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Mt Algidus – Big Goat Hill – Sunday 10 February 2019

The club hadn’t been up Mt Algidus for many years so we’d lost contact details to gain access. On the day three cars drove via Coleridge, Homestead, and Algidus roads to the road-end. Our plans coincided with the station-owner’s so we were given a ride over the wide, braided Wilberforce River behind a tractor on a fancy trailer..

Everyone was happy to travel cattle-class. Kerry signed our group of twelve onto the station and we were guided up a vehicle track to the spur that leads to the bush-line. We made our way on a warm day up the track, well- marked with reflective markers. Wilding sycamores and rowans gave way to pure beech forest as we climbed. A snack stop or partial lunch at the bushline and we were climbing through low patchy scrub. Turning to look back was one of those “wow” moments. We were looking down on a vast expanse of the Rakaia River with the Wilberforce merging from our left. Over the Rakaia was Turton Saddle with the Arrowsmiths in the middle distance. Scrub graded into scree and tussock near 1405m Mt Algidus. We sat on top and looked east to Gargarus and the Harper River.

1651m Big Goat Hill looked a bit out of the way, and we’d committed ourselves to return down the forest spur track so we walked along the 1451, 1617 ridge towards unnamed point 1769. Bill was out front so pressed on to Big Goat Hill. Three more got up 1769 and the rest stopped short at various spots, worried that time was pressing. We got down to the farm at 6pm then enjoyed the refreshing river crossings to the car and away. Woops, not quite, Bill’s car went 500m, did a U-turn and retrieved Stuart’s treasured hand-crafted stick.We made a point of looking for the 4WD that we’d spotted in the morning, stranded in a major braid of the Rakaia River.

We were: Grant & Anne Hunter, Bill & Wendy Templeton, Chris Moore, Stuart Payne, Penny Coffey, Hank Boer, Dorota Giejsztowt, John Robinson, Kathrin Meuller and Kerry Moore PKM