Showing posts with label Mt Summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mt Summer. Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Magdalen Hut, Lake Summer Forest Park: December 2012

A trip to Magdalen Hut, Lake Summer Forest Park

I went up to the Lewis Pass area for an overnight trip in to Magdalen Hut on the St James Walkway, it was 9 km (4 hours walk) from the Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre. The centre offers a car parking and shuttle service, I left my car in their care and followed the St James Walkway back up the valley,  this is the opposite direction from those walking the complete walkway.

DOC sign at start of the track
   The track is in excellent condition, wide and easily followed, as befits one of the Te Araroa tracks.
Sidle track, St James Walkway
You cross over two swing bridges on the way to the hut. As you can see the rivers were high, as there had been a week of hard rain before I visited. Classic kiwi tramping, single track and swing bridges!

Lower swing bridge over Boyle River
 You pass a number of meadows as you walk along, they were all covered in these beautiful yellow flowers , quite idyllic.

Forest meadow, St James Walkway
 The walkway follows the forest edge most of the way up the valley, the Magdalen valley is a part of the Glenhope high country station.

View up Magdalen Valley from mid way point

 There are occasional sections of track through the bush, some were quite muddy, but it had been raining for the previous week so its not surprising.

St James walkway, the highest point this trip
The river was bank to bank near the second swing bridge, normally you can ford this river lower down but only an idiot would have entered it that day.
Upper Boyle River swing bridge

I stayed at Magdalen Hut, which is 30mins from the second Boyle River swing bridge. You access it via a short track heading down the true left of the river. It is an excellent hut, with plenty of space around it for tenting, but the sand flies are atrocious. Beware!

Magdalen Hut
 Built in 2010, it is one of the new breed of 6 bunkers, spacious, insulated and with a top notch log burner and rain water tank. This would make an excellent family trip destination. Thanks to the Hanmer scouts who had visited and dropped off a load of dry wood for the hut fire.

I shared the hut that night with Phil, an American academic and hiker in New Zealand for a conference. It was interesting to share details about hiking/tramping culture and recent political events (just after the US election). An enjoyable evening.

Inside Magdalen hut, 2012

The route out followed the walkway back down valley, it was another beautiful day to be out tramping

Magdalen Hut, Muritana Stream

St James walkway, heading home
 The track follows the edge of the forest over river flats for some distance in the middle of the valley.

Magdalen Valley, about halfway to the BOEC

Another meadow on the St James Walkway
  This is the track just before it emerges near the Boyle Education Centre, as you can see it is quite civilised for a New Zealand bush track.

Track end St James walkway

An excellent track, with a fantastic hut to stay in, I had a lot of fun on this trip. I would like to walk the whole St James Walkway and would definitely make the effort to visit the hut again.

Access: Via the St James Walkway, from the Boyle River Settlement off SH 7, Lewis Pass
Track Times: 3-4 hours from Boyle Settlement
Hut Details: Magdalen Hut; standard, 6 bunks, wood burner, water tank
Miscellaneous: Muritana Stream can be a problem in heavy rain