Mt Guy

 Sunday 21 September

 Well I don’t think anyone except Bill & Wendy had much idea where Mt Guy was until this trip. As the trip the weekend before didn’t go ahead and the weekend before that was an ‘Easy’ there were in total 10 keen members (including three trampers new to the club) ready to stretch their legs. Midweek the forecast was dismal for the day but as the day approached the forecast miraculously improved and Sunday was excellent tramping weather. 

Mt Guy is on the north side of Lake Clearwater. We parked at the start of a 4WD track near the Village, walked around the lake and pretty much straight up Mt Guy a climb of 650m. The poled track started easy then got steeper and the rocks and shingle looser, until a couple of hundred meters from the top when it flattened.

 There was enough icy powder snow to throw a few balls at each other but that quickly gave way to appreciate the big all-round views – impossible (as always) to capture on camera. The corner of Lake Heron, Somers Range, Harper Range, southern alps of the Two Thumbs Range (all with lots of snow) and the Rangitata River.

 After lunch on the lee side of the summit out the wind, we headed NW along the ridge but quickly walked into a stronger and very cold wind off the Southern Alps. It was gloves, warm hats time and walk fast to keep warm. About a km along the ridge we turned onto a ridge heading NE with the wind on our backs. The plan at this stage was to drop into the valley north of the ridge and onto the Te Araroa Trail, but it wasn’t apparent where there was an easy drop off. So in the end we just ploughed down a steep slope through rocks, thick bracken, tussocks and Spaniards – hot work – good time to keep very focussed on your footing. The fleet of foot made it down quickly but it took about 30 min more for the less experienced to catch up. On the valley floor it was hot, so we were soon in T-Shirts lying in the sun.

 After everyone had caught their breath, drank and refuelled, we headed west up the valley on the Te Araroa Trail – fairly spread out until we regrouped at a sign which said 2.5 hrs to Lake Clearwater Village and we thought we were about an hour away! (At the same place a sign to Mystery Lake – another trip for the future.) Everyone was thinking – this is going to be a late night home! But with heads down and a concerted effort we were all back at the cars in 1.5hrs.

 Thanks Bill & Wendy, this was one of our best days out of recent times. Fantastic scenery and geology in this area, we need some more trips into here!!