Tussocks and Tarns

30 01 2011

As part of my quest to fill in the D/T matrix I am searching for the more demanding caches and I can tell you that New Zealand is a place to find them. I had planned to visit Mount Somers some 110km SW of Christchurch to get a D2/T5 of the same name and ignore Tussocks and Tarns (D2/T4.5) which was on the same mountain unless I was feeling really fit once I was up there. However, as I had found a cache near to Christchurch with the D2/T5 rating a couple of weeks ago I decided to go for the cache Tussocks and Tarns instead.

During the drive out from Christchurch it rained on and off and the skies were leaden grey. As the Mount Somers area got closer the skies cleared and upon arrival were mainly blue with scattered cloud cover. The car park was at 541 m above sea level and was already full of cars and busses including one from the Auckland Tramping club. We chose to walk up the Rhyolite Track, a zig zag track up to 994 m in just under a kilometer or in rough terms a 1 in 3 hill. At the top, we branched off north on the Mount Somers Track then after about a kilometer we branched off directly up the hill “tussock yomping” as the locals would say. Half way up we crossed over a more or less dry river bed that consisted of huge boulders. Once over that the terrain flattened out a little and within no time at all we were at GZ and could retrieve the cache.

The cache is found!


The walk up was just over 5km and took us two and a half hours. Once the cache was found and lunch was eaten we walked back down to the track and continued on towards the Woolshed Creek Hut via the Bus Stop Overhang.

Waiting for the bus


Here you can see some of the group waiting for the bus. Needless to say we gave up waiting and continued walking only to be overtaken by a middle aged guy running! along the track. After a short conversation he zoomed off along the track bounding from rock to rock.

A little further down the track we had to descend into a deep gully and found this fantastic waterfall. It was really breathtaking and the photos can’t quite capture it all.

Fantastic waterfall just off the track

We then climbed up out of that gully and over the top of the ridge and down into the next where the passage across was eased by this little bridge.

Only one at a time

Apparently it was only three years old and replaced ladders down to the bottom of the gorge. I’m sure that wading across the stream at the bottom would have cooled a weary trampers feet no end.

From there on it was pretty easy going and we got back to the car just under nine hours from leaving it having walked 17 km. The car was parked at 540 m above sea level and we walked up to 1270 m at one point of the tramp. I can say without a doubt that this was the most effort that I have put into finding a cache and that it was definitely worth while doing it. Give me more! but not for a couple of days. My body needs to recover.

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25 02 2011
Geocaching – NZ « Halléns Geocachingäventyr

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