Trip 1. Temple Stream and Gunsight Pass

27-29 March 2017.

We started up North Temple Stream, a very pleasant gradual climb through mountain beech forest to the tree line. Then over Gunsight Pass into South Temple valley, returning down that valley to our start point. The pass is a long climb up a rocky, occaisionally steep streambed, then a long way down a loose scree slope. Reasonably straightforward, at least in fine weather and dry conditions.

 
Lichen-covered mountain beech in North Temple Stream.
The tussock basin at the head of North Temple Stream.
 
Looking from our campsite towards Gunsight Pass. The route goes up the obvious gully.
Another view up to Gunsight Pass.
 
Our campsite, tucked up under cliffs high in the North Temple basin.
 
Part way up Gunsight Pass. It’s gunna be a hot day!
From Gunsight Pass, looking into the South Temple. The triangular peak towards the left is Mt Maitland. Our original trip objective was Elusive Peak, the bump to the left of Mt Maitland. After a hot day crossing into the South Temple, we decided we were not yet fit enough for a second hot day’s climbing through scree basins. This preserving Elusive Peak’s elusive status… But it’s on the list for a later trip!
Looking north from Gunsight Pass to Rabbitters Peak. Aoraki Mt Cook on the skyline.

Sue on Gunsight Pass.
Bruce Peak from the South Temple. Gunsight Pass is to the left of the peak.
Some interesting glossy berries on an alpine ground cover plant.
Dave on the scree below Bruce Peak.
A feature of the South Temple valley is the extensive sub-alpine vegetation – it’s not either tussock or beech like the North temple.
Campsite in the beech forest in the South Temple valley.
South Temple hut. Inhabited by two very pleasant DOC workers (Gemma and Jamie) and an obliging Australian hunter.
A hard life as a beech tree – growing on rocks!
Spider’s webs forming interesting cocoons.
View up the North Temple stream, from near our start/finish point.