Boyle Flat – Faust

24-25 September 2022

Our four set off from Chch at the reasonable time of 8am, heading for Boyle Village and was tramping in chilly conditions at eleven. On the true-right cows must have mis-read the ‘one at a time’ sign at the foot bridge as ‘poop on the track here’ and we had to tread carefully to avoid their deposits. They had also pugged the track so we were avoiding sections that were muddier than usual too. The day warmed up so we needed a big cuppa to replenish lost water by the time we arrived at the Boyle Flat Hut, just after 3pm. This was a three-day weekend to commemorate the passing of Queen Elizabeth, so we thought the hut would be well used. To our surprise we were the only hut occupants and our tents became redundant extra baggage. DoC had been working on the track in the area and the hut too was very spick and span.

At 6pm (GMT+12) Merv set to, assembling his specialty meal with fresh ginger, pumpkin seeds and broccoli on rice. It’s a real achievement to cook rice with an MSR all-or-nothing stove. The finished product was relished by all and the rice pot didn’t need a pneumatic drill to clean it.

New, thicker and softer mattresses in the hut contributed to a restful night for weary trampers and we were up at first light. Wakeful people would have heard rain overnight. Some had changed their watches, or mindset, to the new improved, maximised daylight time but there was dispute for the rest of the day as to what time it was. To avoid contention let us settle on our hut departure time of, first light plus 2 hours.

Uphill exertion on this well-marked forest track overcame the chilly, overcast day but at the bush-line a cool breeze had us adding a layer again. Snow on shaded slopes higher up was easy to avoid, so our crampons were just passengers.

We reached the bush-line above Boyle Village at 2:30 and sat a while in warm sun. Another hour had us back to the settlement. An excellent trip with Merv Meredith leading, Myles McCauley, Keith Hoard and Kerry Moore. [KM]

Looking back to Boyle Flat. Keith grabs a snack.

Keith examines a tiny ice sculpture. Mephistopheles behind.