Saturday 5 August 2023
Beebys Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park
Our group of 10 left the gate on the Tophouse Road at 9.15 and started the long walk up the 4WD track.
Smidgins of snow became more pronounced the further up we went, and it was a steady non-relenting climb. The track was lined by trees, regularly opening out to our right with vistas of the Raglan Range. The snow became a deeper carpet under our feet.
We had morning tea in the sun at the junction where the track heads left and over to the Korere Road.
Shortly afterwards we struck the junction for the Maitland Track on our right, and at this point the trees disappeared, the track opened out into open rolling tussock land, and the snow thinned out. The views behind us to Nelson Lakes National Park were impressive, as were the peaks of the Kahurangi National Park to our left and the Richmond Range ahead, but there was relatively little snow on the peaks. It’s been a warm winter!
We continued following the 4WD track, passing the side road on the right which the maintenance vehicles take to the crown of antennae atop Beebys Knob (1442m).
We reached Beebys Hut, nestled at the edge of a copse of trees, just before twelve, perfect timing for lunch. We had a quick look inside (6 bunks, fireplace), signed the hut book and then arrayed ourselves along the side of the hut for lunch. It was sunny with no wind, so wasn’t at all cold despite the coating of snow on the ground.
After lunch we retraced our route back to the cars. Once we reached the slope below Beebys Knob we headed up through sparse snow to the transmitter towers. Another group of four and an enthusiastic dog were having lunch at the trig, and we walked down with them to the junction of the track to the Korere Road where they peeled off.
By 3pm we were back at the cars on the Tophouse Road, our trip having taken five hours 45 minutes. It was a return trip of 16km, with an elevation gain of 960m, A sterling effort.
As it was still early, a unanimous decision was made to head to St Arnaud for a coffee / hot chocolate at the Alpine Lodge. A super way to end the day, before our hour-long journey back to Richmond.
We were Diane (leader and scribe), Pete (videographer), Ross, Simon, Jenny, Julie, Roger, Sue, Maria and Rob