Welcome back for an epic 2017

If you’re thinking about joining the club; have a read of some trip reportsIMG_0045 or come along to a weekly meeting to figure out what we’re all about.We also have a pretty active Facebook page.


The club meets every Wednesday during term time at 7.30pm in room KH03 (this is a different room from 2016), Kirkwood Village, University of Canterbury. A map can be found here.

Note our second meeting (Wed 1 March at 7:30pm) will be in C1 Lecture Theatre. The purpose of this meeting is to disscuss the freshers trip. There will also be a short SGM to make some constitutional changes to our quorum requirements, and also elect new committee members.

Sign ups

The best place to sign up is at one of out meetings however if none of these suit contact you can sign up online. To sign up online follow the instructions on the sign up page, fill out the form & pay the membership fee.

If you have signed up/renewed at clubs day or a weekly meeting you should now have received a password for the website via email.You should also be reciveing a weekley email on tuesday explaining the weeks upcoming trips. Any issues contact our membship officer.


This will be our big club trip to start the year and meet new members. This trip is suited to everyone, and is an ideal introduction to tramping. A real highlight of the year not to be missed. Make sure come along to the information evening on the 1 March 7:30pm C1 to hear the finer details and pay the fuel costs. Check out the Freshers trip page in the “Upcoming trips” section for more info and sign up as interested/commited.

Committee positions open

We’re after two treasurers, a membership officer, instruction officer, TROG (trips log) officer, environmental officer and more! If you’re interested, email contact@cutc.org.nz for more details, and show up to our second meeting.

See y’all out there in the hills!


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Philistine-Rolleston Traverse

Philistine-Rolleston Traverse

Hamish Cumming and Caroline Bellamy

Friday evening Hamish and I made our way to Arthurs Pass, time passing quickly with good chat soon arriving at the cmc lodge. Roasting by the fire in lodge we organised our gear for the early morning start of 3.30am! I was pretty pumped to reach the summit tomorrow.

Before I knew it Hamish was shaking me awake and we had a fed before driving to the Otria carpark. A light mist rain was clearing and the stars were starting to peak through allowing us to hope for firmer snow. After crossing the footbridge we headed directly up a snowy ridge that lead to a cairned route leading to Warnock bluffs. The snow was soft which made tough work. We travelled quickly up and over the exposed Warnock bluffs that had a good mix of rock and snow making the climbing enjoyable. Reaching the top of the bluffs the sun began to rise over the eastern mountains lighting up Rolleston in the distance, making us realise how far we had to go.

Heading up to Philistine at sunrise

Heading up to Philistine at sunrise

A slow snow plod followed along with strong gusts of wind as we made our way up to Mt Philistine. We made the summit at 9.00am getting a view of the Philistine ridge we were to follow. We were both feeling unfit but both had good endurance so the soft snow did not stop us. After you go pass Mt Philistine there is no bail out options before Mt Rolleston so its a big commitment.


Looking back from where we came.

Looking back from where we came…

We pushed on along Philistine ridge where there was a mix of reasonably flat travel and tricky rock and snow narrow exposed sections, where careful down climbing was required. The cornices were very overhanging and open as the snow cover was not super deep. At point 2000m we got a direct view of the climb up to the summit of high peak Rolleston. An obvious snow gut lead straight up to the summit. Easy. However before the final climb we had to down climb down a very exposed part of the ridge were the snow was becoming soft due to the heat of the day. A mix of straddling, crawling, and down climbing the ridge was requiring to pass safety haha. Enough stress for me. Hamish did a sweet job of leading and finding a good route through this.

Philistine ridge

Philistine ridge

Overhanging Cornices

Overhanging Cornices

View of rigde

View of ridge



After a quick snack we continued our snow plod up towards to summit. Legs were pretty shattered by this point. As we made our way up the snow gut bits of ice and snow were cracking of the rocks from the heat and flying down at speed towards us. They hurt if they got you!



Popping out at the top of Rolleston high peak the views were stunning! Elevated above the cloud we could see over towards Mt Alexandra and down towards the Arrow smith range. Views down the Rolleston river were also pretty awesome! We didn’t have to much time to take in the view as it was about 3pm. The snow was very soft and slushy on the top making the traverse very nerve racking. A mix of tiredness, soft snow and exposure made some sections very challenging and scary! It is very easy to psych yourself out so you have to be very focused on what you are doing at that moment. Quite mentally draining.



Coming down the last section Hamish set up an abseil on an existing sling off a rock to get pass a icy step and down to the base of middle peak Rolleston. I was very grateful for this.



We sidled down and around middle peak then climbed back up into the ridge that lead to low peak.

By the time we reached low peak the sun had started to set and there was not a breath of wind. Low cloud had settled in the valleys and atmospheric high cloud spread out across the sky, changing colour as the sun lowered. We each go a photo on the rock that marks where you drop down onto the Otria slide. Being on top of a mountain when the sun is setting is a little concerning. Was an incredible moment though!


Making a way down the slide was a piece of cake compared to what we had tackled throughout the day. Making sure to go slightly left to avoid the bluffs as the light faded we descended into darkness stopping third of the way down for a snack as we we both about to hit a wall (lacking a bit of concentration). Half way down the snow became very soft and we were sinking in up to our mid thighs! A push and a huff and puff and we emerged out at the footbridge. After decramponing and rehydrating we finished the final walk back to the car. Both extremely shattered. The trip clocked up at 17 hours! The longest day I have done!

An absolutely awesome day out, great views, great company, and a sweet route. Highly Recommended.

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The Website login 101

If you have joined the club, paid your membership fee for 2016 and are receiving weekly emails, you should have also received a link to the website registration. You will need to go to this link and enter your details yourself to generate your own login. The website won’t know you until you have done this.

If you have signed up/paid fee and aren’t receiving any club emails: email technowizard@cutc.org.nz

If you have signed up/paid fee, are receiving club emails, but didn’t get the link to the website registration: email technowizard@cutc.org.nz

If you have signed up/paid fee, are receiving club emails and filled in the website registration, but your login still doesn’t work: Please be patient, as it probably means that I have not had the time to activate your new account or am waiting for someone to confirm that you are actually a paid-up member.



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Slushy Snowcraft

A winter wonderland, indeed. I have never been over Porters Pass before with snow down to the road level. Fresh powdery snow covered literally everything, which is an absolute paradise for the skiing but not so much for the driving and tramping lot. Goodness knows what could have happened up that access road to the Broken River Skifield with those rented vans had the trailers still been attached. Continue reading

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Mt Rolleston Via Rome Ridge

“Pumped to get out of the city and climb a mountain”! Saturday evening the four of us, Hamish Cumming, Chris Sillars, Alan Williams and I drove through the falling snow in Porters and onwards to the CMC Lodge, Arthurs Pass. There had been talk of climbing Mt Rolleston via Rome Ridge for sometime. With the weather not looking ideal we were still keen to give it a crack.

After a quick pub snack and an intense P90X core session in the hope of getting some fabulous abs we were all tucked up getting some shut eye before our 4am wake up call. Consumed by deep sleep, warm and content, Hamish’s alarm activated, jumping us all right awake. With no time to waste a good 4am breakfast was hastily arranged, my body complaining about eating so early in the morning.  There was quite a variety of breakfasts from oats – pizza – toasties – rice and tuna. Yum Yum. Continue reading

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St James Walkway

An 8 AM start in the UCSA carpark yielded 7 sleepy trampers, which resulted in a quick consensus to stop in Culverden pie and coffee. Following a mandatory group photo, off we set, discovering along the way that slopes make for interesting optical illusions. Continue reading

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Glory to the Peak

This trip started with an unexpected call for a challenge. While having breakfast I was reading a TROG from 2006 and found exactly the same trip we would start just a couple of hours later: “Gloriana Peak: …not every CUTC group made it to the peak – give your best…” Ok, challenge accepted! The weather forecast did not look ideal at that time but with Jack, Wolf, Caroline and Phil we would start with a strong team. Everything would mainly depend on the weather! Continue reading

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The Chronicles of Zach (and Andrews Stream Trapping)

These are all true events.

Part 1: Zach and the Manky Fork
Enda found a manky fork on the track near the hut. Zach didn’t bring cutlery for his dinner so resorted to using said manky fork. Although, Zach did clean the manky fork with a wet wipe, this was after Enda cleaned the candle wax out of a candle holder with it.

The manky fork was in hot demand as Enda then also professed his love for it. A battle ensued. Zach asked Enda if he could keep the manky fork. Enda said “yes”. Continue reading

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A slice of Pie and a Pile of Choss


I had been cooped up in front of my computer screen deciphering the intricacies of Latex for an unpleasant amount of time, so when Jeff suggested a weekend trip to Arthur’s Pass I thought “YES!” “Outside!”. And so despite knowing that Rome Ridge was a total chosspile in the middle of summer, I decided it would be a good idea to traverse said ridge with Jeff, Tania and Barbara. Continue reading

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The trip started with a small disappointment: The idea for this weekend trip was to climb Snowflake (near Kaikoura) coming through Kowhai River and Snowflake Stream, to traverse the peak and to come back over Homestead Spur. But the local farmer and owner of the Swyncombe farm, worrying about his cattle, did not give us his permission. This was his given right (no real reason to be angry) and in the end we were actually lucky – we would never have made it (too long and too technical with all the snow)! Continue reading

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Quail Island and the Questionable Ferry

A group of 9 tramps set off on Saturday morning to go and combat the CUTC’s carbon emissions by doing some restoration planting on Quail Island in Lyttelton harbour. We arrived just before the ferry was set to depart, only to be texted that the ferry was late and there was no rush. We had to find something to do until the ferry was ready to leave in an hour’s time… Continue reading

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Refreshers Weekend

This past weekend I hiked along to Woolshed Creek Hut with the Tramping Club! For those asking yourself, “what is tramping???”, it is hiking! There were four different routes that the club took groups on and I went on the second hardest route. This meant 6+ hours of tramping with my pack – a challenge since this was my first time going on a backpacking trip, but a fun adventure!

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The Kegspedition


Words: Sam Stephenson,

Images: Matthew Falloon

Last years bushball was followed by something of a shenanigan.

Somehow we found ourselves in the Avoca homestead carpark with an unfinished keg of beer, two inflatable rafts and an idea…

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Deep in the Winter Snow

6.00 pm on a bone chilling Friday night in mid July we all slipped and stumbled our way up to Carrington Hut. Keen we were…braving this cold. The Waimakariri river was filled with rocks blanketed with snow illuminating the path for the five of us as chat broke up the long 4hr valley walk. Guided by Venus and a little sneaky GPS we made it to Carrington Hut on a pretty direct route sticking to the river the whole way.

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How not to go tramping

Date: 20th June 2015
Tramps: Andrew Seward, Tania Seward, Glen Baxter
Words: Andrew Seward
Photos: there aren’t any. Read on and you’ll see why.

Weekends are a precious commodity. Between full time work and study, there aren’t many free. With this in mind, we decided to make the most of it. Ball Pass, near Mt Cook was the plan. As the date approached the 10 day forecast wasn’t looking fantastic with storms, snow and sleet predicted. The tramping guru Geoff Spearpoint suggested we find a nice hut with a fire not too far from the road. He even suggested a few places. We decided to continue with our plan. Geoff is probably mellowing with age, we’ll be right, we are definitely going tramping.

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Devil’s Den Biv, Lewis Pass

Date: 12-13th April 2014
Tramps: Zeinab Chegini, Tania Seward, Jeff Ducrot, Rachael Horner
Words: Zeinab Chegini
Photos: Tania Seward

Cuddling, huddling, huggling, snuggling; these are the terms that are discussed when four happy trampers share a two bunk biv. What would an overnight tramp be without copious amounts of huddling anyway?

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Tara Tama Traverse


Words and images: Caroline Bellamy

Participants: Caroline Bellamy, Hamish Cumming, Alastair McDowell, Philip Sültrop and Phil Wallace

After dinner at Darfield we arrived 9.00pm Friday in Arthurs Pass, where all the fun began. With our five packs loaded and ice gear secured we began our way towards Rocky creek hut on the pleasant warm night it was, pumped and excited for what was to come. We estimated a 2-3 hour walk in…. well……

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Andrews Stream


Location: Andrews Shelter, Arthur’s Pass
Date: 21 March, 2015
Participants: Matt Falloon and a crew of happy tramps

Words & Images: Susanne Birgelen

On a very sunny Saturday Matt and a group of motivated trampers met at the UCSA carpark. Everyone arrived well prepared with towels and extra clothing, since we were going to be wet. Our plan called for an adventure, so we were very glad for the great weather. We started walking at Andrews Shelter, about 25km south of Arthur’s Pass Village. Right at the beginning we had to walk steeply uphill. But the rest of the first half of the tramp was rather a nice stroll tramping up the Andrews Stream Track. We had plenty of time and pleasure to enjoy the forest, take pictures and watch birds.

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Concerning Freshers

Location: Magdalen Hut, St James Walkway, Lewis Pass
Date: March 7-8, 2015
Participants: 60+ Freshers

Images by Samuel Chau and Josie Dransfeld

“This trog is largely concerned with Freshers – CUTC’s first big annual tramping trip – and from its pages a reader may discover much of its character and a little of its history”

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A Journey to the Top of New Zealand – Aoraki Ascent

Words & images: Alastair McDowell
Participants: David Chen, Elisha Nutall, Alastair McDowell

There are only a few days each year when the many suns, stars and moons that govern perfect mountaineering conditions at Mt Cook line up. To be there ready, with a climbing partner, feeling fit and primed to pounce at this very moment – the chances seem impossibly slim. But on one such day in mid-December, the impossible happened.

Good weather was moving in for the weekend, so we made our move to advanced base-camp – Plateau Hut – on a miserably wet Wednesday. Although my climbing partners Elisha and David were quite keen, as most are, to fly from Mt Cook village up to the Grand Plateau, I was determined to make a clean ascent from the road-end, and eventually convinced them to join me.

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