Klondyke Tarns, Lewis Pass

 16-17 March 2013                      

 Sergey and Claire joined us as we headed north to the Lewis Pass (first outing in our new Prado). We parked slightly off-road near the Rahu Saddle. It was a relatively gradual climb following a creek, and just after I emptied some of my drinking water out to lighten the load, the creek dried up. This put me into a slight panic mode. What if the tarns had dried up? Much of the country had been declared a drought zone. Even here on the Coast the verges were dry!

But I needn’t have worried, as leaving the bush we skirted around the lower tarn. From here the going got steeper. The land plateaued and we fossicked around deliberating on the best spot to pitch the tents. Bill and I chose a spot closest to the largest tarn. Sergey and Claire’s site was flatter but more exposed to the winds that whipped through during the night. After pitching we climbed up to a trig on the ridgeline. Reading the names scratched on over previous decades, we spotted that of a certain gentleman of the Boyle village. We lingered on here as the views were magnificent: down to Springs Junction and the Maruia River in one direction, and layers of ridgelines all around. Going back down we walked through carpets of late flowering gentians. The weather cooled as we boiled the billy for tea, soup and the evening meal and we were crawling into our tents by 7.30 pm. Sunday’s weather wasn’t brilliant. With light rain already falling, our plans for an alternative route out were foiled. We returned the same way taking less than 2 1/2 hours. At Culverden Claire cranked up the jet-boil for a cuppa and sandwiches in the park. A lovely weekend. Not at all onerous but the delightful scenery made it memorable. Thanks Claire, Sergey and Bill.