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Garston-Nevis-Bannockburn: May 21, 2022

We met at the Coffee Bomb in Garston at 9:30am for a hot coffee - heart starter on a very cold morning. Ice on the ground at Garston promised plenty of snow and ice ahead. 5 trucks set off - four magnificent Toyotas and one very capable Mitsubishi carrying Keith, Lynden and India, Mike and Kerri, Kevin, Dave and Emma.

The trip:

After airing down and climbing up to the old Garston Ski Club hut we gathered for a photo and to admire Dave’s new heavily modified Hilux and Mike’s new Land Cruiser. Then it was up and away across recent heavy snow over the summit and time to play on the road and the adjacent tracks.

Great snow play and some testing sections which were well handled by the drivers as we moved along the tops and slowly descended to the valley. Lots of snow on the ground for a fair way giving a different driving experience. Fairly gloomy overcast weather for the Garston end of the trip.

The Lower Nevis also provided a likely spot for Dave to test his new ride – and yes, the saying is true - it’s a matter of WHEN you get stuck, not IF! A quick snatch recovery by Mike and we headed off to check out some old sluicing spots.

Keith led us to a privately owned holiday hut near Commissioners Creek. A sign on the door asked visitors to respect the hut and invited everyone to use the long-drop and BBQ table outside the hut. A nice lunch spot sheltered from the wind.

From here on we had a dry valley floor with clear sky and lots of sun! Hard to believe we’d just been in plenty of snow under gloomy cloud cover. On past the old Nevis Post Office and buildings and then up to Duffers Saddle and it’s snow time again. Great fun navigating the tracks and snow drifts to get to Old Woman Hut and time to get some shelter in the hut and a quick hot drink.

The fine weather lasted until we’d had our coffee, then turned very cold with strong wind gusts causing horizontal snow flurries and a promise of worse weather to follow. Off again, back to Duffers Saddle and down to Bannockburn for a debrief at 4:45pm. Another great day out, and successful maiden club trips for Dave and Mike in their new trucks.

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