The Woolshed Wander (Part Two) – Woolshed Creek Hut Loop

“On a Mish” #233 Mt Somers / Woolshed Creek Hut Loop – Part Two. Mt Somers Southface Track. Hakatere Conservation Area. 14.6.2009. An aspect of hiking that I really enjoy is the commitment needed once on a mish. Once you get into it you find yourself in a position where giving up is not an option. Once you start you can only stop when you get to the hut. Sometimes when the mission gets tough your legs are looking for the hut more than your eyes, and there are very few feelings that match the feeling you get when you spot the hut you are hiking to for the first time…

From a distance the hut looked like most others, but the closer we got the better it looked. And because it was built in 2006 it was basically brand new and nothing like the back country bivouacs I had got used to. The spacious 26 bunk hut has a large lounge and cooking area, so as there were only two of us we had plenty of room. The woodshed had been stocked up for the winter, and in no time at all we had a glorious fire warming the hut. The hut has two separate bunkrooms, so we had a room each (a massive plus due to Jeremy’s legendary snoring capabilities). At around 10pm we were getting sorted out for bed when, to our surprise, two fellas came stumbling into the hut out of the darkness outside. The fellas were locals on a hunt and seemed to have a lot of experience in the area. They had both finished work that afternoon and then driven to the carpark, arriving in the dark. After the quick backstory yarn it was time for bed and a well earned rest.

Even though we were up early-ish the next day the two hunters were long gone looking for things to shoot, meaning they had only spent a couple of hours at the hut in total! We left the hut and decided to head home via the much more challenging Rhyolite Ridge Track. The route crosses over the Morgan Stream gorge on an epic swingbridge, before dropping down into a cold river valley on the western side of Mt Somers(1688m). The climb back up onto the Southface of Mt Somers(1688m) is gruelling with a full overnight pack, however the views increase the higher you climb, and this acts as a solid dose of mountain motivation. Slowly we made our way past the famous ‘Bus Stop’ (an overhanging rock on the side of the mountain), and from here had great views of the Canterbury Plains to the east, and of the other mountains of the Hakatere area. Tired legs took us along the remainder of the track across the southface of Mt Somers(1688m), then down the Rhyolite Ridge zigzags back to the car park. This was the first of many missions during the winters when I would return to Christchurch to work in the ski shop. So it was not long before I returned to Woolshed Creek Hut for a much more snow covered winter adventure

Just Above the Zigzags Back to the Car Park

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter