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After an amazing experience on Mount Somers, I joined a second trip with Christchurch Tramping Club to Mount Bealey. Again, an early start with a rendezvous and a short two hour drive into hiking paradise just outside of Christchurch. Here we travelled west into Arthurs Pass, the drive itself was spectacular for a newbie to the country. The weather threatened, but was kind to us. We started under misty skies up to the ridge where the clouds lifted to share the views all around. The ridge walk on the way to Mount Bealey was pretty magnificent and we made our way up to the summit at just over 1800 metres.

After enjoying the views, we turned around with intentions to backtrack. One club member had another idea, and suggested a ‘scree run’ down the side of the mountain for some diversity and adventure. Now, I have never completed a scree run, and so was a little skeptical about running down a mass of small loose stones that covered the slope of the mountain. I was assured it was a go and off we went. This was an interesting experience, as the scree was very fine and even finer below the surface. As we travelled down, one could smell fresh soil as we broke the seal on the scree. The scree was very soft and we were essentially able to bounce through it at a quick pace with little effort.

After descending quite rapidly we found ourselves in a narrow gorge with a river running through it. We picked our way down from here hopping logs, boulders, and the river itself. All was great fun and some of us even managed a brief dip in the river near the bottom.

Hiking Mount Somers
Curry Track/Ellangowan Reserve/Takamatua Valley

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