to a ridge line and get a better view and work out where we were on the map. Yup, we were not where we should have been, so keeping up a confident front for Amy's sake, we forged a new path through the idyllic but thick beach forest and we just all of a sudden popped out on the trail. Don't ask me how, but it was lucky, as a hundred meters or so along the trail it took a sharp right and had we been a bit further into the bush, we would never have come across it. All in all, we were only an hour or so off course, no harm done. 

One could say the rest of the tramp was less exciting after that point, however it was stunning. Just being out for a quick weekend trip with perfect tramping weather. We made it over Binser Saddle and and proceeded along the Poulter River to the hut. We met some usual outdoorsy characters and just chilled out in a beautiful place, not bothered too much by just a few sandflies. We did some AcroYoga and got a well deserved nights sleep. 

The last anyone ever saw of the old Casey Hut
The following day, we had another really nice days walk with an early start getting back to the car after crossing Casey's Saddle and passing some beautiful alpine flats, with tarns and streams, along with views off to some larger surrounding mountains, a glacier and some waterfalls. A slightly sad note, that afternoon once retuning to Christchurch, we headed off to play an evening game of frisbee golf, however that was the last drive the Barina would ever make. A deficiency of oil caused some nasty sounding engine failure. Also the following weekend, we learned that Casey Hut burnt to the ground, so it is quite possible that our trip to the hut truly was the 'last tramp' ever. 

The Barina, the finest stallion a couple could ask for.

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