Climbing Mt Alexander in Arthurs Pass (Canterbury)

I'd just come back from a solid week of eating and sleeping over the Xmas holidays when I got a text from Jo, a born and bred Cantabrian mate and keen outdoorsman to say he was climbing Mt Alexander (1958m). In need of some exercise I jumped at the chance, and together with Mark and James set off from Christchurch at 10am, arriving around 12pm at the start of the track, near Lake Brunner. Mt Alexander from Arthurs PassWe parked the car, packed up and headed past the 10 or so beehives located near the track entrance. If you're doing this trip, make sure you just drive straight through the gate and park in the gravel area, bypassing the bees. We boulder hopped across the stream weaving our way upwards before joining the track toward the hut, which we arrived at 2 hours later and upon arrival saw this awesome piece of art. Letterbox before hutThe Camp Creek hut had 6 beds and had been kept well, good on you DOC and the responsible campers! The hut even had a bush bath right outside which was put to good use. Bush Bath While today was only a short walk, we needed to start early if we were to make the summit and would be a 10 or so hour day. We caught up on all the reading in the hut including Readers Digests from the 70's and fell asleep on dark. We woke at 6 and after breakfast started our walk at 7, the day was amazing with little to no wind. The track itself was quite steep for the first few hours and in some places muddy, I had my trusty Skellerup hunting boots on however Jo and Mark had lighter shoes which were fine. We reached above the bush line at about 9.30am to this view. Mt AlexanderWhen you get above the bush line, there are two ways to go, we scrambled up to the right as we wanted to see if there was some deer among the tops. It's mostly signposted and at the top you will find some tarns, so if you do get low on water at this point you should be fine. IMG_6508 We made it to Low Peak at around 10.30 and headed for the summit after stashing our bags, making the trip much easier. There are a few areas along this point from Low Peak to the Summit that require attention such as this area below. IMG_6516 We spotted this Chamois along the way. IMG_6525Unfortunately as we neared the top it clouded over, so we never really got to see any views from the top which we reached dead on 12pm. There was also snow for the last 300 metres or so, which made a nice contrast to the hot blue skies we were in just an hour or so ago. IMG_6535We spent just 5 or so minutes on the top before heading back down, the return trip was agonisingly slow given the steepness of the track. We arrived back to the car at 6pm, all in all an 11 hour day. Thanks to Jo for organising the trip! Writing this with sore legs I'm feeling slightly less guilty for the week of doing nothing over Xmas. Like CamperMate on Facebook Blog post by Adam Hutchinson