Sunday 22 May 2022
Ten in two cars arrived at a deer fence gate on Alford Station to be let in by a genial farmer who gave us maps of the farm and a run-down on the farm’s features. This PR effort may be a trend, as our trampers on the Mt Alexander walk also were treated to a little talk about the farm.
Starting on a flat vehicle track we passed some hefty Angus bulls, then headed upward past a small douglas fir plantation and were soon getting views of a green Canterbury patchwork. Below Pudding Hill, Bill and Kathy elected to stride out and see how far towards Mt Bruce they could get while we ambled in tussock country, along to the ridge of the Pudding Hill Range to approach the 868m Pudding from the far side. One of our team was so enthralled by the view to a snowy Mt Hutt and the vast plains that he left his walking stick at the top and had to go back 200m to get it. No, it wasn’t Stuart this time.
We had lunch further up the ridge and then walked down a fence-line to get onto a good vehicle track that led through a gully of native forest. We were told we’d see a giant, elderly matai and, yes there it was, impressively leaning out over the track. Stuart identified a prolific pest plant along the track as Himalayan honeysuckle. Back at our morning tea stop, post-pile we had a break from our mild exertions and waited for Bill and Kathy to appear. They got quite high and were in patches of snow, but well short of 1829m Mt Bruce which is over 8km from Pudding.
We timed getting back to the cars just as the farmer came from Methven to make sure we were out and he could re-lock the gate. This was new terrain for most of us and catered well for us all—the energetic and Sunday amblers. Many thanks to our leader, Chris for the planning and execution.
We were: Chris Leaver, Graham Townsend, Stuart Payne, Wendy McCaughan, Kathy Ramsay, Bill Templeton, Kyung Sang Lee, Dan Pryce, Dorota Giejsztowt and Kerry Moore [KM]
The lower echelon