|Joining the CTC|
|About the CTC|
Note that there is a separate trip report for group B.
The pulse of lights was even as I drove through the Lyttelton tunnel and I smuggly realised that I was likely to be the first to arrive at the Mobil service station in Victoria Street. I was prepared; my oil was ok, my radiator was full of water, the tyre pressures were correct and my rabbit ears and matching fluffy tail were neatly stowed in the bottom of my pack. It was therefore of little surprise to find upon my arrival that I was in fact the first. I filled up with petrol and waited … and waited … Yes, not only was I first to arrive, I was also last to arrive. After making many phone calls and inserting more coins into the phone box than an addicted gambler would into a poker machine at the casino, I eventually received the phone call. The phone call stated "We are not leaving from here" I said "you don't say". I was then told where to go (I'm used to being told where to go).
Into the fading light our parties advanced towards our destinations. We had been split into two parties. Naturally, I was in group A, more commonly known as "Team Michelle and her boys". Group B (see separate trip report) was to be known as "the other party", or just plain "the Others". Michelle and her boys started the trip from the South, spending the night near the road end not far from the Owen River turn off. The others were to tackle the trip from the North at the junction of Rolling River and Granity Creek.
On Friday morning Michelle and her boys headed off for Lake Bulmer, whilst the others were to head for Granity Pass Hut. The going to Lake Bulmer was quite straight forward initially, and although it was fine weather, it felt quite cool in the shady areas. Quite a few other people seemed to be heading our way, including the Peninsular Tramping Club (PTC) and a caving party. Although I mention other people, I am ofcourse not referring to the others, who were ofcourse otherwise engaged tramping in the other direction. I therefore have to make it perfectly clear that other people and the others are totally different groups of people, and it is very important not to get other people and the others, or even other people and the other party mixed up otherwise you will get totally confused if you interpret this in any other way than it is otherwise already been explained (other than when you are not totally confused as to who the others and who the other people, or who the other party is in relation to the other people.
As we approached an area of bluffs, Alan started to tell us about "the Wire", and how many minutes we were away from it. He counted down how far away from it in five minute intervals for about half an hour, in an annoying tone ie. "25 minutes to the wi-eer". There were many plans afoot as to what we could do to Alan with "the Wi-eer" when we finally got there. The wire in fact is pieces of number eight wire formed into a stirrup used to negotiate a bluff. This was to be the only difficult part of the trip (apart from Alan ofcourse).
Upon arrival at Lake Bulmer we were to be confronted with a very established camp of Czech cavers whom had been there for 1.5 months. To arrive after us was the small caving party, the P.T.C. and a private tramping party, so things got quite crowded. In the late afternoon we walked around the rocks above the lake and viewed some cave entrances. The rock is very stable and grips very well, even when wet. Stephen decided to leave his wallet on the rocks, and forget where he left it. The night was pretty quiet considering the number at the camp, apart from the barracking between one CTC tent and the PTC tent.
Whilst the PTC went for a little stroll the next morning, we decided that as the rock formations were so fascinating that it would be a shame if the PTC didn't manage to carry out some large rock samples as a momento, so suitably large samples were inserted into their packs. Later the PTC hoisted their heavy packs onto their shoulders with even more difficulty than they expected, and staggered off into the distance moaning that their packs felt heavier than the day before. Stephen appeared after an unsuccessful sortie for his wallet. When we left for Mt Owen it was Dayle that saved the day and found Stephen's wallet, and to this day he is still waiting for his jug of beer.
We reached Mt Owen by lunch time, and to our surprise the others turned up a little later. The PTC were next to arrive but weren't so pleased to see us, as they weren't as keen on geology as we originally thought. This didn't stop us from stowing suitably large replacement rock samples into their packs again, as the first batch had been used to form a cairn. The PTC are avid cairn builders you know. After bagging another minor peak (or in my case sleeping in the sun) we followed the others to Granity Pass Hut. Some of the others told Alan there was no water at the hut (not true ofcourse). He took a detour to the creek and there low and behold, a mermaid and a mariner (I shan't mention names) were to be seen frolicking in the creek. I was so shocked to hear of such goings on that I had to go for a brisk walk through some matagouri bushes in my bare legs and have a very strong cup of tea at the hut to get over it.
On the Sunday morning, apparently so I am told, the Easter Bunny made an appearance. Apparently the throwing of solid chocolate miniature eggs into the confines of a hut is not unlike doing the same thing with a handfull of steel ball bearings. All was quiet after various pieces of chocolate shrapnel were extricated from various places, and it was also interesting to note how quickly a hut can be evacuated. After the celebrations the other party headed for Lake Bulmer, whilst it was peak bagging time for Michelle and her boys. Whatever the others tell you, Michelle and her boys bagged the most peaks. Everybody did Sentinel Hill and Culliford Hill, but then we knocked off many of the extremely challenging lesser known peaks, such as McKnight.s Mitre, Eman's Extreme, Ross's Rise, Hume's High Point, Bundy's Bluff, Western's Way Up High and Drummond's Dune, to name but a fraction. Sunday night was spent playing Scumbag.
Michelle and her boys headed out on Monday over Billies Knob on yet another beautiful hot clear day. Once over the Knob we took quite a steep descent, sometimes onto the very gripping rock. I would imagine that if you did take a slide on this rock it would be very much like grating Edam cheese with the rind still on. Both would leave a tell tale red streak, but the cheese would not scream at the same time. Once we reached the track the going was easy. As we decended the steep ridge to the carpark in the full hot sun it was clear what hard work it was for the other party with full packs ascending a few days earlier in the same conditions.
This is a fantastic area to visit and the weather was exceptional. Thanks to Alan for organising the trip and Stewart for assisting Alan and leading the others. In line with new committee procedure, the following citings were made; please explain to committee: