Three fit and keen young trampers (average age just above 70) got underway from Richmond at 0815, bound for Mt Robert carpark to tackle the Mt Robert Loop - up Pinchgut, down Paddy’s Track, and a short section of road back to the carpark. Wind was light, scenery stunning as usual, and we chatted away happily on the ascent.

Lake Rotoiti and a good view of the mornings routeLake Rotoiti and a good view of the mornings route

Downhill, we spread out a bit more, but regrouped towards the end and were back at the carpark at 1130. Brian was following Malcolm a little too closely at one point, and nearly took him out as he tripped and went sprawling headlong through the dust and gravel!

After a short discussion of the respective merits, we opted for an early lunch at Mt Robert carpark rather than Kerr Bay, due to anticipated sandfly infestation at the latter site.

Malcolm on the topsMalcolm on the tops

Partway up St Arnaud Range Track the “speed” aspect of the trip seemed to have gone out the window, and we continued at a pace more reflective of the posted DoC time. Cloud was building in places as we approached the crest of the range, more so over the Marlborough hills, but we still enjoyed good views of Lake Rotoiti and Travers Range. We popped over the other side out of the wind (which was building) for a well-earned drink and snack, and observed a pair who looked like they were preparing for a night on the tops among the tarns. There were also a surprising lot of people walking this track, prepared to put in the hard yards (a climb of 1100m!) for the rewards at the top.

Brian with Travers Range distant Cupola Hopeless and Angelus visiblejpegBrian with Travers Range distant Cupola Hopeless and Angelus visiblejpeg

The descent went without incident, as also the drive back to town, leaving 3 trampers well-satisfied with the day’s efforts and rewards.

Participants: Brian (Leader & Scribe), Pete, Malcolm.