Stanleyvale Hut

Late December

 Seven keen trampers signed up for this years Xmas/New Year outing.After a dusty drive to Fowler Hut a steady pace was set to the summit of Fowler Pass, the well graded climb reflecting that this was originally a horse pack track. Lunch was taken once the shelter of Smyths Stream was reached despite a sunny sky as there was a cold breeze from the south.

There was evidence that rain fall had been good this year with the rivers running strongly and plenty of bogs and mud holes.


Stanley Vale hut was reached in 4 hours with no major dramas and 3 humans, 2 horses and 4 dogs were found in residence.

Tents were pitched and some keen souls took a stroll up Lookout Hill before dinner and after a merry cocktail hour there was a general move to bed enlivened by the arrival of a 4th occupant of the hut and another horse.

A sharpish frost overnight left those of us who sleep alone regretting our new light weight sleeping bags, the married couples apparently got a good night’s sleep.

The sun was soon up and after breakfast we all walked down to Lake Guyon and around to Lake Hill. Where we climbed up onto the ridge for a great view over the Waiau Valley. Glenda and I then returned to camp via the lake shore and had a gentle amble down Stanley River while the remaining keen, young (& not so young!) and fit continued up the ridge to the summit returning to camp via Glenrae Flat.

By now all the transitory occupants of the hut had moved on leaving only the resident vermin for company. By morning we had trapped 2 mice on the table, and I had an encounter with a rat in the dunny. Another fun filled cocktail hour and off to bed for an early start heading home.

Fowler Pass was again crossed at a steady pace on another warm day after a more comfortable night and the cars were reached by midday. All that was left to do was enjoy an excellent but latish lunch at Culverden Hotel and goodbyes at Wendy and Bills place.


 Team: Glenda, Dennis, Wendy and Bill, Sally and Chris and Tere.