Thursday 16 February 2012

Landsborough Mission.

The Landsborough river is born from the glacial melt water flowing from the Hooker Range in the heart of New Zealand's Southern Alps. From its headwaters; Danger Stream, Omen Torrent, and Repulse Creek (amongst other interestingly named tributaries) it flows Southwest through the rugged snowcapped mountains, silver beech forest and tussock flats for 50km until its confluence with the Haast River, which continues to the Tasman Sea on the West Coast.

Yet again our boats (lucky things) would be flown into the valley by helicopter and dropped off with a good load of food above Kea Flat in the Upper Landsborough Valley. To fully appreciate the awesome scenery and remoteness of the trip, we walked in over three days, from the Hopkins Valley on the other side of the Main Divide, up the Huxley River and over Brodrick Pass down to Creswicke Flat on the banks of the Landsborough. From here we continued up the valley on foot for another day to the gear drop and the put on...

Walk in from the Hopkins valley:

Walking up the Hopkins Valley on Friday Evening, Views of Mt Ward and Mt Williams.

Hopkins Valley, Saturday Morning.


Heading up into the Huxley Valley.

Katja crossing the Huxley.

The upper right fork of the Huxley River. View from Brodrick hut, Saturday evening.
Heading up to Brodrick Pass. Sunday morning.
Looking back from Brodrick pass towards McNulty Peak and Taiaha Peak.

The Landsborough!
Fraser Hut, Sunday afternoon. 
Creswicke Flat.

Dinner time :-)
Dakka dakka!!
The easy way.

Reunited with our boats. We hide from the rain on a wet Monday afternoon.
The River:

After  the long trek to to our boats, we were looking forward to a sunny relaxing cruise down the river the next day, with a bit of sunbathing and book reading in the afternoon. However, as soon as we were getting comfortable in camp, the pitter patter of rain came along and soon developed into a good steady downpour that lasted all night and most of the next day. Tuesday morning we decided that we weren't too keen to leave the dryness and comfort of our tents, let alone get really wet on the river and have to set up another camp on wet ground with soggy gear downriver. So we decided to stay put and have a little play on an upper section of the river just above our camp.

Matej and Katja shoulder their boats for a wee trip up river.
The bush.
Ben in a minging little glacial tributary of the Landsborough.
Wet wet wet.
The following morning, the sun came out! We packed up our camp and set off down the river...

A precarious boulder. Wednesday.

 Thursday Morning, heading into the Upper Gates Gorge.

Matej and Katja.

After the fun rapids in the Upper Gates Gorge, a few nice grade three rapids followed as the valley opened up for the last hour of easy floating through the braids to the confluence with the Haast River at Clarke Bluff.

Packing up before the final mission to get the vans back...

Ben :-)

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