Mt Horrible – 2 December 2023

Most locals will have heard of Mt Horrible and know that the basaltic loess-covered cliffs seen in many places around Timaru were formed by the volcanic eruption from this mountain thousands of years ago. It is probable though, that few have climbed to the trig that marks the summit of the almost flat-topped mountain, 1103 m high.

Peter and Jane Evans had kindly given us permission to walk up to the hut that son John had built below the summit of Cave Hill (often known as Mt Misery) but nesting falcons which over recent weeks had been attacking people meant that the Pareora River Walkway to the dam was officially closed.

Peter suggested that we could climb Mt Horrible as an alternative, walking on farm tracks to the top of the escarpment and then crossing a couple of the neighbour’s paddocks. Peter phoned the farmer to obtain his permission to do so.

Jane had said she might join us and sure enough, when we arrived at the beginning point very close to the river crossing she and her little dog Meg were already there. We were delighted to have Jane’s good company.

After reaching the top of the escarpment, we had an easy walk to the trig – sitting in the middle of a field of young kale plants. After a quick photo stop and being entertained by Meg catching a young rabbit we returned to the escarpment and stopped for a bite to eat down the track.

Further down Jane led us a different way so that we could view the Maori rock drawings on the lower escarpment. From there it was a short walk back to the cars

A group of 11 of us – Neville, Graham and Joan, Carol, Catherine and Don, Mark, Ken, Jane, Rose and Dorothy enjoyed the walk. Apart from Neville who had been to the trig many years ago when he lived at Claremont, this was a new place for the rest of us to visit. We thank Peter and Jane for allowing us to walk over their property, a privilege that we do not take for granted.


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