Mt Bruce

Saturday 16-October 2021

Ten, in two cars, parked at the end of Cora Lynn Road and headed up the forest track that leads to Lagoon Saddle. Emerging from the forest to tussock-land at 1100m, we stopped for a break and surveyed the vast landscape. We were seeing a big stretch of the Waimakariri Valley, up the Bealey Valley, Hawdon Valley and snowy peaks of Arthurs Pass National Park.

Passing a few douglas fir trees along the way, we headed up a spur to connect to the prominent ridge that leads to Mt Bruce. The impressive snowy mountains to the west were a perfect backdrop as we ate lunch. We tried to gauge the snow conditions for a south-facing exit to Broad Stream. Caution prevailed and only the four with ice-axes went that way down. Most went back, as for the upward leg. The four found the snow was uniform and ideal for a rapid decent. Good scree got them to a branch of Broad Stream. Soon they were on a well-marked track, then alongside the stream. Evidence of serious flooding in months past was plentiful and made track-finding a little harder. Thinking they would be holding up the others, they kept up a brisk pace. On reaching the main road they were surprised that the cars weren’t waiting at the bridge, so walked along SH73 and then up Cora Lynn Road to join the others.

We were: Chris Leaver, Graham Townsend, Mary McKeown, Calum and Pat McIntosh, John Robinson, Kyung Sang Lee, Doug Woods, Bett Koch and Kerry Moore. [KM]

Near the top of Mt Bruce