On Friday the 16th of June most of us drove up the Glen Mary Ski Club Lodge on the banks of Lake Ohau. Some of us drove up via Tekapo and others drove up via the Waitake Valley. All reports were that there was a lot of fog and spectacular hoarfrost after Burkes Pass and around Lake Pukaki; and also around Sailers Cutting and Omarama. When we arrived at the Lodge around midday the hoarfrost was gone, but the surrounds were covered by low cloud. We set ourself up at the well appointed Lodge, lit the fire, warmed up the rooms and made ourself at home.
On Saturday morning the rest of our group drove up and joined us, reporting on black ice on the road and a delay due to a car accident which closed the road for a while. Once we were all at the Lodge we prepared to go for a walk up to Freehold Creek – even thought eveything was still fully clagged in we thought we might get some views when we gained height. Colin, Allan and Wayne decided to have a rest day and stay in the warm Lodge near the fire.
We started walking along the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail for a couple of kilometers, then we turned off and started climbing up the Freehold Creek Track, which is a part of the Te Aroha Trail. Along the way we observed some preditor traps with a couple of ferrets in them – always good to see. We met up with an informative Lake Ohau Consevation Trust member who was checking and resetting the preditor traps. Once above the bush line we got out of the fog and got some good views. Out in the open there was some frost and a little bit of snow. We stopped there for a quick lunch, as it was cold up there and the sun was still hidden behind a ridge we didnt stay long and turned back down towards the Lodge. The electronics told us we had climbed about 600 metres in total and were back at the Lodge by about 3pm. In the afternoon Veronica planted some native trees at the Lodge and some of us went for a look at the nearby Lake Ohau Alpine Village.
Those who stayed behind at the Lodge put on a lamb roast with roast vegetables for the evenings midwinter Christmas meal.
On the Sunday some of us returned home. Catherine, Barry and Allan went for a walk up Freehold Creek again in the morning to rescue a lost cellphone which had a happy ending. Colin and Judy went for a bike ride and the others played frisbie golf at the Ohau Lodge. Judy had a prepared meal in the slow cooker for the last night along with desert.
On the Monday there was a clean up at the Ski Lodge and everyone went home.
Those who attended were: Veronica, Colin and Judy, John, Barry, Hazel, Allan, Catherine and Owen, Robert, Justine, Christine, Graham and Joan, Bruce, and Wayne.