Trampers are always inquisitive about what’s over the pass, what’s beyond the ridge, or what’s around the corner
I gain great satisfaction searching names on topomap.co.nz, because it throws up all sorts of places I’ve never heard of. Type in ‘corner’ for example, and four pages of names pop up. Most of them, it turns out, are various road intersections on the Canterbury Plains, of little interest to trampers. But in the backcountry a smattering of interesting places appear with ‘corner’ in the title. Here are seven.
1. Ruahine Corner, Ruahine Forest Park
Ruahine Corner occupies the northwestern part of Ruahine Forest Park, and it’s a magnificent place. Rolling red tussocklands border a sharp line of pahautea forest, and there’s a comfortable six-bunk hut perched with views towards the north. Approaches are possible from several directions, most of which will take at least two days.
2. Bush Corner, Tararua Forest Park
Bush Corner is a bend in the track that leads up to Waiopehu Hut. Accessible from Poads Road, the Waiopehu Track now forms part of the Te Araroa Trail through the Tararua Range. Weekend trampers can combine the Waiopehu Track with either the track down Gable End Ridge or the route down the South Ohau River, to make a convenient circuit.
3. Dampier Corner, Dampier Range, Canterbury
Dampier Corner is a seldom-climbed knoll on the western side of the Dampier Range, accessible from Ant Stream Hut or Ant Stream Bivouac in the northeast of Arthur’s Pass National Park.
4. Klondyke Corner, Arthur’s Pass National Park
Klondyke Corner takes its name from the famous Klondyke gold rush in Alaska, and hints at the hopes Cantabrians had for riches when they built the road over Arthur’s Pass in the late 1860s. These days, Klondyke Corner is a place for picnics (when the sandflies aren’t too hungry), for camping and for beginning trips up the Waimakariri Valley.
5. Deaths Corner, Arthur’s Pass National Park
Further north on SH73 is Deaths Corner, a once notorious bend on the road, since superseded by the Otira Viaduct. From Deaths Corner you can walk the old section of road down to Candys Bend, and marvel at the men who in the 19th century forged this precarious route across shifting scree and beneath avalanche-prone bluffs using little more than pickaxes.
6. Corner Post, Haast Range, Mt Aspiring National Park
Corner Post is an understated name for a quite formidable summit (1832m) on the Haast Range, the long ridge of mountains that divides the West Coast’s mighty Arawhata and Waiatoto Rivers. A Tararua Tramping Club party first traversed it in the 1950s.
7. Corner Peaks, Takitimu Mountains
The Corner Peaks are two modest 1400m summits in the Takitimu Mountains, lying between the Waicoe and Gibraltar valleys.