Tramping in the Upper Waimakariri Valley
My first tramp of the 2015/16 summer season is a jaunt into Anti Crow Hut towards the head of the Waimakiriri River. I am looking to go further up valley; visit Carrington Hut and its environs so this is a bit of a recce trip.The track in is easy walking, although tiring as you are walking on gravel fan's for most of the time.
|Crow Valley, Mt Rolleston from Turkey Flat|
Heading to Anti Crow HutIt is surprising but I have never been up to the head of the Waimakiriri before, even though it is considered by many as the spiritual home of Canterbury climbing and tramping. The old Carrington Hut was one of the first trampers hut built by the CTC way back in the 1890's.
Back in the 1960's-70-80's the upper valley would have been full of climbers and trampers who came up on the Friday night train. They would be making for places like Carrington Hut, Mt Rolleston, Waimakariri Falls the Three Passes tramp and the Upper Rakaia river.
It is much quieter these days.
|Sunrise from Porters Pass on SH 73|
|SH73: On the road to Arthurs Pass|
My original idea was to cross the Waimakiriri from the car-park at Klondyke Corner and walk up to the hut using the standard route to Carrington Hut. The river was high, there has been a lot of snow this year and the water levels are still too deep and swift to allow individual crossings of the river.
Instead I used O'Malleys Track which is the name for the flood track running along the bottom of Bealey Spur.
|From SH 73 to Anti Crow Hut via Turkey Flat|
|O'Malleys Track car park, Arthurs Pass NP|
|Start of O'Malleys Track to the Waimakariri Valley|
|O'Malleys Track: Initial climb to sidle track (about 80 meters)|
|Klondyke Corner from the O'Malleys Track|
|O'Malleys Track: Initial sections are benched...|
|Then turn into a mud scramble!|
|Tourists camping at Klondyke Corner, from O'Malleys Track|
|Approaching Birch Nook on O'Malleys Track|
That's waist deep water on me, and I'm not short!
|Only major stream that must be crossed, note flood debris!|
|O'Malleys Track: Heading down onto Turkey Flat|
|Mt Bealey across the Waimakiriri valley|
|View back to Bealey Spur and O'Malleys Track|
|View up Jordan Stream from stream bed|
|Looking West to Mt Stewart and headwaters from Jordan Stream|
|Waimakariri Valley: Anti Crow Hut is over the spur to left|
|View of Mt Stewart, Crow Valley from Waimakariri Valley|
|Anti Crow Hut: climbing over last spur|
|Track heading down to Anti Crow Flat|
|Anti Crow Hut (1960)|
|Anti Crow Hut: come on in folks.....|
I was the first person to visit the hut since the 5th September.
|Interior of Anti Crow Hut|
|Anti Crow Hut: interior, opposite end of hut|
|View east to Klondyke Corner from Anti Crow Hut|
|Rolleston Glacier from near Anti Crow Hut|
|Mt Rolleston (2271 meters), Arthurs Pass NP|
|Close view of Anti Crow Hut|
|River flats in front of Anti Crow Hut|
|Crow Valley, destination for future trip, Avalanche Peak to right|
|Waimakariri Valley: heading back towards Jordan Stream|
|Anti Crow Hut is just the other side of this bush spur|
|Obvious ground trail across Turkey Flat|
|Waimakariri Valley: gravel bash supreme!|
|Jon bopping out crossing Jordan Stream|
|More getting down...Waimakariri River Valley|
|View up the Waimakariri Valley from bed of Jordan Stream|
|O'Malleys Track: reason for the sidle track: bluffs!|
|Nice river pool approaching Bealey Bridge|
|O'Malleys Track..scrappy track high above the Waimakariri River|
I will be coming back some time in the future to visit the Upper Waimakariri River, I'm keen to visit the massive 36 bunk Carrington Hut as well as the much more modest Waimakariri Falls Hut.
Access: From SH 73 at the Bealey Bridge, park at the O'Malleys Track car park and follow the flood track to Turkey Flat, follow the marked track towards the head of the Waimakariri Valley.
Track Times: 2-3 hours to Anti Crow Hut Hut, another 2 hours to Carrington Hut
Hut Details: Anti Crow Hut: standard, 6 bunks, wood burner, water tank, toilet: Carrington Hut: serviced (CTC owned, DOC administered), 36 bunks, radio, wood burner, water tanks, wood shed, toilets
Miscellaneous: Both the Waimakariri and Anti Crow Rivers are dangerous, numerous people have drowned in both, care needed when crossing. Jordan Stream prone to flooding in heavy rain.