Brass Monkey Biv

This weekend we managed to get away from ChCh and off tramping. It was certainly one of the more adventurous tramps that I’ve done, and certainly just with Maaike. It was off to a place I’d heard quite a bit about – Brass Monkey Biv. It’s here

We parked the van at the St. James carpark (and hoped we’d see it on return – never like parking there). Up the ridge, along the ridge – following the route in the map above. We made one, slightly wrong route choice and went down a gully that was a little steeper than it needed to be (see route in red in pic below)

Still, it wasn’t too bad, and we picked our way carefully. Still, not optimum.

It was about a 6 1/2 hour walk for us to make the hut. Mist was threatening to come in all the time, but our navigation was good (no tracks to follow this time!), and we had a tent anyway just in case everything went to pot. If you look very carefully (and imaginatively) you can see the biv in the middle of this pic – it was a welcome sight.

Lovely place to spend an evening. The mist was coming in all the time though, and we woke up to pretty thick fog. It cleared up enough, and I think our navigation would have been up to the challenge anyway, but it does make me think about getting a GPS and an PLB (personal locator beacon – ping a satellite and they send a chopper your way). I’m all for personal responsibility, but I’m also for stacking the odds in your favour.

Anyway, mist.

And then it was out to the road where we had to wait about 5 minutes before getting a lift from some venture scouts coming back from Nelson!! Fantastic – saved a 10 km uphill walk.

Also, here is a short video which really won’t mean much to anyone outside of ChCh, but it’s a skit on the earthquake recovery efforts… The jacket is the “Parka of Power” that our Mayor (Bok Parker) wears all the time… and it’s evil and makes you power hungry it seems.

He’s talking about a glider which is coming – a reference to Richy McCaw the NZ All Blacks captain who arrives at the end of the skit (and can walk on water.. but that’s a whole different story!)
Really really good skit – hadn’t laughed so much in ages.


4 comments on “Brass Monkey Biv

  1. Nice Patrick. I went up there yesterday. It was a good day trip up and down from one mile. Quite pleased to have time from exiting at 4pm to get a beer and hotpool soak in at hanmer. It was a recce to see if I can do a ski tour without getting wet and still complete a nice loop out to the Lewis tops. Found a good ridge so its all go once the snow comes. Will leave a bike at Lewis pass for return to car.

  2. The four of us were up there WEd/Thur last, from Rough Creek. Sidle round from spot height 1390 was very straightforward and easy to navigate both ways. Arrived in gale, very glad of the bivvy and not needing to use tents. Perfect day for return via same route. A great trip and destination.

    • Hi Roger, How long did it take you from SH7 to Brass Monkey Biv (via Rough creek) and how suitable is it for someone doing it by themself (i.e. not too precarious?). Was looking to fastpack it in February possibly by myself (only in good weather), heading back and down to Lake Christabel Hut.

      • Hello Barry. It took us all day with plenty of stops for brew ups and photography. By taking the sidle it was not at all precarious. We probably left SH7 at 9am and as I recall were at the Bivvy by about 5pm. The view of the sidle before we reached spot height 1390 made it easy to start in the right spot. We got into what might have been a geological fault that had probably been used by wild animals and coincided perfectly with maintaining the same altitude for most of the sidle. I would think a fast tramper on their own would take perhaps half the time.

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