Gillespie Pass

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Country: New Zealand Tour / Mountain: Gillespie Pass
Start: Makarora End: Makarora
Route: Makarora, , ? hut, Siberia hut, Kerin Forks hut, Makarora
Distance:   Time: 4 days
Supply: self suficient, huts    

2-4 river crossings

Rating: Lovely but with a couple of difficult river crossings
3 valleys tour: After we have crossed the Haast pass successfully I have discovered that Makarora, the next small place, is a starting point for the 4-day Gillespie pass trek. The next morning I have reported Nadine about the travelling possibility and after we just still had enough stocks of food with ourselves and our bicycles in the centre DOC (DOC have meant: Department of Conservation and is virtually a national park and nature conservation authority in New Zealand who also looks after all footpaths and huts) were unterput, it went left on foot around noon. The Gillespie pass connects Young Tal with the Siberia valley and the Wilkin valley and lies on about 1500 m.above sealavel. The day are for quick travellers with mostly 6 - 8 hours stated hihing time and because the New Zealand huts are all self-supporting huts, one must carry his whole food with himself. Looking back a very nice tour!
River crossing: Nevertheless, the tour has a small hook, because to come to the tour, or from the tour again out one must cross in each case the Makarora river. Nearly all tourists are stopped from the challenge and sign on a jet boat that transfers them dry, but, after our tours with John and Ann, wet feet and river crossings are for us in the meanwhilea a standard programme. Now, nevertheless, o.k. this was applied a little thickly, because the Makarora was a really big river with strong current. Up to the hip we stood in the ice-cold water and would be the current have been stronger we would have had serious problems. However, thus we have come easily on the other side.
Rainbows: Actually, we should have been recompensed for the steep increase of the Gillespie pass with an impressive view, but, the weather wanted it differently and thus we were glad with drizzle, strong winds and thick clouds that it came not even more badly. On the descent then, nevertheless, the big recompensation. Every now and then the clouds burst and thus we might admire more than one hour permanently other rainbows!
Siberia for normal tourists: In the middle of the Siberia valley lies the Siberia hut. Ordinarily costs a hut overnight stay 10, - $NZ, nevertheless, thanks to our hut passs we got for 90, - $NZ, here we can spend the night free of charge. Nevertheless, here the main attraction is the "Siberia Experience". For floppy 240.-$NZ (about 140€) one can let fly him in by a small airplane to the Siberia hut. Now one must walk during 2-3 hours downstream to the Wilkin river. Then in the Wilkin a jet boat expects one that brings one through a rapid journey back to the starting point. The whole tour would cost less than half if one only by the jet boat booted up the Wilkin, and after a small hike of the Siberia hut will be able to be to flown out, however, this says of course nobody.
Kerin Forks hut: Our last overnight stay on the Gillies pass trek should be the Kerin Forks hut. The hut lies in only about 1.5 trekking hours from the Siberia hut, so, actually, a comfortable day. Nevertheless, a small hook had the sdaye, because to come to the hut one must cross first the Wilkin river. After strong rainfall at night water and in the normal ford led of the Wilkin substantially one would have stood about the breast in the water. Beside the high water level current of the Wilkin was strong and so crossing was impossible at this point. Something above formed of the Wilkin, nevertheless, some arms and thus we tried together with John a Canadian, to cross there the river. First everything looked very promising and the first 3 arms we were able easily by or cross (on trunk), however, the last arm was impassable again. After we too stopped the attempt after about 2 hours and went back to the real transitional place. Fortunately, the water level had sunk meanwhile so strongly that one could see the stones on the ground here now again, and, finally, thus we managed easily the river crossing. The Kerin Forks hut was only a half as big with 10 beds than the Siberia hut and was very comfortable. Also the 76 year-old hut warden was absolutely first-class and looked older no day than 60. Anyhow he had roasted to himself and his friends too many steaks to the dinner and thus he offered them to us. We as a vegetarian refused them with thanks and thus John could be pleased with 3 tasty steaks.
Back to the starting point by hiking along a level valley and again with two river crossings




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