Hut Spur – Jordan Saddle – Jordan Stream
1 March 2015
Despite the mixed weather forecast, five keen trampers met at Church Corner at an early hour for the traverse of Hut Spur into Jordan Stream, via Jordan Saddle. The short car journey and a steady climb saw us arrive at the old musterers’ hut on Bealey Spur at 9:45 am. It was refreshing to see parents with their young children camping and exploring the facility.
From the hut it was 5 km to the highest, and final point (1875m) on Hut Spur. Point 1581, with a large cairn and plaque in memory of Paddy Freaney, indicated the end of the well-trodden trail and grassy terrain. Rocky outcrops, small gendarmes and scree defined the long but straightforward route to point 1875 from there.
Point 1794 is the second significant point on the ridge and is also marked by a large cairn. On our arrival we walked into cloud and rain so coats were adorned, and GPS toys were retrieved. It was 2 pm. when we finally arrived at the highest point, 1875m. Photos and chocolate were shared before we headed off into the mist to start the 400m descent to Jordan Saddle, the next significant landmark. From the old tin sign at the saddle we descended into Jordan Stream. The descent from upper Jordan Stream involves scrambling around small waterfalls, descending short scree sections, and clambering through waist-high tussock. The stream then opens out to become one long wash-out before it flattens out near its intersection with the Waimak River.
From there it was 4.5 km along the home straight to the Bealey Bridge. Limbo and Jan had kindly relocated our car from the Bealey Spur car park, saving the walk back along the road and giving us time to have hot chips and coffee.
The inclement weather, whilst hiding the spectacular views, had provided a genuine opportunity to play with navigational toys and share Stuart’s extensive, botanical knowledge. Apparently there are 60 different species of mountain daisies! Merv, who must have been nearly everywhere, enjoyed exploring new terrain. For former world rogaining champion, Kathrin Mueller, it was a first time outing with the PTC (new member?). For Julie and me it was a great fitness trip (it took 9.5 hr). As a group, we enjoyed good company, and tramped at a steady pace what I consider one of the best classic day trips in the Arthurs Pass region.
Stuart Payne, Kathryn Mueller, Merv Meredith, Julie Wagner and Penny Webster (PW)