Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2009. Chalmers Track and Mount Pleasant Summit


2009. Linwood Avenue view of Mt Pleasant & Mt Cavendish, Port Hills, Christchurch

One cloudy and cool Sunday morning, I parked beside Linwood Avenue to coolpix Mt Pleasant, Mt Cavendish and the Tors, as I intended climbing Mt Pleasant (499m) that afternoon.


2009. Summit Road, Port Hills view of Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Christchurch & Pegasus Bay


2009. Summit Road view of Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Christchurch & hazy Canterbury Plains


2009. Mt Pleasant-Mt Cavendish Saddle view of Lyttelton & Diamond Harbour. Mt Herbert & Mt Bradley covered by cloud

After driving up Mt Pleasant Road, I parked my car at Summit Road, Mt Pleasant-Mt Cavendish saddle, as I wanted to do a circular walk along Chalmers Track below Mt Cavendish and Mt Pleasant bluffs, then summit Mt Pleasant.

From Summit Road, I coolpixed Christchurch and Canterbury Plains. Across the saddle, from the concrete roof of a WW2 guard hut I coolpixed Lyttelton and Banks Peninsula.


2009. Mt Pleasant-Mt Cavendish Saddle view of Mt Pleasant (499m)


2009. Major Hornbrook Track / Cavendish Bluffs Track Junction view of Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour & Mt Bradley


2009. Major Hornbrook Track view of Lyttelton & Diamond Harbour


2009. Major Hornbrook Track broom polluted view of Mt Pleasant


2009. Major Hornbrook Track view of Mt Pleasant


2009. Major Hornbrook Track view of Mt Cavendish (445m) with Gondola Station on top


2009. Major Hornbrook Track view of Mt Pleasant Bluffs



2009. Major Hornbrook Track / Chalmers Track Junction on the way down to Lyttelton. Hazy Mt Evans backdrop

For 10 minutes I walked down stony Major Hornbrook Track through native bush and broom pollution, with views of Mt Evans, The Monument, Mt Herbert ahead; views of Mt Pleasant bluffs on my left; views of Mt Cavendish ridge on my right.


2009 Confusing DOC Sign: Major Hornbrook Track / Chalmers Track Junction


2009. Chalmers Track broom polluted view of hazy Mt Evans


2009. Chalmers Track view of Mt Pleasant Bluffs


2009. Chalmers Track Wooden Gate & Stile

On my way down to Lyttelton, by a DOC sign at a track junction, I turned left down grassy Chalmers Track, marked by orange poles. Chalmers Track continued down through native bush and broom below Mt Cavendish and Mt Pleasant bluffs.

Mt Evans views ahead, I passed an open, wooden gate and stile beside a dry stream. Chalmers Track briefly followed a fence, till I came upon a curved-roofed, concrete building in a bushy gully beside ruins of old concrete and stone wall structures below a red valerian festooned cliff.


2009. Chalmers Track & Red Valerian Festooned Cliff


2009. Chalmers Track view of Cliff & Mt Cavendish


2009. Chalmers Track Red Valerian Polluted Ruins. Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, Mt Bradley behind


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton & Diamond Harbour. The Monument, Mt Herbert & Mt Bradley backdrop


2009. Chalmers Track view of Mt Cavendish

Looking back up Chalmers Track I had views of Mt Cavendish Gondola Station and Mt Pleasant bluffs. Below sprawled Lyttelton suburbs down to the harbour.

Chalmers Track turned left across an old stone culvert. I crossed a stile below two old oaks, and zigzagged up through native bush, poroporo, broom and gorse, with views of Mt Evans ahead, Lyttelton below on my right, and Mt Cavendish bluffs behind.


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton, Mt Bradley, Quail Island & Gebbies Pass


2009. Chalmers Track view of Mt Cavendish & Major Hornbrook Track


2009. Chalmers Track broom polluted view of Lyttelton


2009. Chalmers Track, Broom & Poplars above Lyttelton


2009. Chalmers Track Gorse Pollution & Native Bush view of some Mt Pleasant Bluffs


2009. Chalmers Track Poroporo & Broom


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton & hazy Port Hills


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, Mt Bradley, Gebbies Pass, Quail Island


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, Mt Herbert, Mt Bradley, Gebbies Pass, Quail island


2009. Chalmers Track view of Mt Cavendish & some Mt Pleasant Bluffs


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, The Monument, Mt Herbert, Mt Bradley


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton & hazy Diamond Harbour


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton & Mt Evans


2009. Chalmers Track view of Broom, Native Bush & some Mt Pleasant Bluffs


2009. Chalmers Track view of a Bush Gully climb up a Mt Pleasant Ridge


2009. Chalmers Track view of a Mt Pleasant Ridge above Lyttelton

Below Mt Pleasant bluffs, in open grassland I crossed another stile, and coolpixed Lyttelton below. Continuing below Mt Pleasant bluffs, I watched an Australian harrier soaring in the grey sky. A fantail fluttered across Chalmers Track into dark bush.


2009. Chalmers Track view of Broom & Native Bush below Mt Pleasant Bluffs


2009. Chalmers Track view of more Broom & more Native Bush below more Mt Pleasant Bluffs. Kowhai, Sophora tetraptera, top left tree


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton, Mt Bradley, Quail Island & Gebbies Pass


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, Mt Bradley & Quail Island

I strolled through a grove of kowhai, Sophora tetraptera, and at another grassy lookout above Lyttelton 2 men, 2 women and 4 dogs passed. I watched 2 more women walking their dogs in Lyttelton below.


2009. Chalmers Track view of Kowhai, Sophora tetraptera grove below Mt Pleasant Bluffs


2009. Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton, Quail Island & Gebbies Pass


2009. Chalmers Track Gorse Pollution above Lyttelton

In grassland below Mt Pleasant bluffs I passed yellow lupins, purple foxgloves and cabbage trees, Cordyline australis, wafting floral scent. By an old stone wall, I passed the last upper Lyttelton house in a bushy gully. At a break in the stone wall a DOC sign directed me up the bushy gully:

CHALMERS TRACK <->
MAJOR HORNBROOK TRACK <- 1.5 km / 40 min
MT PLEASANT BLUFFS TRACK -> 700 m / 20 min


2009. Chalmers Track DOC Sign, Stone Wall & Bush Gully up a Mt Pleasant Ridge


2009. Chalmers Track Bush Gully up a Mt Pleasant Ridge


2009. Chalmers Track Gully view of hazy Port Hills


2009. Chalmers Track Gully view of Lyttelton & hazy Port Hills


2009. Chalmers Track Bush Gully view of Lyttelton & Port Hills


2009. Chalmers Track Gully view of Lyttelton, Governors Bay & Port Hills


2009. Chalmers Track Stone Steps in Bush Gully

Up the gully track, I passed bluff caves on my left, and on my right more bluffs with glimpses of the old stone wall going up the steep slope. Heating up, I stripped off my jersey.

Up the gully, I sweated up stone steps past ribbonwoods, Plagianthus regius, tree nettles, ferns, whiteywoods, tree fuchsias, some trees marked by orange plastic triangles. A male jogger squeezed past, going down.


2009. Chalmers Track Bush Gully Understorey


2009. Near top of Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton & Port Hills


2009. Chalmers Track Bush Gully view of Mt Pleasant Summit & Bluffs


2009. Near top of Chalmers Track Bush Gully view of Mt Pleasant & Mt Cavendish Ridges above Lyttelton. Port Hills Summit Road backdrop


2009. Near top of Chalmers Track Bush Gully view of Lyttelton & Governors Bay. Port Hills backdrop


2009. Top of Chalmers Track view of Lyttelton & Governors Bay. Port Hills backdrop

I panted upwards, through more bush, past mossy rocks, and over roots, more stone steps, and leaf litter. Above gully bluffs, the track broke into tussockland on a Mt Pleasant eastern slope, with cooling Lyttelton breezes on my back.

On top of the grassy ridge, breezes from Evans Pass cooled me quickly. On my way up to Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery, by a ridge fence I passed another DOC sign stating:

MT PLEASANT BLUFFS TRACK <->
SUMMIT RD CARPARK <- 2 km / 1 hr
EVANS PASS -> 1 km / 30 min


2009. Confusing DOC Sign, top of Chalmers Track, not mentioning Chalmers Track

The DOC sign was confusing as it didn't show Chalmers Track below.


2009. Mt Pleasant Ridge view of Mt Pleasant (499m) & Mt Cavendish (445m)


2009. Mt Pleasant Ridge view of Lyttelton, Governors Bay & Port Hills. Bridle Path, middle distance ridge


2009. Mt Pleasant Ridge view of Lyttelton, Governors Bay & Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant Ridge view of Chalmers Track in Bush Gully above Lyttelton. Quail Island, Governors Bay, Port Hills backdrop

It took me 1 hour 50 minutes to dawdle along Chalmers Track from Major Hornbrook Track junction to the ridge sign below Mt Pleasant WW2 AA Battery, with Evans Pass eastwards, and Lyttelton, Governors Bay and Port Hills behind.

I would take another 2 hours to summit Mt Pleasant, and return to my car on Summit Road via Broadleaf Lane below Mt Pleasant summit.


2009. Mt Pleasant Ridge going down to Evans Pass. Purau, Diamond Harbour, cloudy Mt Evans & The Monument backdrop


2009. Mt Pleasant Ridge view of Lyttelton Harbour Mouth by Adderley Head


2009. Mt Pleasant Ridge view of Summit Road / Evans Pass Intersection, with Godley Head Road left. Lyttelton Harbour Mouth & Adderley Head backdrop


2009. Mt Pleasant Ridge view of Lyttelton, Charteris Bay, Quail Island, Head of the Bay, Governors Bay, Gebbies Pass & Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery view of Mt Cavendish, Mt Pleasant & Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery view of Mt Pleasant Summit (499m)


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery view of Diamond Harbour, Charteris Bay & Gebbies Pass

I crossed a stile with views over Summit Road / Evans Pass intersection far below. At Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery, I counted 20 walkers passing through, myself included. Two blokes stood behind the WW2 command post wall, sheltering from the wind and looking at Lyttelton below.


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battey view of Mt pleasant Summit (499m) & Mt Cavendish Summit (445m)


2009. DOC Sign: Mt Pleasant WW11 3.7 inch Anti Aircraft Battery


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery view of Cloudy Banks Peninsula


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery view of Cloudy Mt Evans & The Monument


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery view of Mt Evans & The Monument


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Godley Head, Lyttelton Harbour Mouth & Adderley Head


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Sumner, Scarborough & Lyttelton Harbour Mouth


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Richmond Hill, Sumner & Scarborough


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Windblown Trees above Summit Road & Richmond Hill

Thirteen walkers trudged up Mt Pleasant Bluffs Track, lugging heavy backpacks. They were overdressed in boots, longs, shirts / windcheaters, hats. Their leader waved his arms about. After my gully climb, I was still cooling off, wearing jandals, shorts, shirt.


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge, Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Port Hills & Crater Rim


2009. Walkers fresh off Mt Pleasant Bluffs Track, by a Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Gun Emplacement overlooking Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, Quail Island & Gebbies Pass


2009. Walkers by a Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Gun Emplacement overlooking Diamond Harbour, Charteris Bay, Gebbies Pass & Quail Island

Beneath louring, grey clouds, I crossed a fence on my way up Mt Pleasant summit ridge. On my left I viewed Lyttelton, Port Hills and Banks Peninsula. On my right, I saw Summit Road winding down to Mt Evans Pass. I saw Adderley Head and Godley Head by Lyttelton Harbour Mouth. I saw Scarborough, Sumner, Pegasus Bay. I watched MTBs cycling through Greenwood Park above Summit Road.


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge Fence overlooking Lyttelton Harbour Mouth


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge Fence view of Mt Pleasant Summit (499m)


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Lyttelton, Charteris Bay, Quail Island, Head of the Bay, Gebbies Pass, Governors Bay, Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge zoom view of Richmond Hill, Sumner & Scarborough


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery Pit view of Mt Evans & The Monument


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery Pit view of Lyttelton Harbour Mouth


2009. Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery Pit view of Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Southshore Spit & Pegasus Bay

A distance above the WW2 AA Battery I found an 8 m x 5 m concrete-walled pit, and wondered whether WW2 military had used it as a water cistern, or for waste?


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Quail Island, Gebbies Pass & Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Clouds Over Lyttelton Harbour Mouth


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Cloud Shadow on the Pacific beyond Richmond Hill, Sumner & Scarborough


2009. Windblown Trees below Mt Pleasant Summit. Christchurch backdrop


2009. Crater Rim below Mt Pleasant Summit, Port Hills

I trudged up trackless, soggy Mt Pleasant summit ridge, aiming for the two Telecom masts and geodetic beacon on Mt Pleasant summit. I pulled on my jersey, as the wind was numbing. I'd been chilled by Mt Pleasant winds on another walk too, as Mt Pleasant was at the end of the Port Hills, winds gusting up from Lyttelton Harbour one side and Pacific the other.


2009. Mt Pleasant Crater Rim above a Mt Pleasant Ridge above Lyttelton & Diamond Harbour. Mt Evans & The Monument backdrop


2009. Mt Pleasant Crater Rim view of distant Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft battery on a ridge. Lyttelton Harbour & Mt Evans beyond


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge zoom view of Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Gun Battery


2009. Mt Pleasant Crater Rim view of Lyttelton Harbour Mouth & the Pacific


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge view of Cloud Shadow on the Pacific, beyond Richmond Hill & Scarborough


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Ridge View of Cloudy Avon-Heathcote Estuary & Pegasus Bay

On my way up, I zigzagged across the Crater Rim to look at Lyttelton and cloudy Banks Peninsula peaks on my left. On my right, I looked down Port Hills farm paddocks and reserves towards Redcliffs, Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Christchurch, Pegasus Bay, Canterbury Plains and cloudy Southern Alps.


2009. Geodetic Beacon & Two Telecom Masts on Mt Pleasant Summit, Port Hills


2009. Two Telecom Masts on Cloudy Mt Pleasant Summit, Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Shelterbelts Below Summit overlooking Christchurch


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Summit Road winding past Avon-Heathcote Estuary Mouth towards Evans Pass


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, Charteris Bay, Quail Island & Gebbies Pass


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Lyttelton, Purau & Diamond Harbour below cloudy Mt Herbert


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Gun Battery, Purau, Mt Evans & The Monument


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Lyttelton Harbour Mouth


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit zoom view of Mt Pleasant WW2 Anti Aircraft Battery


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Geodetic Beacon & Telecom Apparatus, Port Hills

After crossing a fence and greeting sheep in a summit paddock, I relaxed below Mt Pleasant summit beacon, with magnificent views of Lyttelton Harbour below and Banks Peninsula beyond. I texted Leah from Mt Pleasant summit. I wondered if the two Telecom masts were kauri wood?


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Geodetic Beacon, Port Hills, (499m)


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Pacific & Lyttelton Harbour Mouth


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Clifton, Richmond Hill, Sumner, Scarborough & Pacific


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view from Southshore Spit, Avon-Heathcote Estuary Mouth to Scarborough


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Sheep view of Telecom Apparatus & Christchurch


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Mt Cavendish & Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Lyttelton, Quail Island, Gebbies Pass & Port Hills


2009. Lyttelton Summit view of Lyttelton, Diamond Harbour, Mt Bradley, Quail Island, Gebbies Pass


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit: Two Feet Above Lyttelton, Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Mt Pleasant Summit Spur & Lyttelton Harbour views


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Lyttelton, Purau, Diamond Harbour, Mt Herbert & Mt Bradley


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Purau, Mt Evans & The Monument


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Beacon view of Lyttelton Harbour Mouth


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Beacon Below Louring Clouds, Port Hills, (499m)


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Beacon view: Clifton to Scarborough. Pegasus Bay beyond


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Telecom Mast view: Southshore Spit to Scarborough. Pegasus Bay beyond


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Telecom Mast view: Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Southshore Spit, Pegasus Bay


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Telecom Building view: Christchurch, Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Southshore Spit, Pegasus Bay


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Telecom Mast & Building view of Christchurch


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Telecom Apparatus, Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Telecom Apparatus view of Lyttelton Harbour Mouth


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Mast view of Mt Cavendish, Governors Bay & Port Hills


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Telecom Mast view of the other Telecom Mast & Geodetic Beacon, Port Hills (499m)


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Mt Cavendish above Heathcote Valley, Horotane Valley, Avoca Valley, Christchurch & Canterbury Plains


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit view of Christchurch & Canterbury Plains


2009. Mt Pleasant Scenic Reserve view of Christchurch & Canterbury Plains


2009. Mt Pleasant Scenic Reserve view of Avon-Heathcote Estuary Mouth, Southshore Spit & Pegasus Bay


2009. Mt Pleasant Scenic Reserve view of Mt Pleasant Slopes descending to Clifton, Scarborough & Godley Head. Pacific backdrop


2009. Mt Pleasant Scenic Reserve. Christchurch & Canterbury Plains backdrop


2009. Mt Pleasant Scenic Reserve Sign & Telecom Apparatus on Mt Pleasant Summit, Port Hills

With views over Christchurch, Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps, I strolled down a dirt track through tussockland in Mt Pleasant Scenic Reserve. I crossed a stile, and passed more sheep to pine and macrocarpa shelterbelts by farmhouses below Mt Pleasant summit.

At the top of Broadleaf Lane, I passed through a farm gate with a Christchurch City Council sign stating:

PUBLIC ACCESS THROUGH
PRIVATE LAND
TO MT PLEASANT RESERVE
PLEASE KEEP TO ROAD


2009. Mt Pleasant Scenic Reserve view of Mt Pleasant Slopes from Clifton to Lyttelton Harbour Mouth & Pacific


2009. Mt Pleasant Scenic Reserve Farm Road below Mt Pleasant Summit. Christchurch & Canterbury Plains backdrop


2009. Mt Pleasant Summit Farm, Port Hills. Southshore Spit & Pegasus Bay backdrop


2009. Farm Road going up to Mt Pleasant Summit Reserve, Port Hills

I walked down to Summit Road, and watched two women photographing themselves in John Britten Reserve. Another couple wandered down Kenton Track towards Mt Pleasant houses.


2009. Port Hills Broadleaf Lane / Summit Road intersection view of Southshore Spit & Pegasus Bay


2009. Summit Road / John Britten Reserve view of North-Facing Valleys: Heathcote Valley, Horotane Valley, Avoca Valley. Christchurch & Canterbury Plains backdrop


2009. Summit Road view of Walkers going down John Britten Reserve, Kenton Track to Christchurch

Coda: 2010-2011 earthquakes extensively damaged Lyttelton & Christchurch. Aftershocks caused rockfall hazards to Port Hills tracks for months. Summit Rd was partly closed for a couple of years due to rockfall hazards.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Ribbonwood, Plagianthus regius (Te Ara)

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