Mt Alexander

24th–26th December 2021

Kaimata Range,

Ōtira–Kopara Forest Conservation Area

 

Tramping with Hanni Hopsu.

Our initial plans for a five-day Christmas tramp in south Westland were scuppered by weather, so we fell back on 2020’s Christmas tramping plan which had also been rained off.

On Christmas Eve we started up the Camp Creek Route to Camp Creek Hut and a lunch stop, before continuing up the steep vegetated ridge to a small tarn next to some rocky peaks. After a spectacular sunset we bivvied overnight, waking up to a bit of a chilly start on Christmas Day.

Following the poled route east we went up and over Pt 1795 (“Little Mt Alexander”) and began the ridge scramble towards the summit. We took a short rope just in case, but the route was great scrambling and we soloed the whole way there and back.

After a bit of a siesta back at the tarn, we packed up camp and descended back to Camp Creek Hut for a well earned soak in the wood-fired bathtub, enjoying the cold beers we’d stashed in the creek. We had the hut to ourselves for Christmas night, and walked back out to the car on Boxing Day.

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

Hanni making her way up Camp Creek towards the hut

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

Hanni ascending the steep vegetated ridge to the tussock and rocky tops

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

Christmas Eve bivvy site next to a small tarn at about 1400m

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

Christmas Eve sunset from the rocks near the bivvy site

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

Christmas Eve sunset reflected in the tarn

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

Looking along the ridge to Mt Alexander from Pt 1795

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

Hanni scrambling through a hole in the rocky ridge

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

There was snow at the summit, so despite growing up in the UK, for the first time in my life I was able to build a snowman on Christmas Day, in the middle of summer

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

Hanni’s skills at lighting saunas were put to excellent use getting the wood-fired bathtub up and running…

Mt Alexander 24th-26th December 2021

…which was an excellent spot to enjoy a creek-chilled beer and the view across the valley

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