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Passes over the Alps

Many years ago, when -the' Wattlaad | goldfields were newly discovered, aiid all Canterbury was more or less, generally more, excited over the questioned wayp of getting there personalty; or of getting stock anrt goods over the mountains to ■ supply the needs of the diggers, there I were several meetin'-s hold in' Timaru to ' discuss the possibility of finding a direct | pass from South C.infcorintry to" the v \Vest i Coast, to save going round by the Hurumii ' or the Waimakoriri. We cannot recollect, whether anyone ever made the attempt to get over and blaze a practicable pass, but the conclusion was regetfully come to that there was no thoroughfare from South Canterbury toWestlana. The annual re^ port of thf Chief'Survey6r for this year, however, contains a special report, with maps, by Mr Brodrick, of the survey staff,: on two passes by which he, at all events, managed togetover from South Canterbury into Westland. One of these was discovered by Mr E, P. Sealey m 1871, but we do not gather that Mr Sealey descended the western side/ This Mr Brodrick did m May 1888, and " passed all the difficulties that lay between the pass and the Wataroa river." They were only a few miles from; a track and a wire bridge, but the weather looked threatening, so they reluctantly turned back. Sealey Pass is reached from this hide by going up Lake Tekapo to; Lilybank station, thence np the Godley; river and seven miles up Godley Glacier,. This appears to: be a very good pass for" those Who like the roughest of travelling with perpetual thunder of avalanches around them, and it seems, a dead certainity of more or less fog—when it is not snowing. : Its altitude is 5800 ft. The other pass is named the Huxley, as ifc is reached by going up one of the branches 'of the Huxley river, which again is 1 a tributary of the Hopkins, the "principal river flowing into Lake Ohau. Mr Brodrick describes the scenery on the. Huxley as very pleasing and m endless variety; there is no glacier travelling on this route.» The party took their horses and camped at a spot under five miles frorii the pass! One day they walked up to the pass to fix its position, "but when we got there the Landsborough river (of Westland) looked so near that we determined to visit it." They did so ? but they found the descent steep and rather difficult. Mr Brodrick says "the track over the saddle could never be made anything but a passable footpath- • • . . but without a very* large outlay; a f:ackhorse could be taken to 1 within a mile of the pass." The height of it is given at 5309 ft. After'all, if known, these two passes would.not have helped South Canterbury to reach the West Coast market at the time of the I rush.—Exchange.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2526, 24 September 1890

Word Count

Passes over the Alps Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2526, 24 September 1890