Cloudsley – Enys – Dead Man Spur

Sat 10 Aug 2013

Brass Monkey Biv – Rough Creek on 3-4 Aug—cancelled. That’s what was scheduled and Kerry had a group of four. But for the umpteenth time this winter, nor’west weather was forecast and Kerry wisely cancelled it.

Discovery Stream – Polar Range on 10-11 Aug—postponed. So with Brass Monkey cancelled, why not try for Calum’s trip. Yes, I would have made number 4, but no! Calum had an injury and is keen to lead it at a later date. OK, so what about me taking the others from Discovery Stream on a Brass Monkey trip? Liz was committed to work, but Douglas was keen, on Brass Monkey, or, just anywhere, so long as it was tramping! But guess what, nor’westers forecast again—cancelled.

Believe it or not, the forecast did improve. Saturday in particular, would be fine with light NW winds. But Douglas had since committed himself to work. Options? Another day trip on my own? I’d prefer company, but these are desperate times. I couldn’t let a forecast like that slip by.

Away from home by 6.30am, I was tramping from Castle Hill Village by 8am and used the Hogsback MTB track up onto Long Spur for the first time. The snow level was high and the old snow firm, so crampons were on for the day. I was on Cloudsley at 11.30am. Then the plod along the ridge, trying to keep on snow. Looking beyond Porters Pass, murk covered the plains so Glenda couldn’t kid me that the Christchurch weather had been fine. After lunch, I was on top of Enys at 1.30pm, then slow getting to Dean Man Spur to shed the crampons at 2.30pm. As I dropped lower, I lost the light NW wind I had been in along the tops, so back to a calm, sunny day. It’s still a long plod around the bottom to get back to the village. Climbing out of the stream up onto the village terrace I felt a little intrusive. Because it was a Saturday, the new houses built at the back of the village were occupied as I walked through their properties. To be back to the car at 5pm, so nine hours total, the same as for earlier trips. And a great day was had by all. (Merv Meredith)