Newsletter, February 2004

NEW MEMBERS: Welcome to new members: Jim Western, Brian Renwick, Mary Honey, Neil Thomas, Alison Nicoll, and Jocelyn Winn. We look forward to your company on many of the Club’s tramps and at our clubnights.

CLUB COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Welcome to new committee members Gretchen Williams and Andy Clark. And many thanks to Ruth Hesselyn who retires - from now on she will focus on leading fabulous trips for those who are fit, fearless, and fond of capuccinos! For a list of the entire committee, please see the Programme.

PERSONAL: It is with much sadness that we inform of the passing away of Lein Jobse. Lein was a very active member of our Club: a committee member for many years, and a frequent trip leader. A fit, competent and oh so fast tramper, and always so chirpy. He will be much missed.

UPCOMING CLUBNIGHTS: (Note in your diary!)
5 April 2004 – Uta Purcell will give a slide show on her Adventure in Garhwal (Indian Himalaya).
14 June 2004 - Sherp Tucker, SAR Co-ordinator, will speak about search and rescue operation in the Nelson area.

ADVANCE NOTICE: Queen’s Birthday Weekend Tramp at Mangarakau Swamp, Westhaven Inlet. Stay at Field Centre House, $10 per person per night and experience this largest remaining wetland in the Nelson/Marlborough region. Area has good tracks and you can also go off-track (bring gumboots or jandals for this). Climb Knuckle Hill for panoramic views, walk exhilirating west coast beach at Paturau. NOTE: The Field Centre House must be booked in advance, so contact Uta (545 0280) by 14 May if you are interested.

THE CLUB’S 70TH BIRTHDAY: Yes, this is our 70th year! We will celebrate in Sept/October and want ideas re the celebration itself. A tramp/picnic; drinks & buffet dinner at a restaurant; party at your place? Let us know!

JOINING FEE FOR NEW MEMBERS: Effective immediately, there is a $3.50 joining fee added to the annual membership fee, for new members. New members will be given a copy of FMC’s “Safety in the Mountains” booklet and the $3.50 represents the cost of this booklet. The ongoing annual membership fee has not changed.

NEW, NEW, NEW ! - PROGRAMME CO-ORDINATOR: There have been favourable comments about the programmes offered by our Club and we aim to improve them further yet. The committee have decided:
There will be four Grades of tramps:
Grade 1. Trips up to 5 hours duration on good tracks. No two-day trips.
Grade 2. Trips of 5-6 hours duration on tracks. Two-day trips use good huts.
Grade 3. Trips of 6-8 hours duration on tracks or recognised routes. Multi-day trips may involve camping.
Grade 4. Harder tramps.
It is never easy to apply grades to specific tramps, so our Programmes will include full trip descriptions.
The pattern of trips: In order to give a good selection to all levels of tramper we will aim to offer a recurring pattern. We will endeavour to offer two trips each weekend - Grades 1 and 3 one weekend, and 2 and 4 the following weekend. Grades 2, 3 and 4 will alternate between day trips and weekend trips. In this way we will break down our currently over-extended "moderate" category and offer more opportunities to trampers at the lower and upper ends. This may be difficult to achieve initially, but we hope to get there through increasing membership numbers and increasing membership participation, fostered by the improved choice.

To facilitate the above, the committee has designated a Programme Co-ordinator to present detailed proposals to the committee. The initial co-ordinator is: Grahame Harris, 1 Te Ata Place, Atawhai, Nelson, Ph (03) 545 2542. Grahame will be trying to sketch in programmes up to 6 months ahead; if there is a trip you would like the Club to do contact Grahame (or any other member of the Committee who will refer it on). Better still, offer to organise the trip of your choice. If you are new to organising, we will start you off with an easy one and help you all the way. The enclosed new Programme will give you an idea of what we are aiming at.

CLUB’S WEBSITE: Mark Graesser has kindly offered to develop and maintain the Club’s website. Mark has designed the basic look and structure (and included some information) so, on an ongoing basis, we can now update the site with upcoming tramps, details of tramps held, photos, etc. Have a look and give us your comments - www.nelsontrampingclub.orcon.net.nz. Meantime, a big thank you to Mark – we are very lucky to have his help.

NEEDED: The Club’s tent, a 3-pole Macpac “Spectrum”, is in need of two new poles – does anyone have any spare poles which would suit this tent? Also, the Club would most gratefully accept a good fly or tent. Do you, or anyone you know, have an old but still good fly/tent which we could put to good use? Please let us know.

DECEMBER 2003 CLUBNIGHT: A fun evening: lots of wine and good nibbles, excellent photos, and the ever-entertaining Harold Mason as the judge of the photos. Winners were:-
Natural History: 1st Tony Haddon - Magic Mushrooms
2nd Anita Robertson - Bush Robin
3rd Grahame Harris - We’re all trampers here (Kea and tramper on ridge)
Humour: 1st Peter Wise - Legs Crossed (Ruth demonstrating her 3-wire bridge technique)
2nd David Blunt - Club Crusade (NTC logo imposed on solar panel, Brown Acre)
3rd Ruth Hesselyn - Peter modelling Ruth’s clothes (oh no, not again Peter!)
People: 1st Ruth Hesselyn - four hardy souls crossing cold Waimakariri River
2nd Ruth Hesselyn - Line up on Mt Arthur
3rd Grahame Harris - Adonis Aloft (Ian Pavitt posing on a ridgeline)
Landscape: 1st Peter Wise - Top of Leathan Valley
2nd Dion Pont - Lake Thompson
3rd Uta Purcell - Reflections (vertical panorama at Blue Lake)

TE ARAROA (“The Long Pathway”): Te Araroa’s latest newsletter gives good updates on NZ’s Cape Reinga to Bluff walkway plus some good comment on the Queen’s Chain etc. We have several copies of the newsletter (held at Wises Picture Framing) or see www.teararoa.org.nz.

FROM THE HEALTH FACT FILE: Do you re-use as drink bottles the plastic bottles in which we buy mineral water etc.? The plastic used in some bottles is polyethylene terephthalate (“ PET”) which contains a potentially carcinogenic element. The bottles are safe for one-time use only. Repeated washing and rinsing can cause the plastic to break down and the carcinogens can leach into the water that YOU are drinking. Invest in water bottles that are designed for re-use.
Source: Society for Risk Analysis 2001 Annual Meeting, Environmental Engineering Program, University of Idaho.

BOTANNICAL NOTE:
Ever wondered how Penwipers got their name? Notothlaspi rosulatum forms rosettes of grey leaves that blend in with its natural scree-slope surroundings. Flowering occurs from spring to summer and plants are monocarpic so flower only once before dying. The strongly scented creamy white flowers are carried on short stems. Penwipers (so called because early settler discerned a resemblance to a sewn cloth used to wipe pen nibs) are found in subalpine to high-alpine areas east of the main divide, from Nelson and Marlborough to northern Otago.
Many thanks to Uta for researching this delightful little plant.

BOTANNICAL NOTE:
Ever wondered how Penwipers got their name? Notothlaspi rosulatum forms rosettes of grey leaves that blend in with its natural scree-slope surroundings. Flowering occurs from spring to summer and plants are monocarpic so flower only once before dying. The strongly scented creamy white flowers are carried on short stems. Penwipers (so called because early settler discerned a resemblance to a sewn cloth used to wipe pen nibs) are found in subalpine to high-alpine areas east of the main divide, from Nelson and Marlborough to northern Otago.
Many thanks to Uta for researching this delightful little plant.

BROOK SANCTUARY: The December 2003 Newsletter announces:
Support from the Nelson City Council has now been formalised
Formation of the Charitable Trust is progressing (getting this right is critical hence a slow process)
A project logo is sought – ideas anyone? Fundraising is beginning – contact Craig Welsh craig@remltd.co.nz
Fence construction started in January – a short demonstration section only at this stage.
A copy of the newsletter is available – see Lindsay – or contact Nelson Environment Centre on Ph 545 9176.

WETLANDS INFO REQUEST: Anne Webber, a Massey University postgraduate, is recording existing and vanished wetlands, and has asked us if we could tell her about wetlands we know of, including ones that have disappeared. Any information is gratefully received and is of interest and value. Contact is at RD2, Upper Moutere or at anne@wedowebsites.co.nz . There is also a survey at www.wedowebsites.co.nz/wetlands/survey.php.

THE CLUB’S POSTAL ADDRESS: The question was asked “why is 114 Vanguard St the Club’s address?”. This is the residence of Gordon and Ada Brett. Gordon has been a member of the Club for probably longer than he cares to remember and, whilst he no longer actively tramps, he is still keen to be part of the Club. He allows the Club to use his address (so we don’t have to pay for a post office box) and has constructed, and keeps beautifully maintained, a separate mailbox just for us. It is undoubtedly time that we put in writing our thanks to Gordon for this very helpful service which is much appreciated. And thanks also to Gretchen for asking the initial question!

EMAIL ADDRESSES: It is helpful for the Club to have email addresses for members, so if you have not yet emailed Lindsay with your email address, could you kindly do so, at lindsayian@actrix.co.nz . Thank you! (Remember that emails are sent in such a way that individual email addresses remain confidential.)