Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Nevis-Cardrona Fault System OR A short trip across the Pisa Range

Testing the GPS in Alex. We walked to a
trig point that we KNEW the coordinates for.
The GPS was 24 meters off N/S.
The original plan was to look at the Schist for a variety of erosional structures, BUT the weather put paid to that idea, and we decided to do a traverse of the Pisa Range. First we had to calibrate and check the GPS; we put in lots of waypoints so that we could navigate across the tops in whiteout (if necessary).

Snack: The reward after crossing Roaring Meg.

Mark dropped us off at Roaring Meg in the Kuwaru Gorge (we left another car on the other side at Lowburn Station). The walk up Roaring Meg was mostly in the rain. We were both very glad to get the river crossing done without adventure. 
View up Roaring Meg - river just out of view below terraces.

At the Saddle. Clouds obscure Cardrona Skifield in the distance.
Then it was along the fault zone in Miocene silts and quartz-pebble conglomerates until we got to the saddle. Then just ~45 mins up and down to Meg Hut.

Downhill towards Meg Hut
Meg Hut - on the flats - with a stand of
now-dead pines, plus remains of old stone
hut built in 1890.

The fire! Inside Meg Hut

The firewood source- next to 'upper'
Roaring Meg.
Meg Hut in the morning

It started raining and howling wind about 30 minutes after we got there. Nice to have a fireplace and a supply of wood. The trees had been planted in 1890 by miners as a source of firewood, when they built the original stone hut. it froze that night, but the day dawned relatively clear (thank goodness) and it was over the tops (across other strands of the fault zone) to Deep Creek Hut. There had been a dusting of snow overnight, but nothing unmanageable. We were both glad we didn't have to navigate with the GPS - it was very confusing country - and even though the route was poled, it would have been hard to find our way. The views were spectacular.
Looking back down towards Meg Hut.

A dusting of snow on the tops.

View from tops

Tussocks and snow .. and view.
We arrived in mid-afternoon, and had time to poke around a bit. This hut had an old coal range, and we learned the location of some coal, which warmed it up nicely.

Looking towards Deep creek Hut (out of view)

Deep Creek Hut
Next day we headed up (another) hill to the tops, and after poking around looking at a shearing shed, it was down to Lowburn station. An excellent break, and I saw lots of geology, and my feet are quite sore. I really should just throw my boots in the rubbish, that way I won't get blisters from them again. I've had them nine years, so they have had a good innings.

Cloud - burning off from the valley below

Lake Dunstan, Lowburn Station

Terraces above lake Dunstan.

Yes, our sheepish welcoming committee.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I can imagine the sense if accomplishment that you must have felt in completing this hike.