Mount Murchison – Braeburn Range2022 08 28 Mt Murchison

Sunday 28 August 2022

After having driven past and looked at Mount Murchison so many times, I was pleased to finally lead a tramping club up there.

Access is via Rait Road over private land, and it was not a problem getting permission from the farmer David James. We drove up a farm track until the locked gate with a funny sign ‘No Stupid People past this Point!’ We took it that wasn’t directed as us.

The climb starts immediately after the gate, steady and steep in places, on a well maintained service road. The beech forest was pleasant and there was quite a bit of birdlife. Among the group of 12 members there was a good mixture of WTC and NTC members plus some visitors which gave plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle.

It was a 1100m climb over 6km to the summit (1469m) and we reached the top after 2:30hrs including morning tea on the way; a good effort of the whole group!

The weather forecast was morning cloud, lifting from midday onwards, and as we were enjoying a leisurely lunch we saw the sun slowly breaking through the clouds. Although we didn’t get a full blue sky we saw enough of the mountain ranges and valleys around us, to make the climb worthwhile.

I had a free Real Meal on offer and the lucky winner was Robert, who knew that the previous name of Murchison township was Hampden.

We spotted another highpoint along the Braeburn Range and part of the group walked along the undulating ridge on an informal route to Pt 1440m, from where we had a view of Lake Rotoroa. With more time it would have been possible to follow the ridge further along to the end of the ridge, returning the same way.

The whole group started the downhill at 1:45pm. We gave our legs a break at the same spot as where we had morning tea and were back at the cars by 4:45pm.

Lots of smiley faces as everyone seemed happy to have done this alternative trip, while so many tracks and access roads are closed after the flooding.

Those on the trip: Diane, Eric, Kathy, Marian, Maria, Peter, Rob, Robert, Sue, Annette (NTC), Maaike (NTC), Tina (visitor), Simon (visitor), Esther (leader & scribe)

Quick stats:

Distance to the top 6km – 2.5km return side trip along the range to the next peak - total trip distance 14.5km.  Total elevation gain & loss: 1365m. Total walking time: 5hrs – Total trip time 6:30hrs