Travers Range Cloud Study

The Nelson area is well known for its good weather and high sunshine hours. So when we saw that the Nelson Lakes Travers range would have several days of cloud with the associated precipitation and winds, Carl, and I headed off to St Arnaud. We aimed to meet up with Anthony at Hopeless hut on Tuesday.

As experienced Tararua trampers we know that the best tramping and climbing is done when there is wet windy cold weather and minimal visibility. None of that sunshine and easy climbing weather for us.

So over the following six days we tested our outer shells, navigation, stamina, and hut etiquette. And this was my first long wander with the sturdy Macpac belay; a roomy 35 liter pack. Awesome sums it up. Just missing out on awesome plus due to the ice axe attachment straps being wrong. Will have too find someone to redo them as the axe sticks out to the sides and when in the bush catches on trees.
Monday 20/02/2012
This was a late start as otherwise we would have had a really fine day that would have required the use of sun block. We left the top Robert Ridge car park around five pm and walked to Speargrass hut for the night. When we arrived Team Israel had the hut nice and warm; so in keeping with our aims we wandered aimlessly in a swamp behind the hut to ensure we had nice wet feet.
Speargrass Hut
Forest just a wee way away
We then returned to the hut and drank our 1.3 liters of beer on the veranda as it was still nice and warm inside. Food and crash completed the evening.

Tuesday 21/02/2012
An early start to the day as we where walking just after eight. Heading into the changing weather for a lunch stop at Angelus Hut. Spooked one shami on the scree about 90 minutes from Speargrass hut.
Got views of the area as we approached Angelus hut.
Lake Angelus
Angelus Hut
And on up Angelus via the most interesting way we could find, that being the split buttress rock.
Interesting way up Angelus
Hinapouri Tarn and Lake Angelus
The cloud cleared when we where on Angelus, so got a view of the lake.
Top of Angelus
Carl found some snow, it was tucked away out of the sun light just waiting for him.
Sunset Saddle area
Green stuff on rocks
Close to Hopeless hut there was a bumper crop of snow berries, with a wee mushroom popping up amongst them.
Snow berries and fungi
And Anthony was there at Hopeless, it had all worked out. Also we meet Ron, an American who had been in the Antarctic.

Wednesday 22/02/2012
Weather changed and it cloudy and wet, Carl and I left last to head out to the Travers track and on up to Cupola where we would meet up with Anthony and Ron.
Hopeless Hut
John Tait Hut
Cupola Hut
Got settled in and cranked up the fire. Food and relaxing in the rain. Not to sure about climbing a mountain or two.

Thursday 23/02/2012
In the afternoon there seemed to be a gap in the weather so Anthony, Carl, and I went for a walk heading toward Hopeless.
Carl and Anthony
Weather outside
Mt Hopeless in the evening
Friday 24/02/2012
Anthony, Carl, and I headed for Upper Travers hut via Gunsight Pass.
Above Cupola Hut
Looking toward Hopeless
Anthony and Carl
Looking towards our destination
Puff fungi
Cupola direction
Bivvy Rock
Looking up to Gunsight
Car and Anthony on Gunsight Pass
East Sabine, Franklin Ridge, West Sabine
We got to Upper Travers hut not too late.

Saturday 25/02/2012
Walking out and heading home, just as the weather is getting sorted.
Upper Travers Hut
Upper Traver Hut
Clearer day
One of the wee bridges
Last views heading back to Kerr Bay
Walking Times

1716 Left car at top Robert Ridge car park
1904 At Speargrass Hut

0812 Left Speargrass Hut
1030 At Angelus Hut
1201 Left Angelus Hut
1345 Top of Angelus
1420 On the way to the Sunset Saddle
1624 At Hopeless hut

1212 Left Hopeless hut
1303 Onto Travers valley track
1358 John Tait hut
1522 Left John Tait hut
1657 At Cupola hut 
A hut day, with a wee walk in the afternoon.

Left Cupola Hut
Gunsight Pass
Onto the track
Travers Saddle
Upper Travers Hut

Left Upper Travers Hut
At John Tait Hut
Left John Tait Hut
At Coldwater Hut

Map of Wander

Starting at Speargrass Hut:

View Larger Topographic Map

And we wandered onto Cupola and then thru Gunsight to Travers:

View Larger Topographic Map

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