Benmore Hut 21st – 22nd August
This hut is situated in the Big Ben Range, which in turn is on the south side of Porters Pass on the West Coast Road. Ten km past Springfield one turns left onto Ben More station parking the cars at a DOC car park, then following a rough track to Thirteen Mile Stream and thence into an extensive area of bush. A two hour climb through the bush takes you up to an A-frame three-bunk structure which was erected by the Deerstalkers Association, but is now maintained by DOC. A good sheltered spot, but no reliable water, which had to be carted from ten minutes down the track.
From here two tracks disappeared in different directions, so dropping our gear we went uphill climbing to the bush line which is surprisingly high here at 4000 feet. Snow up here too which added to the difficulties and a strong cold northerly wind so we didn’t linger too long to admire the view over to the Torlesse Range and Mt Oxford. Back down to the hut, erecting tents, and then tea, getting to bed at the remarkably late hour of 7.30.
Next morning, we took the other track which seemed to go on endlessly, and would eventually end up in the Acheron. After a while we turned back to the hut. tried up, then headed back downstream to the car park. An interesting area to explore especially as it is passed un-noticed on the way over to the West Coast. Those on the trip: Wayne X2, Christine, Catherine (Leader), Dorothy, Martin and Rob.