Elco – Hopkins 15th-16th July
As planned the two of us departed Timaru at 7am on Saturday morning. The sky was clear with no wind. We drove in to the base of the track that climbs up to Dasler Biv. This clocked up on the GPS as just on 3km return so not far but taking around 3 ½ hour return. This was a reasonably challenging walk with snow on the track, a large rock wall which carried some snow which made it quite slippery and not a lot of foot grips actually had a chain to help out – otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get up there! As we got out of the beech forest and in to the open tops we were in around up to a metre of snow. After spending some time taking in the amazing views and scenery and lunch stop in Dasler biv, we made our way down.
Dasler Biv, formerly known as Cullers Biv, was built in 1966 by the New Zealand Forest Service to accommodate wild animal control hunters.
Now it was a short drive of about 5kms to Elcho Hut (N Z Alpine Club Hut). The hut was already occupied with 3 hunters, and later another young Scotsman arrived.
We awoke in the morning to drizzle and light rain. We put on out rain coats and headed off as planned up the eastern side of Elcho river to the swing bridge. Returning down the western side proved more of a challenge with lots of wind and snow damage making the track interesting resulting in longer time to reach Cullers Hut. From here we walked across the Elcho river back to Elcho Hut. Time 3hours 20 and 6.2kms. We packed our backs and drove home arriving back in Timaru at around 5.30pm. All in all a great weekend trip.
Christine and Wayne