Grey Beards Conquer Mt Clarke
On Friday 6th of November Keith Moffat and Philip Sommerville climbed Mt Clarke. We were both lucky we were able to juggle our days off work to catch the fine weather window. On the walk up the Rees we followed to the marked track, which avoids crossing the Rees but does involve some swamp wallowing and climbing above the riverbed. On our return we followed the 4WD track in the centre of the valley, which was much quicker.
We followed the normal route up the Clarke slip to camp by running water at about 1300 m. We could lie in our sleeping bags and admire the splendid view of Mt Earnslaw. We were on our way just before 6am and made good time with firm snow conditions. When we were nearing the summit we did not consult the map and headed for what we thought was the top. I got the camera out for the summit shots and realized we were not on the top after all, we had climbed point 2237 which is about 60 m lower. After a short descent and traverse we were on the real summit and could look straight down onto Shelter Rock hut. The wind was fresh on the summit so I decided to try out my new bothy bag and it worked really well, getting cozy very quickly with two of us in it. We got back to our camp at 1pm and spent the afternoon lying in the sun before heading down the slip to camp in the Rees. On Saturday we were back in Queenstown for lunch just as it started to rain, perfect timing.
Posted By: Sefton Priestley