10 February 2015

Alpine Horse Safaris - Part Two - Harper / Avoca Retreat to Mt White

BLS / JCS at Wrecked Triangle Hut - Earthquake Damage



Our walk up to Triangle Hut via the flooded Avoca was longer than we thought it was going to be. The old hut was in a sad state and I wouldn't have liked to have been there when the earthquake occurred. Our old fence from 1955 was still standing but not too capable of keeping the sheep out of the upper Avoca.

We returned via a higher terrace and Lake Lilian. That evening John and his mates came over and sang songs and told yarns - quite an entertaining troupe.

Starting from the Retreat - Note Trigger Finger at Ready - Photo JCS

Catherine Being a Horse Hitching Post at the Retreat- Photo JCS

Next morning we saddled up and set off over the flats and over the Harper which was quite full but a short crossing. Stirrups again.
Crossing the Harper River

Catherine Photographing Lake Catherine


We wound our way east past Lake Catherine, lunching briefly (as usual) before climbing steeply up over Coleridge Pass. We descended down towards Porter Heights through subalpine scrub.

Heading Up to Coleridge Pass


The only excitement was one of our riding horses getting stuck in a bog. We left the horses just below Porter Heights and used the O'Carroll's vehicle to take our gear down to Castle Hill Station for the night .

The horses were retrieved the next morning and we rode down through the attractive Castle Hill Basin past where Lawrie had left a crater in the ground a month or so earlier, ending up at the quite luxurious accommodation and Flock Hill. Despite the luxury we were up about 0430 for breakfast and saddling up etc. We headed out over the downs, crossed the main railway line and then down a long ridge to the Waimakariri River - crossing it was no problem. Ginga, my horse, seemed to forget he had me on board when he decided to join the free horses an have a roll in the Waimak sand. I had  one foot out of a stirrup before he remembered where he was and got up again. It felt like being on  a camel again! Roger however managed to capture the moment.
Ginga Thinks He'll Have a Roll in the Sand    -     Photo Roger Dobson
We rode on to Mt White station where we holed up for a day while the snow level came down. Nice warm fire and good company again.