Cameron Valley, Rakaia

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Lovely or dreary?

To me, it’s one of the loveliest and most marvellous places on earth. However it also occurred to me it might be the complete opposite for some people. I’d love to hear what the above photo made you think.

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Kiwi Bird and I hiked into Cameron Valley in Rakaia region on Saturday. We followed the river into the head of the valley.

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There was much less snow than usual this year, but our travel involved some river and bush bashing, which made the going slower than we anticipated.

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The second morning, all is quiet in the moraine basin where Cameron Hut sits.

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I went to the semi-frozen stream to fetch water. After filling our water bottles, I instinctively stuck as much of my hand into my mouth to warm the fingers up – it was very effective. Then I could snap this shot.

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After breakfast, we hiked up the moraine wall toward Cameron Glacier.

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We headed out of the valley after having lunch back at the hut. It turns out there is actually a trail high up on the terrace above the river where it gorges, and we pretty much missed the trial the entire way in… In our defence, the afternoon sun in our eyes and the snow did not make it easy to spot the sparse white poles and cairns which mark the route. (And actually we did not think there was a marked trail…) We managed to follow the trail the whole way out, which was pretty easy going and pleasant – particularly so compared to the previous day of river bashing. It still took us 5 solid hours to walk out though.

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We saw some paradise ducks in the valley, and a magnificent Himalayan tahr. (This one is a female.) It headed up this loose steep slip like it’s no bother at all…

The best description I could (retrospectively) find for the trail into Cameron Hut is from climb NZ, and here’s the topo. Keep a sharp eye out for the intermittent cairns and poles on the true right of the river to keep at the trail.

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2 thoughts on “Cameron Valley, Rakaia

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