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Vane Stream


When Mildred Huggins and Joan Singleton crossed from the Ramsay Glacier over Strachan Pass and Mt Lord to head out down the Wanganui River on 30 December 1934, Essex Ice blocked right across the whole Vane Valley. Vane Stream plunged down through a hole in its centre.

POINT (170.863838 -43.22438)

Vane Stream (difficult to cross near the Evans River) can all be travelled on the true left from the Wanganui to the Essex Jn, sidling a bluff at J34 365741. Go right up to the bluff and climb a hidden scrubby ledge diagonally downvalley. About 20m height up, sidle upvalley for 100m and drop down quickly under another bluff to gravel again. (Sidling on the true right between the Wanganui and the Essex becomes impractical at J34 365744 where a bluff makes crossing necessary). Above the Essex, continue on the true left, climbing out towards the Main Divide slightly from the Wilberg Glacier branch up old moraine. Mt Lord, the Hazard and Whitcombe can then be approached from here.

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In Dec 2014, after a hard days travel up the Wanganui (8hrs from Hunters to Smyth Hut), we headed up Vane Stream, staying on the true left the whole way to a good campsite at the junction with the Essex outflow. It was navigable but quite hard going. Vane Stream was running high although it had been nearly 48 hrs since the last storm. It took 5 hrs from Smyth Hut to reach this camp, we were slowed down mainly due to the damage to the upper Wanganui. Upstream from the Essex flats travel is more straightforward. From here we headed over Mt Lord and Strachan Pass to the Ramsay Glacier and upper Rakaia.

Fri, 04/09/2015 - 21:22 Permalink
Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint,
in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club