Maybe the Alzheimers really is setting in.
My big brother Barry (I think the only person who reads these blogs) has recently reminded me that I have forgotten one hut in the Waimakariri Valley within the APNP - Greenlaw hut. And following the shock of that, I also remembered that I had also forgotten Bealey Spur hut. Now believe it or not, but both these huts were amongst my favourites. How could I forget them!!
Greenlaw hut was situated about 50 minutes walk downstream from Carrington hut a few hundred metres up Greenlaw Creek. This hut was invariably by-passed by trampers, preferring to get to either Carrington or Anti-Crow huts - or even out to Klondyke Corner.
However I loved it - it was quiet, well appointed, light and in pretty good condition. The last time I stayed there was with Doug Rankin when we did the Three Pass trip from west to east in 1986. Sadly, not long after that the APNP saw fit to remove it as it was under-utilised.
One challenge when walking down the Waimak riverbed from Carrington to Greenlaw was to search for the old car which was driven up the Waimak from the old Bealey pub way back in the 1920s. Sadly it never quite made it to Carrington - although it did get very close - only a few kilometres short. I saw it a few times on the true right side of the riverbed in the 1960s but never did get a photograph of it. I suspect it has gone forever now....... but you never know!
This hut was an old musterer's hut - the oldest hut in the area built in 1925. A gentle uphill two hours from the Bealey Village at the foot of Bealey Spur will bring you to the hut door in a clearing. It has recently been renovated - now with foam mattresses rather than the old sacking bunks - but still retain the old beech supports internally. The views looking out across the Waimak are outstanding on the trek in, and at Happy Hour as short walk for two minutes with supplies will bring one to open tussocks overlooking Klondyke Corner and looking directly up the Mingha River to Mt Oates.
Beyond the hut and maybe a 40 minute gentle climb - now in open country will bring you to the top of the ridge towards Jordan Saddle. The views from here both up and down the Waimakariri River are to die for! This would have to be one of my favourite places in the mountains. I've taken my wife, my granddaughter, overseas friends, etc up here on numerous occasions. It is a great place for a day trip, an overnight trip, or a launching spot for ventures beyond - Jordan Saddle and the Avoca, Lagoon Saddle to name two.
And to think I forgot it!!
|Bealey Spur Hut - Arna and John|
|Waimakariri Valley panorama from Bealey spur above the hut|
|Moody morning looking down the Waimakariri Valley from the spur above the hut|