Friday, 13 April 2012

Stewart Island part 5, Magog tramp

After a few days’ rest for our sore feet after the Tin Range tramp, our next big tramp was to Magog. Gog and Magog are two twin peaks visible from most of Port Pegasus. Gog is the more southern one with the bigger and more rounded top. When you look at topo maps and the likes of the whole of the south Stewart Island, there’s just nothing there! No tracks, nothing. But the sailing guide has three tramps in it with little hand drawn drawings: the Tin Range (which we already did, read this post), Magog, and Bold Cone (post coming up). However, the guide book is 16 years old, so we weren’t quite sure what track (if any) to expect. We actually tried to find the start of two tracks both leading to Magog from Seal Creek  (also named Cooks Arm) which would have shortened the tramp, but we couldn’t find either (instead we spotted sharks, very exciting, another post about that).
The next day we changed anchorage to Evening Cove and easily found the start of the track there. The first bit of the track trough the bush up to the open ridge landscape was easy to follow, but after that we were struggling to find the track and if we did, we’d lose it again quickly. That meant heaps of bush bashing through the landscape and looking at the map every 5 minutes. You can kind of get an idea of what it was like in the first photo. It varied from ankle high to over-your-head high bush. The most annoying height is when it’s just about your head height and it’s too high to push your way through but too low to go under. A good thing was we could see Magog almost the whole way, so at least we weren’t losing our bearings. 

The last stretch up through the bush (above photo) to the very top was quite steep and it was a nice warm day, especially out of the wind, so Phil found a nice little rainwater pool to cool himself of with.
 It was a hard tramp, but the view from the top made it all worth it, it was absolutely breathtaking. The guidebook indicated it was 2.5-3 hours to the top of Magog, but it took us closer to 4. Probably because of the elusive track... Phil looks like he's wearing a bathing suit in the photo below and has wet hair from the photo above, but I still love it.
 Panorama view of the west coast. The lovely bay with the beach is Easy Harbour.
You kind of get an idea how big Port Pegasus is from this panorama view looking north and east. In the middle are a couple of entrances, and it then stretches both north and south (hence North and South Arm).

Coming back to Sophia someone had kindly left us a gift on the transom. We never found out who, must have been some fishermen or hunters in the area. We know it’s almost criminal, but unfortunately neither of us are big seafood lovers (we love fish though), so we donated the scallops back to the sea!

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