Hello my fellow trampers! So yes, Dylan and I are at least a month behind on writing up our latest trip reports… all I can do is sincerely apologize. I’m doing my best to remedy this by catching you up with one of the best trips we’ve done this year: Brewster Hut.
Brewster had been on our “to do” list for quite a while. And while April was pure insanity: Otehake April 3-6, The Pisa Range April 18-19 (I’ll let Dylan write that one up), Hamner Springs for a friend’s birthday April 25-27 and I desperately wanted a weekend at home to do laundry, when our friends invited us to Brewster hut the weekend of May 2-3 and the forecast looked amazing, how could I possibly say no?
Dylan and I did the typical drive to Makarora on Friday night and spent the night at the old favourite: Boundary Creek Campsite ($6/night). We had a slow start on Saturday, driving the to the start of the track. It took a mere 2 hours 20 of slow, grinding climbing to make it to Brewster Hut where we had lunch, and where our friends showed up only about 10 min after we arrived.
After lunch, we all decided to try to climb Mt. Armstrong – a popular side trip from Brewster hut. Due a fair bit of snow, and a lot of wind up the top (typical afternoon wind!), we were sadly about 15m short of the summit. Major bummer for Dylan who had had that one on his list for quite a long time. Definitely achievable during the summer months, or with a slightly earlier start.
We ambled our way back down to the hut and had a quiet evening taking in a stunning sunset, eating a ton of food and chocolate, Dylan and I realizing we had completely forgotten the cheese for cheese and crackers before dinner, and the cheese and oil for dinner *sigh*. (Note: I am not a happy tramper when food gets forgotten!). Breakfast was another interesting experiment, as our grand plan of pancakes was sidetracked by our forgotten butter (safe to say we left all our cold refridgerated foods like cheese and butter back at the car). However, we still managed decent though not very beautiful pancakes with maple syrup, banana and boysenberry jam. 😀
Our friends decided to get an early start back home. But Dylan and I had to go and explore Brewster Glacier. It was a reasonably easy (though fairly technical with a lot of sidling, scrambling and route finding, though the route is very obvious and cairned all the way) 1 hour to an amazing view point of the glacier.
All I can say is Wow. Wow. Wow. We had such an amazing time exploring the Brewster Glacier…. And that terminal lake! So beautiful. We spent several hours checking out the rocks, glacial pools and ice and it was honestly magical. There are a number of evident campsites around the area and I’m very keen to go back and camp near the terminal lake sometime next summer.
I mean, I knew that Brewster was a great trip, but I actually had no idea it was going to be that good! I now know why it’s one of our friend’s favourite tramping spots – it’s reasonably easy to get to and very high reward! We’re already keen to go back again. Seriously though, this trip had everything, a nice toasty hut, good friends, amazing views, stunning sunset, keas, and was absolutely fantastic, despite us forgetting half our food! It was one of those trips that gets tramping into your blood, and all you can think about is getting out there again.