Showing posts with label Clinton Hut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clinton Hut. Show all posts

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Great Walk: Milford Track: 4-7th December 2018

 The Milford Track, my 'Great Walk' for 2018...

I'm working my way steadily through the Great Walks, my efforts for this year was the Milford Track down in Fiordland. Often touted as "the finest walk in the world", it is certainly beautiful and remote feeling.

I finally managed to get onto the track this year after five years of trying to get hut bookings, the recent trial doubling of international visitor prices seems to have dampened demand a touch

Sutherland Falls, Milford Track, Fiordland National Park

I took the Intercity bus to Te Anau to save on was cheap (only $28 as I booked early) but LOOOONNNGGGGG. It was a 12 hour trip from Christchurch to Te Anau via Dunedin, this was OK as I was asleep for most of the way.

Church in Oamaru close to the bus stop...30 minute break here!

The bus we were riding is usually reserved for the All Blacks but we had it as the usual Intercity double deck bus was out of service....very plush it was too!

The replacement Intercity bus we were on..the All Blacks use this sucker when in Canterbury...

On the way south you stop at every town from a couple of minutes up to nearly an hour. In Gore I went to the nearby pub for a pint n' pie as we were stopped there for 45 minutes..cant do that if your driving yourself...damn fine it was too!!!

The famous Gore clock tower....still 3 hours to Te Anau
The pub in Gore right next to the bus stop...handy!!!

Anyway check out my adventures in an area of the country I intend to spend more time in over the next couple of years.This is the first of two posts covering the first two days of the trip...

 Te Anau: gateway to Fiordland National Park

Any trip to Fiordland National Park will start from Te Anau. Te Anau is the gateway to the southern lakes, from here you can access some of the iconic tracks: the Milford/Kepler/Routeburn, the Hollyford and the Doubtful Sound tracks.

It is also the starting point for any journey along the iconic Te Anau-Milford Sound Highway.

Lake Te Anau from near the DOC visitor Centre
I spent two days in Te Anau before the tramp and one morning afterwards, I really like the town despite its tourist bent. I could easily see myself working and living down here if I was in an industry anchored on the outdoors.

Lake Te Anau with the Kepler Mountain Range in the distance

Statue of Quinton MacKinnon on the lake front

Te Anau is a compact town, it is mostly tourist accommodation but the main part of town also has all the services and shops you need pre-trip. There are numerous cafes and restaurants, two good outdoor shops, two supermarkets and the usual mix of souvenir shops.

Looking down the main street in Te Anau township

Cruising boats on Lake Te Anau waterfront

One of the local helicopter services preparing to depart Te Anau

If you come down here in your own vehicle just be careful of the roads...the stretch from Gore to Te Anau and Queenstown to Te Anau are two of the most accident prone in New Zealand.

On the bus and water taxi to Glade Wharf

I collected my hut passes and tickets for the various boats and buses from the DOC visitor centre in Te Anau the day before I started my tramp. This is the pick up point for the bus to Te Anau Downs so it was good to familiarize myself beforehand.

The DOC visitor center at Te Anau

A Tui in a flax bush right outside the DOC Visitor center

I left for the trip to Te Anau Downs from the DOC visitor center on the shores of Lake Te Anau. There are numerous ways to get to the water taxi, the default one used when you book the huts on the Milford is the Tracknet shuttle.

There are two buses/watertaxi's to the start of the Milford Track each day; one at 09. 30 and another at 12 noon. I was on the early bus leaving at 09.30 with about 10 other people not all of whom were walking the track.

Tracknet bus that carried us to Te Anau Downs

The bus takes about half an hour to get to Te Anau Downs, from there you transfer to the water-taxi for the one hour ride up the lake to the start of the Milford Track. The water taxi had about 20 odd people on it: my independent tramper group, some guided walkers, a few day trampers and a group of DOC staff.

Walking down to the water-taxi at Te Anau Downs wharf

Looking back at the Te Anau Downs wharf from the boat

The boat was quite nice, it holds about 50 people inside and there was free water/tea/coffee/hot chocolate for the duration of the trip. As I said earlier there was a mix of DOC personal, guided walkers and eight independent walkers.

Comfortable seating in the Fiordland Express water-taxi

I spent time both inside and topside on the boat, it was a calm day so I managed to stay in shirt sleeves for all of the journey. The mountains look really spectacular all around the lake and the female captain had a running commentary of points of interest as we cruised up to the head of the lake.

Starting the one hour voyage up Lake Te Anau to the track start

Approaching Centre Island, mid reaches of Lake Te Anau

Looking back down Lake Te Anau from the Fiordland Express water-taxi

View up the North Arm of Lake Te Anau

There is a poignant memorial on one of the small islands mid lake...Quinton MacKinnon the joint discoverer of the pass at the end of the Clinton Valley was lost at sea returning to Glade House in a storm. All they ever found of him was some of his clothing on a rocky outcrop. There is a memorial cross on the spot.

Commemorative cross for Quinton MacKinnon, lost while crossing Lake Te Anau in the late 1880's

Striking, sharp rock faces along the surrounding mountains

Enjoying the sun on the top deck of the water taxi, Lake Te Anau

First clear view of the Clinton Valley and Glade Wharf from the boat

On the way to Glade Wharf we passed the Dore Pass route to the start of the Milford, this starts on the Milford-Te Anau Highway and climbs along a high altitude poled route.

Dore Pass route from the water taxi to Glade Wharf

It looked like a hard and difficult way to get to the start of the Milford Track but it is an alternate point of access if you didn't want to come via the lake.You would only want to go this way if you were a real hard core would be well rugged!

Day one: Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut: 5 kms/1-2 hours

The final destination for the boat was Glade Wharf on a small peninsula next to the Clinton River. This is the start point for both guided and independent walkers...independent walkers stay in DOC huts and carry all their own gear whilst guided walkers stay in quite plush lodges and carry small packs with only their clothing and lunch in them.

The cheapest guided package is $2200 comparison my tickets, food, transport and ancillaries cost $450. If you are a Kiwi you pay $70 per night for the huts, international visitors pay $140 per night.

This price differential is a trial for 2019 but as with all things once trialed never withdrawn...

Approaching Glade wharf on Lake Te Anau

We had to do the 'bucket dance' when we got off the boat...treatment of your footwear for introduced pests like didymo and diseases that affect native trees. Everyone had to enter the sheep dip to try to keep these problems out of the park.

Didymo containment treatment at Glade the bucket dance!!!

The water-taxi used to transport walkers to the start of the Milford Track

The Milford Track starts two meters off the is three nights, four days and 33.5 miles/56 kilometers from here to Sandfly Point at the end of the track. They still measure the Milford in miles as that was the historic measure they used when the track was first developed. There are still mile markers right along the track to measure your progress.

Start of the Milford Track...33.5 miles to Sandfly Point!

On the Milford Track, Fiordland...typical wide clear Great Walk track

For most of the first day you have intermittent views of the Clinton River, it is a deep aqua color and meanders fairly calmly down the valley. I saw trout in some of the deeper nooks of the river and abundant bird life in the forest and on the water.

First view of the Clinton River from the Milford Track, Fiordland

Large red Beech and Mountain Totara flank the Milford Track, Fiordland

Glade House is the first hut you come to on the track. This is the third hut built in this location, both of the previous lodges burnt down...candles, open fires and wooden structures don't really mix well.

Glade House will accommodate 50 guests, staff and guides at any one time so it is large and fairly opulent. Guided walkers only carry their personal clothing and lunch...everything else is supplied by the guiding company: accommodation, meals, alcoholic beverages etc..

Glade House...first night accommodation for guided walkers

Close up of the Glade House sign, the Milford Track, Fiordland

Glade House looks flash inside with electric lights, heating, warm showers etc....

Once past the lodge you have another hour to walk to reach Clinton Hut, the first stage is crossing the Clinton River on a very pretty swing-bridge. Unfortunately I managed to cut my hand on a sharp bridge stay even though I know they can be sharp. I whacked a bit of duct tape over it and dealt with in once I got to the hut.

On the Milford Track, Fiordland..approaching the first swing-bridge over the Clinton River

The first swing-bridge over the Clinton River, the Milford Track Fiordland

Fellow independent walkers crossing the Clinton Swing-bridge in front of me

There are mile markers showing the distance walked in both miles and kilometers, keep a hold of the pamphlet they give you as you collect your tickets as it shows the location of the markers on a basic topographic map.

The first mile marker the Milford Track Fiordland

Slicing and dicing my hand.....

The track is beautifully smooth and easy at this end of the Valley, it was most pleasant walking. Of course it gets much rougher at the MacKinnon Pass end but this is a Great Walk so it is never totally awful. The forest has some stunningly big examples of Beech and Totora trees in it, some right next to the track are 5-6 meters around...

Bush track on the way to Clinton Hut, the Milford Track Fiordland

Really large Mountain Totora Tree alongside the Milford Track Fiordland

All of the side streams are bridge with the standard DOC bridge sections, these are lifted off the track as winter approaches to save them from avalanche and flood damage over the winter. One of the hut wardens told us they store them at the Prairie which is a big grassland halfway up the Clinton Valley

One of the removable bridges used on the Milford Track Fiordland

The river is your constant companion for most of the first two days, it is interesting to see its various moods...soft, calm and wide...dark, constricted and brooding....excited and chaotic over the rapids.

The Clinton River from near the Wetland sidetrack, the Milford Track Fiordland

The mountainous terrain around the Clinton River Valley, the Milford Track Fiordland

I decided on this trip I was going to do the side walks...hey I might never visit this track again so it was worth doing it right the first time. I shot down the five minute Wetland Walk to have a look at the swamp, great views of the mountains but the swamp was dry so not as interesting as I thought it might be.

Heading up the Wetland Walk, the Milford Track Fiordland

The board-walked Wetland Walk, the Milford Track Fiordland

View up the Clinton Valley from on the Wetland Walk

The Wetland Walk was dry as there had been little rain the previous week

Waterfall descending the     Range, the Milford Track Fiordland

Once past the Wetland Walk it is only another 15-20 minutes to Clinton Hut, the track cruised alongside the river for the whole way. I heard a number of Whio or Blue duck along here but never could get a clear view of them.They are resident in the area and in fact I saw some in the upper reaches of the Clinton River on day two.

View of the beautiful Clinton River from near the turn off to Clinton Hut, the Milford Track Fiordland

After about an hour and a half you finally arrive at Clinton Hut, this is the first of the DOC huts along the track and a welcome sight.  I was happy to arrive and get inside as it means you get to avoid the awful sand-flies.....hardly surprising as the hut is located in the middle of a big swamp.

The turn-off to Clinton Hut, the Milford Track Fiordland

First view of Clinton Hut through the trees, the Milford Track Fiordland

Toilet block at Clinton Hut complex, Milford Track

The DOC huts on the track each hold 40 people, they are all built to different design's and vary in age from 5 to 30 years old. Clinton Hut is set out around a large deck area, two 20 person bunk-rooms and a combined dining & recreation building.

One of the bunk-rooms at Clinton Hut , Milford Track

The person in the photo below is the Japanese independent walker who was walking the track with me. I talked to him a lot on the track...his English was not so good but he was a decent cheery chap. His meals at night looked absolutely amazing...soft Japanese style fluffy rice and various vegetable curries. Everyone in the hut was quite envious of his food choices...

The living/cooking area at Clinton Hut, Milford Track

The whole Clinton Hut complex, Milford Track

The huts are in good condition and because this is a great walk they have piped filtered water, cookers with gas, firewood, flush toilets and plenty of space. We eventually had 28 people walking the track independently so we had a lot of extra space as that is only 3/4 full.

Dining areas inside Clinton Hut living space

The handy cookers supplied along the Milford Track by Doc, these in Clinton Hut

Later in the day it started to rain in true Fiordland bucketed down for hours. Those of us who took the early ferry arrived before the rain but those who came on the afternoon ferry looked like drowned rats by the time the got to the hut.

Rain sets in for the afternoon at Clinton Hut, Milford Track

Interior of one of the Clinton Hut bunk-rooms, Milford Track

Wet deck area after a couple of hours of rain, Clinton Hut

I idled the afternoon away drinking tea, reading my book, chopping firewood and generally moping around. A word of advice: bring long trousers and a long sleeve top on this track. I normally do without but the sand-flies are awesomely bad the end I had some long track pants on, my polar fleece, socks and they were still biting me.

Everyone was at the hut by 6 pm...most were Kiwis but we also had people from South Africa, the UK, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, the USA, Canada and one Japanese guy.

Board-walk to the helipad at Clinton Hut, Milford Track

View of Clinton Valley from the Clinton Hut helipad

The hut warden came in at 7.30 pm and gave us a talk about the flora and fauna of the area and general information about the track, hazards etc. He took a group out into the forest for a nature walk. I stayed inside because it was hosing with rain but my fellow hut mates said he was an entertaining chap.

Nice natural planting around Clinton Hut
Everyone was in bed by 10 pm as we had a big day the next day:  16 kms and 6 hours walk to Mintaro Hut. I was a bit worried about the next day because it absolutely bucketed down rain over night but in the event it largely stopped by 4 am so there was no track flooding to worry about.


Day two: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut: 16 kms/6 hours

It was still raining when I got up at 6 am but with little of the intensity of the previous evening...I was the second person up and the second person out of the hut in the morning, I also followed this pattern on day three.

On the side track back to the main Milford Track

It was jacket on and slog through the light rain right from the hut door, it was nice walking along as the thick forest stopped most of the rain. It was also relatively warm so I was wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt so I didn't overheat. I didn't have gaiters with me but they might have been useful at times as there was a bit of wet grass to walk through near the Prairie.

Track sign at the turn off to Clinton Hut, Milford Track

Back on the nice Milford track along the Clinton River

Even Great Walks have wind fall on them....on the Milford Track, Fiordland

I was following the Japanese dude who was walking the track with us but he was a real speed demon, I lost sight of him about an hour out from the hut and didn't see him again until I got to Mintaro Hut in the late afternoon.

It was raining for the first two hours but so lightly I hardly got wet at all...great for the waterfalls though as there were literally hundreds of them coursing down the surrounding cliffs. Spectacular and one of the highlights of this trip, especially the ones falling vertically through the mist hanging around the top of the ridges. 

Even though there were about 60 of us on the track I often felt like I was the only person in the world.

The West Branch of the Clinton River, on the Milford Track, Fiordland

There was a bit of damage to the track, not surprising given they receive 7-9 meters of rain a year in this valley. Some of the sections close to the river had fallen in, and there were a couple of fallen trees and slips on the track.

Nothing too drastic though.

On the Milford Track, Fiordland...track washed out by the Clinton River

A small slip on the Milford Track caused by excess rainfall

The Clinton River looking towards a cloudy MacKinnon Pass

One of the many avalanche tracks you cross on the Milford Track, Fiordland

The Clinton River grows more wild the further up valley you travel

Clinton Valley: Ferns and moss covered podocarp forest alongside the Milford Track

You break out into the open near Hirere Falls and what a sight it is. Literally hundreds of waterfalls falling down the sides of the valley. Because of the light rain they were all in action, I can only imagine what they would be like if it was really raining. As it was I could easily have taken a hundred spectacular photos of waterfalls in this area alone.

Hirere Falls from the Milford Track

Waterfalls coursing down the sides of the Clinton Valley, Milford Track, Fiordland

The area shown in the two photos below is the result of avalanches coming down the side of the valley and wiping out all of the vegetation. One of the reasons this is a seasonal track is the danger of devastating avalanches...the valley sides are steep and they get a LOT of snow in winter. 

In fact I heard an avalanche happening further up towards the head of this valley as I was walking across the Prairie later in the day. If you walk the track in the Winter you do so at your own risk. 

Waterfalls coursing down the sides of the Clinton Valley, Milford Track, Fiordland

An avalanche path in the mid regions of the Clinton Valley, Milford Track, Fiordland

Waterfalls coming down the true left of the Clinton Valley

Waterfalls coursing down the sides of the Clinton Valley, Milford Track, Fiordland

Excellent view of the mid Clinton River,  Clinton Valley, Milford Track, Fiordland

Waterfall flowing right beside the Milford Track

Clinton river and waterfalls coursing done the sides of the Clinton Valley, Milford Track, Fiordland

There are places in both the Clinton and Arthur Valleys where the track floods in heavy rain. DOC have placed markers on both sides of the track so walkers stay on course when the water is up to their waists...

Generally these sections of track are on raised causeways formed using gravel from the river beds, the photo below is a perfect example.

Track markers for when the river floods...Milford Track

I started closing in on the Hirere Shelter after about two hours, you have to sit outside under an open sided roof but it does protect you from the rain and allows you to eat a snack while staying dry. The Guided walkers stop here for lunch as it is about 4 hours into their day. The hut had two bunks inside and was equipped with a stove and fireplace so the guides can prepare hot drinks for the walkers. 

It was cold water and a bag of nuts for Jon travelling cattle class...

The guided walkers Hirere Falls Shelter, Milford Track, Fiordland

Inside Hirere Falls Shelter....two bunks, fireplace, gas stove, toilet...

One of the covered rest spots at Hirere Falls Shelter, Milford Track

Some history about the Hirere Falls Hut, Milford Track

The hut sign at Hirere Falls Shelter hut

I stopped at the shelter for a rest and snack and then set off up valley to the Bus Stop Shelter. The second day is roughly broken down into three hour blocks:

Clinton Hut to Hirere Falls shelter     2 hours
Hirere Falls Shelter to the Bus Stop shelter   2 hours
Bus Stop shelter to Mintaro hut 2.5 hours

The last two hours are the is surprisingly steep (it reminds me of the climb to Blue Hut in Nelson Lakes NP), it was also hot as the sun came out and very, very muggy. I managed to stay ahead of the tramping pack up to this point but from the Bus Stop to Mintaro I was passed by numerous guided and independent walkers. 

If you are coming to walk the Milford do a lot of hill walking beforehand, the remainder of the track from the Bus Stop to Sandfly Point was either going up or down a hill.

View of MacKinnon Pass from near Hidden Lake

I saw lots of obvious glacial action in the terrain...classic U shaped valley's, hanging valley's, medial moraines, massive erratic boulders, Roche moutonnees etc etc. This area would be a geologists fantasy location because of the varied geologic types on display.

St Quinton Falls coming out of hanging valley, on the Milford Track, Fiordland

Take the time to go look at the small lakes you pass going up this valley, they are all beautiful and most had active waterfalls going into them so great photos...

The turn off to Hidden Lake, just before the Prairie on the Milford Track, Fiordland

As you can see the rain had stopped by this time so I could take may jacket off but the waterfalls were still pumping as they had several hours of rain water to get rid of. While it was still cloudy about the tops there were patches of sunlight and the air started to warm up.

Hidden Lake, Milford Track, Fiordland National Park

Just before you reach the Bus Stop Shelter you cross the Prairie...this is a large mid valley grassland with excellent views both up and down the Clinton Valley. There is a shelter here but it is a very simple overhead cover and the sand-flies are ferocious...

Big Paradise Duck on the Clinton River near the Prairie, Milford Track

View back down the Clinton Valley from the Prairie, Milford Track

Numerous waterfalls coming down the flank of Mt Balloon Ridge, Milfor Track

At the end of the Prairie you climb steadily up hill to reach Marlees Stream and the Bus Shop Shelter.
The shelter was disgusting inside...ratty, dirty and moldy so I just sat on a rock outside and had a belated lunch break.

Make sure you refill a water bottle before you reach this point as there was nowhere to resupply from the Prairie right up until you are a kilometre from Mintaro hut.

Open forest on the climb up from the Prairie, on the Milford Track, Fiordland

The Bus Shop Shelter, two more hours to Mintaro Hut

Sign outside the Bus Stop shelter, on the Milford Track, Fiordland

Marlees Stream can be a problem if there is any rain at can see why as it is very steep and has a dozen waterfalls feeding it....if you get here and cannot cross the stream you will have to wait it out in the Bus Stop shelter....

Approaching the Marlees Creek crossing on the Milford Track, Fiordland

Marlees Creek crossing on the Milford Track, Fiordland

Just past Marlees Creek is the entrance to Pompolona Hut, this is the second of three huts for the guided walkers. The closest you can get is the entrance to the complex, the staff get a bit miffed if you get too close to their lodges.

From here you can see parts of the accommodation block but that is about it.

The entrance to Pompolona Lodge on the Milford Track, Fiordland

The closest I got to exclusive Pompolona Lodge, on the Milford Track, Fiordland

Past Pompolona Lodge it is about another hour and a half to cover the last three km's to Mintaro Hut, it is all up-hill so it is really slow going. You gain 350 meters of elevation over this last section so it is basically like walking up the Port Hills in Christchurch. I found it quite difficult because I was tired and dehydrated by this point.

It just seemed like the track went on and on and I was not the only person to mention this once I got to the hut. Talking to people in the hut later it took some of them more than 2.5 hours to cover the last couple of kilometres of the track.

Looking down valley from just past Pompolona Lodge

About as rough as the track gets on the second day,  Milford Track, Fiordland

If you need water at this point there are a number of small creeks crossing the track.  It is too hard to get down to the Clinton River itself as the brush is really dense and full of 'wait a moment' and Spaniard.  

Upper reaches of the Clinton Valley, track to MacKinnon Pass just visible on upper right of photo

Just to really stick it to you at the end of a long day the track has a moderately steep section for the last kilometre to some places it is climbing hand over hand up rough, rooty track.

On the last rise just before Mintaro Hut

Finally after 6.5 hours I arrived at the turn off for Mintaro was 2.30 pm and I was feeling knackered!

The turn off to Mintaro Hut, Milford Track, Fiordland

Mintaro Hut is the oldest DOC hut on the Milford Track so it is a 'one big hut to hold em all' variety. Interesting design though...there are two 6 person bunk-rooms on the first or ground level and one massive 28 bunk room on the second story. 

The upper floor looks like it was originally sleeping platforms but these have been replaced with individual bunks now. The hut could do with a bit more living space, 28 people filled it to the brim so I can only imagine what it would be like with 40 bodies crammed into it.

Scenically it is in a wonderful spot with expansive views of the massive bluffs at the end of the Clinton Valley. This is big country down here and because the rock is so damn hard it has remained much as it would have been when the huge glaciers melted after the last Ice Age. 

Mintaro Hut in the upper part of Clinton Valley, Milford Track
Entrance to Mintaro Hut on the Milford Track

The communal living area in Mintaro Hut, Milford Track, Fiordland

One of the downstairs bunk-rooms at Mintaro Hut, Milford Track, Fiordland

The mountains dominate every view from the hut...they loom high above the hut for another 1000+ meters. That is one reason why this hut is due to be shifted in mid 2019...the risk of an avalanche or rock slip from those huge peaks.

The resident hut warden told us the hut is to be moved closer to the start of the climb to MacKinnon Pass on just about the only piece of flat ground not dominated by towering cliffs.

Mintaro Hut with Mount Balloon in the distance

It was a lot colder at Mintaro Hut as it is at 900 odd meters and there was a bit of snow falling as I arrived at the hut. We had snow showers and light rain for most of the evening and the temperature dropped significantly.

We really did need the hut fire here and in fact we had it stoked up and blazing for most of the night.

The massive ridge just behind Mintaro Hut, Fiordland

There was a lot more mixing of trampers on the second night as we had started to get to know each other so it was easier to maintain a conversation. You travel with the same group of people for four days so you get to know some of them quite well. The distance that day knocked the stuffing out of most of my fellow walkers...everyone was in bed before 9 pm that night including me. 

So, that was Day 1 & 2 of my trip, the next two days would see me going up and over MacKinnon Pass and then travelling down the Arthur River Valley to the coast. That will be covered in Part 2 of this post...

Access: From Te Anau you travel to the dock at Te Anau Downs where you board the water-taxi to Glade Wharf. Both Buses and Water-taxis are booked at the same time as the huts you will use along the Milford Track. 
Track times: 1.5 hours from Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut, 6-7 hours from Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut
Hut Details: Glade House: 50 bunk private lodge for the guided walkers, Clinton Hut: Great Walk, 40 bunks, filtered water, gas cookers, solar lights, wood fire, wood shed, flushing toilets, Hirere Shelter: private hut for guided walkers, has two covered areas which may be used if no guided walkers present, water tank, toilets, Prairie/Bus Stop Shelters: covered shelters for both groups, no facilities at either, Pompolona Lodge: 50 bunk private lodge for guided walkers, Mintaro Hut: Great Walk, 40 bunks,filtered water, gas cookers, solar lights, wood fire, wood shed, flushing toilets.
Miscellaneous: The Milford Track is a Great Walk so all transport and accommodation must be pre booked. There are standard DOC toilets roughly every 2 miles along the Clinton Valley, most at huts or shelters. Some un-bridged side streams can be a problem in heavy rain and care is required at all times. High risk of avalanches during the Winter season and after heavy snow events at any time of the year.