Klondyke Spur and Valley Circuit

30-31 January 2021

We left town at 7.30 on a cloudy morning and passed through a bit of drizzle on Lewis Pass. Before we arrived at Springs Junction the sky was clear and sunny, as forecast and we met up with Arif who had driven down from Nelson to join us. We proceeded to the Rahu Saddle and began our tramp up the spur track, about 10.40. The route is quite well marked to the bushline but a little overgrown. Once out of the bush we found a good spot for lunch and enjoyed the sun and wonderful views below us. A tramping couple came at this time doing the whole circuit as a day trip.

After lunch we continued up the spur, which was mostly easy going but included some steep bits. When we got around beyond and above the tarn, Merv dropped down on the route the club had taken previously, while we continued around the ridge taking a longer route down from the head of the valley. By the time we arrived at the tarn at 3.30, Merv had found his nesting spot and had his tent up! We finished setting up camp then Wendy coerced us into a compulsory swim. This edict was largely obeyed although ''quick dip'' was a closer description. The water was cold but we soon warmed up again in the glorious sunshine. A cold breeze came up as the sun sunk behind the top ridge, which coincided with our simple dinner of pasta, peas, onion and kransky sausages, followed by an even simpler dessert of choc biscuits, apricots and a cuppa. Some of us retired early to escape the cold, which was the only minor blemish on the trip.

Sunday morning, we packed up after breakfast and hit the trail about 8.30, following the route down the left side of the waterfall with more great views on the way. The track is a bit vague until you reach the marked track at the bush edge. There was a noticeable lack of bird-life on the whole track. We got out to the car-park before midday, had a tramping lunch then headed home making a coffee stop in Culverden to top off a near perfect weekend. We were back in Christchurch around 4pm. The happy trampers were: Wendy McCaughan, John Robinson, Arif Matthee, Merv Meredith our technical advisor and leader, Derek Gane. (DG)