Just a quick re-cap of one of our latest trips. We decided to head up Arthur’s Pass way for the weekend. We don’t usually go as far as Arthur’s Pass just for a weekend since it is often a 5.5-6 hour drive from Dunedin, however, Lake Mavis was calling our name, so out we headed.
We camped at Klondyke Corner on Friday night. I had a rude surprised Saturday morning as I put my boots on and realized that they weren’t actually mine. After Canyon creek, another tramper and I who had identical boots must have ended up with each other’s boots. And even though I had washed and waxed the boots, I sadly hadn’t picked up on the fact that they weren’t actually mine!! They were a little roomy, so I wore 2 pairs of socks and some extra in-soles from our companion Cleo, and off we went as I didn’t have much other choice!
We headed up the Mingha valley, making excellent time. The weather was lovely, the views were lovely, and I felt pretty much like crap the entire time. 😛 It’s always a bit of a bummer when you have a really “off” tramping day – but it does happen from time to time!
Nevertheless, we had a nice lunch at the absolutely stunning Goat Pass Hut. I’m actually a little gutted we didn’t stay the night there as it was simply a superbly beautiful hut.
Instead, we headed straight up the hill above Goat Pass to Lake Mavis. It was a bit of a steep grind which I’m glad I didn’t have to do in the wet. But we arrived at Lake Mavis with plenty of sunlight left to make camp and have a swim (sadly, I didn’t partake in the swimming as I really felt quite crook).
We even had some neighbours as a man and his 13 yr old son camped on the opposite side of the lake from us.
Saturday night was pretty exciting. I woke up to a very faint rustling as our food was outside the tent (rookie mistake, I know). I suspected that there was a mouse in our food, as our companion Cleo had mentioned the prevalence of mice in Arthur’s Pass. We brought the food bag in, I gave it a pretty good inspection with the head torch but didn’t see a mouse so just went back to sleep.
Minutes later, Dylan jumped up as a mouse ran across his head. We then spent the next 5-10 minutes trying to get the mouse out of our tent. We’re actually still not 100% certain it came in with the food bag, or had just come in through the tent door (Dylan’s wasn’t 100% zipped up, and I had felt something run across my hair earlier in the night but didn’t think much of it at the time).
Day 2 dawned equally lovely, and we decided after some deliberation to head down the Deception Valley.
We had a pretty full day of rock hopping and crossing the Deception river. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. At one point, even though the river was low, we decided to link up to go across. I can’t imagine walking in the Deception Valley during rain. Needless to say, we had soaking wet feet the entire time – very typical NZ tramping! We also totally missed the Deception Hut. We have absolutely no idea if it was on the opposite side of the river from the route (which is part of the Te Araroa trail) or if it’s not there anymore. No idea.
Although we made pretty good time, we never caught up with the man and his son who had been camping opposite us at Lake Mavis. All I can say is that they must have absolutely been hooning it down the valley! Props to them.
We finally arrived out at the huge Deception swing bridge a S73. We had to hitch back to the car, and it took about 20 minutes to get someone to pick me up. I then had to get the car and drive back to get Dylan and Cleo. It added a bit of extra time to our trip, but I’ve finally hitch-hiked here in NZ (even if it was only about 20 km), so there’s one for the bucket list.
Overall, definitely a really cool area to check out, as I said above, I’d highly recommend Goat Pass Hut. The only caveat is that this trip is probably fine weather only, as both the climb up to Lake Mavis, and the trip down the Deception river would be quite risky in any sort of rain.