12 March 2013

New Zealand Feb 2012 - Dusky Track Days 6-8 - Loch Maree Hut and out

New Zealand Feb 2012 - Dusky Track Days 6-8 - Loch Maree Hut to Kintail Hut to Upper Spey Hut and out. It was a pretty wet and misty day all day, making our way up 10km and 200m, clambering through so many muddy bogs and over slippery tree roots. Doesn't sound like far or high, but it was pretty hard work!
Through that, "The surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean." - Carl Sagan
Hillside at Gair Loch
Gair Loch is in yet another really spectacular part of the Dusky Track, but we were so clouded in we couldn't see much!
Next day... Tripod Hill from below Centre Pass The weather cleared more or less and, after climbing 800m (in only 3km!), we were able to look back and down upon Tripod Hill (centre) and Gair Loch (at its feet).
From Mt MemphisHaving climbed 800m to Centre Pass, the opportunity then presented itself to climb a further 250m to the top of Mt Memphis, which afforded beautiful views north over the Spey River to Wilmot Pass Rd (that faint scar traversing down the spur near the centre of the picture, about another 8km away). Whilst only 1200m distance away from the top of Mt Memphis, tucked in below what we can see here, Upper Spey Hut takes most of the afternoon to get to, as you first have to return to Centre Pass before continuing your descent. Over all, 6km and 950m descent including a rapid drop next to what sounds like a 150m waterfall, only you never quite see it. Total day was 800m up and 600m down, plus another 250m up and down for Mt Memphis. Distance was 7km, plus another 4km round trip for Mt Memphis.
Upper Spey Hut, Dusky Track
Looking back in the opposite direction. Mt Memphis is the obvious one in the middle. Click on the pic for more details. The duckboards are really important here, as the whole of the Upper Spey Valley is completely sodden. 500m back up the track, segments of the tramp are through thigh deep water. I think the Dept of Conservation are leaving it as a deterrent to day trippers!
Spey River SplashThe final day still had one or two boggy spots, but was the best day for track conditions. 8km to Wilmot Pass Rd, and another 5km or so before you can put your pack down. Was nice to have a final dip in the Upper Spey before "hitting town" (ie the passenger terminal for the boat that takes you back to Manapouri).

Back to Day 5.
More photos at Andrew's flickr pages.
As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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