Silver Peaks River Track
SUNDAY THE 31ST OCTOBER
This trip was meant to be to Ben Ohau near Twizel and was an extra trip put on the programme, but with the weather forecast of cloud and some drizzle, it was a long way to go and get no views up there. I had two new club members that wanted to go on their first hike with the club, so I decided to introduce them to the river track in the Silver Peaks.
It had only been two weeks ago that the club was down there, but there are so many tracks to explore and weather was looking a bit better on the coast.
We were met by Rodney and Helen again at the main Silver Peaks car park and started up the main green hut ridge at about 9am. After about 15min we came to the junction of the Eucalypt track, which we took to drop us down to the South Branch of the Waikouaiti river.
The track was well marked and cut through the bush, with the odd clearing to get some good views and after dropping down for ½ hour we came out on to a clearing by the river/creek. It was at this point we took a detour up river for 10mins to visit the Historic Possum Hut where we had a break and look around.
We then retraced our steps and followed the river track down stream for about 2 hours. There had been a lot of work gone into cutting the track in some places and it was well marked.
Along the way we passed a few side routes coming down off Rosella ridge that had signs like Ceder spur and the Hunters track, which we have used before. It was a good hike down the river track in the bush, where we even came upon a baby possum scrambling up a tree to get away from us.
At 12.15pm we were at side stream beneath Yellow Ridge where we had lunch.
After lunch we climbed up a roughly marked track through the bush for about ½ an hour to meet up with the main Yellow ridge track. We then carried on up Yellow Ridge for a further 15 mins to visit the Phillip J Cox Memorial hut, getting there at 1.45pm. The hut is a modern 4 bunk hut, sitting in a clearing with good views of the Silver Peaks and plenty of room for tents outside for bigger parties.
After a break and a look around, we then headed back down Yellow Ridge, dropping down steeply to the South Branch of the Waikouaiti river, crossing the river and then climbing back up the track though the pine trees to come out onto Mountain Rd. From here it was a 6km 1 ½ hour walk back down the road to finally arrive back to the vehicles after an 18 ½ km hike that took us just on 8 hours.
It was another good day out in the Silver Peaks and I thank Alexs and Evelyn for coming out on their first hike with the club. It is always good to have Rodney and Helen join us too.