Trip Reports, Sept-Dec 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download the printed version of the newsletter (12 pages colour), as a  PDF file. It's crammed full of the most recent club Trip Reports. This a small 2 megabyte file, complete with news, graphics, colour photographs & hyperlinks to other sites.


  1. Salisbury Lodge | Kahurangi NP
  2. Holyoake Clearing | Abel Tasman NP
  3. Club Night | Kieran McKay, caver
  4. Old Man Circuit | Mt Richmond FP
  5. Mt Duppa | Mt Richmond FP
  6. Mt Richmond & Johnston Peak | Mt Richmond FP
  7. Mt Fell Hut Working Bee | Mt Richmond FP
  8. Robert Ridge | Nelson Lakes NP
  9. Matai Bay Hut Kayak | Tennyson Inlet, Marlborough
  10. Richmond Hill Fire Lookout | Nelson
  11. Pipers Reserve & Princes Drive | Nelson

17–18 September 2016 | Salisbury Lodge, Kahurangi

Leader: Debbie Hogan

On the previous evening it rained heavily. The weather forecast for the weekend was for showers at times. “To tramp or not to tramp?” We elected to take our chances and tramp. Five trampers set off in clearing weather, perfect tramping weather. During tea-time at Upper Grid-iron shelter a group of trampers from the Waikato tramping club wandered in…. also aiming for Salisbury Lodge. After pleasantries were exchanged we set off again. The rivers were reasonably high after all the rain, impressive waterfalls enticed us on. We played tag with the Waikato tramping group all the way to the hut arriving mid-afternoon with patches of snow around the hut = SNOWBALL FIGHT.

The walk around the sinkholes showed evidence of how much snow had fallen the previous week, sadly all washed away by the heavy rain the previous night. It rained heavily in the night again but we were warm & dry inside the delightful Salisbury Lodge.

Sunday dawned beautiful; we regret  it didn’t stay that way. We climbed Gordon’s Pyramid with beautiful cloud-shrouded mountain vistas, in the company of the Waikato tramping group.
Good company they were, but we parted company at the top of the pyramid. We descended back to Flora hut and home again as the cloud had settled onto the mountain tops. A delightful weekend tramping to stretch the legs.

Trampers were: Debbie Hogan (scribe), Daven Illenberger, David Cook, Marianne Hermsen-van Wanrooy & Liz Henderson.


1 October 2016 | Holyoake Clearing, Abel Tasman National Park
Leader: Sue Henley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our planned loop of Holyoake clearing and Abel Tasman Coastal track was originally scheduled for the Sunday but due to a bleak weather forecast, changed at the last minute to the Saturday. We left Richmond grey and overcast, as we came over the hill into Marahau the weather had deteriorated to rain and wind but by the time we reached Marahau it had fined up again. We began with an easy stroll along the first part of the Abel Tasman Coastal loop before taking a left turn up the slightly more challenging Inland Track. There were not many views to be had due to the clag, and as we huffed our way up the track some asked if I was a little sadistic and had I taken over the role of of group racehorse! We stopped for a snack and regroup before carrying on up to Holyoake at a more gentle pace. The weather began to clear a little, enough to give our newcomers glimpses of Anchorage.

At Holyoake, we decided to temporarily relocate the picnic table and enjoyed a long leisurely lunch stop with views before heading down towards Anchorage via an unnamed track which branches off the Inland track about 10 minutes below Holyoake Clearing. This track was somewhat slippery after all the rain so there were a few skids here and there. After another snack break and regroup we eventually looped back onto the Coastal Track. Some took a detour, exploring the beaches and bays before we made our way back to Marahau.

In the end, we enjoyed a really good day, taking about seven hours. According to Mark’s pedometer  we walked approximately 28km.

Participants were: Graeme Ferrier, Kate Krawzyk,  David Cook, Tom Otjens,  Mark McFarlane, Simon Garton, Ian Morris & Sue Henley.


3 October 2016 | Club Night | Guest speaker:
Kieran McKay
, caver extraordinaire

The near-record attendance (nearly forty souls) matched the quality of Kieran’s excellent presentation on why he goes caving. This man is hell-bent on pushing the boundaries of what is possible in NZ cave exploration... and has a decent sense of humour too (you’d have to).

In his PowerPoint, spectacular images showed the highs and lows of the sport, and Kieran updated us with his most recent expeditions under Mount Owen, the highest peak of Kahurangi National Park. His team are attempting to make NZ’s longest cave system (Bulmer) a much longer through trip under the entire mountain to Blue Creek.

We were then treated to a short movie - Kieran makes lots of movies: check out his YouTube channel here. Thanks, Pip and Kieran for making the trip from the remote reaches of Ngatimoti.


8 October 2016 | Old Man Circuit | Mt Richmond FP
Leader : Simon Garton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We left Nelson at 6pm on a Friday night and didn’t start walking until around 8:30pm. It’s a long drive into the Wairau, along North Bank Road, then up the forestry roads to the car park atop Staircase Creek to access the track to Lake Chalice.

We reached Lake Chalice Hut after a quick downhill walk only to wake up the sole occupant who wasn’t very welcoming but was much more cheerful the next morning!

We decided to do the route clockwise due to the weather forecast being better for the Sunday and that day being our most exposed day on the tops.

So, we set off up the Goulter River. The first couple of hours were pretty pleasant valley walking but it did get a bit tougher as we started slowly grinding our way uphill. It was truly a river valley sidle with the track always being on a bit of an uncomfortable chamfer with poor and tricky footing – it takes it out of you after a while. It was raining lightly, which made it pretty slippery too. Then,just at the end was a 200m steep, uphill climb with the welcome sight of Old Man Hut at the top. We were lucky to find no one inside. Simon was kind enough to set up his tent in the rain to let us have the five bunks.

The next day we rose to a lovely morning and climbed 250 metres up to the ridgeline between Little Rintoul and Old Man. We turned east along the ridge and climbed Old Man before turning south and walking along a lovely ridgeline before having another grunty 200m climb up and over the shoulder of Point 1522, before descending for a two-hour stroll back to Lake Chalice.

The sting in the tail was the 500m climb from Lake Chalice back up to the cars! On the way, it started snowing huge snowflakes that melted as they hit the ground ... a pretty end to a lovely trip.

Participants: David Sissons, Sue Henley, Madeleine Roeher, Tom Otjens, Kate Krawczyk (scribe) & Simon Garton.


9 October 2016 | Mount Duppa | Mt Richmond FP
Leader: Graeme Ferrier

Hopes for a fine day were high as a group of ten set off on the first climb to Mt Duppa for a couple of years. Previous tramps had been disappointing, due to low cloud obscuring the view, and more recently, the forestry access road had been closed.

Half way up the access road our progress was blocked by a large pine tree across the road. Tyre skid-marks showed that other 4WDs had tried to unsuccessfully remove the tree, so, no use us trying!

After stopping and preparing to walk, some-one noticed another forestry road on the topo map that curved its way to the start of the Duppa Track. With time on our side, we set off to explore that road.

After 3 kms of slow driving, the road seemed to be heading lower in the valley, not up where we wanted to go! Soon we came to a fork, but the road leading up was smothered with overhanging gorse, so a strategic retreat was made back to the fallen tree.

The map showed a large loop in the road, but Chris and Ian knew a ‘short-cut’ from previous visits, so off they scampered up the hillside, through the forest, climbing approximately 100m. The ground was quite damp and slippery, especially for those with flat-soled walking shoes who found at times they were slipping two steps back for each step forward. One of that group (Pauline) was provided with in-step (4-point) crampons to try out. These made the world of difference.

After half an hour we finally arrived at the start of the Duppa Track itself.

The Track was in good order but quite slippery in places. After a steady, uphill climb through some spectacular rock formations we arrived at the top in the ‘regulation’ two hours. The views on the way up and at the top were spectacular in all directions. There was a cold, light breeze blowing, so warm jackets and shelter amongst the shrubs provided a comfortable lunch break.

One of the group noticed a dark shower cloud approaching from the south. So, a quick visit was made to the rock formation at the highest point further along the ridge, before a quick retreat to the shelter of the bush. The light rain made the track a bit more slippery for the return journey, but good progress was made. Before long we were back in the cars for the return trip to Nelson.

Trampers were: Ian Morris, Chris Louth, Andrea, Steve, Gemma Hogan, Pauline Tout, Liz Henderson plus visitors Mal Silich (Wakefield) & Nellie Hauser (Germany) with Graeme Ferrier (leader & scribe).


22–24 2016 October | Mt Fell Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park

Leader: Ian Morris

Saturday morning of Labour weekend saw seven of us departing the Cathedral steps destined for Northbank Road with a quick coffee stop in Havelock on the way. Unfortunately, the central bakery in Havelock was closed for the holiday weekend and we scattered to different cafés and lost track of each other. There was some confusion until we all arrived safely at the Te Hou Road carpark.

The weather was brilliant as we headed up picturesque Timms Creek. About 5km from the carpark, there’s a creek crossing where a few of us took our boots off to keep our socks dry – in anticipation of the testing 1,000 metre climb up to Mt Fell Hut.

The hut site was a hive of activity as the hut-moving crew had been helicoptered in and made good progress with the new hut foundations. We pitched our tents around the hut. I broke my tent pole and got to use the repair kit that I have carried for the last 12 years.

Leah had sneaked some goodies into the supplies flown in with the helicopter party. Everything was weighed before the flight and in case some needed to be off-loaded, Leah had labelled each item with its priority. Rocky Road was high-priority and Sav Blanc was low-priority!

The hut building party had carefully prepared a camp fire. We enjoyed toasting marshmallows with evening mist swirling around us.

Sunday morning dawned brilliantly clear with a frost and we set off to climb Mt Richmond.

Here, we met a few other people arriving from the Richmond Saddle Hut on the other side.

Then we visited the aircraft crash site on Johnston Peak. The memorial is located at the precise site of the crash, but it’s in the middle of several bluffs and it’s not easy to find or access. (There is another much more accessible memorial to the same crash located next to the road by Nelson airport.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After having a look around the wreckage we headed back to help move the hut on to the new foundations only to discover that the workers had completed the job without us.

Several of us were up at 6am Monday morning to see the spectacular sunrise, although there was a cold wind. So, we hurriedly packed up and helped carry the workers’ tools out to the cars. Back down in the bottom of the valley it was warmer and several people had a refreshing dip in Timms Creek.

Participants were Ian Morris (scribe), Sue Henley, Peter Phipps, Michele Cunningham, Liz Henderson, Leah Parker & Pat Holland.


22–24 October 2016 (Labour Weekend) | MT FELL HUT WORKING BEE


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally the day arrived – the first working bee to permanently re-position Mount Fell Hut at its new site. Silvano Lorandi was in charge (club member & builder), plus his team of Kate Krawczyk, Richard Walker, Bob Janssen and Graeme Ferrier – their job was to fly in early on the Saturday; dig the holes and, if time permitted, start concreting the new piles.

Time was of the essence to allow the concrete to set properly and yet still get the hut shifted and well-tied down before walking out on the Monday.

The working group had to have an early start and met at Reids Helicopters in Wakefield at 8am. Everything was carefully weighed before being loaded onto the ‘Squirrel’ for the flight to Mt Fell. The Friday had been a bit cold and cloudy but the forecast was good for the weekend. Saturday morning was still and sunny – perfect conditions for the flight and getting the work done. It was Kate’s first chopper flight so she was offered the front seat.
(See Facebook for more photos).

Effortlessly, the Squirrel lifted off and swung east towards the Richmond Ranges. A fresh dusting of snow was evident on the higher peaks and ridgelines, but the early morning sun warmed the cabin and lit up the scenery below. Many of the landmarks looked different from the air but quickly we were orientated and within 15 minutes were preparing to land amongst some fresh snow near the hut. The backpacks and tools were quickly unloaded, and the chopper was up and away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first task allocated was for each to choose a tent site and set-up camp to save doing it later in the day when everyone would be tired. It also ensured that the working group got the pick of the best sites! A couple of older and wiser members decided not to rush into this task and quickly came to the conclusion that as materials were moved out of the hut, the bunks would be available to use that night. Generously, they left their tent sites for the walk-in group. Thank you, Bob and Graeme.

Silvano quickly measured and marked the position of the piles and the digging began. Fortunately, the site is an ancient land-slip so the soil was quite rubbly and broke up easily. The big challenge was getting the debris out of the 900mm deep holes! Morning tea was enjoyed after completing the corner holes, and once the rest were finished, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch. The task for the afternoon was to carefully concrete each pile into to its correct position. Once again Silvano’s measurements were spot-on! We soon had nice lines of piles waiting for the concrete to set and lock them in place for the next 50 years.

Over a late afternoon tea, much debate took place as to how we could get the hut down the slope and positioned on the new foundations. After considering various options, the solution decided was to attach three slide beams to the new piles, then by removing the temporary foundations underneath the hut, it could be tipped down on to the nearest edge of those beams and slid across. Simple –it seemed! But that was tomorrow’s job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had expected the walk-in team to have arrived by mid-afternoon, but as no-one had, part of the working group decided to track down some firewood and prepare a bonfire for the night. While Silvano and a couple of helpers finished the last of the digging for the day, the rest searched for firewood and a good supply was accumulated for the next two nights. Just as this preparation was being completed, the first of the walkers arrived to find the billy boiling and first pick of their tent sites. Soon the whole group had arrived and were marvelling at both the view from the new hut site, as well as the work already completed. It was a very good reason to stop for the day and light the fire.

While we sat around the fire sharing tall tales and true, low cloud rolled over the ridgeline and the temperature started to drop. After a good fire; good wine; good food and good company, everyone was happy to roll into their sleeping bags and rest their weary bones. It had been a big day for all.

Sunday dawned clear and sunny. The overnight cloud had disappeared, so it looked good for the day’s work and for exploring the ridgelines. The working group were quickly into action, with Silvano cutting the piles to their correct height, while the slide-beams were also prepared for attachment. It was fortunate that Richard had experience with the house jacks, so he explained to us all how they worked and how we would lift the hut to remove the support structure then gently lower it on to the slide-beams. There was still some uncertainty as to how easy it would be to shift the hut even if slightly down-hill.

By morning tea, the hut was in position to move. Silvano had cleverly brought a large bar of soap to lubricate the slide-beams and some flat tin to provide a smooth leading edge on the leading hut floor joist. Energised after the break, the hut was quickly on the move with Silvano having to guide it into position with shouted instructions to the lever operators at the back. It all went far better than expected and the hut was now in its final resting place.

Now it was time to tie it down to its new foundation. Many of us had commented on the multiple boxes of stainless steel fittings stored in the hut. Now we found out what they were for! Every pile and every joist and every stud was soundly nailed together. How could anything move after all that nailing? Those who scrambled around under the hut doing the nailing also wondered how they would be able to move after using muscles they had in places they didn’t know existed! Another good night’s sleep was a certainty.

By the time the walking group had returned, the hut was well on the way to being firmly nailed in position. They were suitably impressed with the ingenuity shown in shifting the hut but were soon put to work shifting timber, cleaning up the hut and generally tidying up the site. The water-tank was relocated alongside the hut and the spouting reconnected to ensure a water supply for the next visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another very satisfying day in the office cul-minated in another bonfire. And, to lessen the load out, the wine just had to be finished!  Silvano and Richard were about the last to stop working as they worked to strengthen and straighten the entry porch and concrete the extra new piles. But soon they too were relaxing around the fire.

It was a lovely, clear night with spectacular views down to the lights of Blenheim and the Wairau Valley. The warmth of the fire and the warmth of the wine kept many chattering on, but soon some started drifting off to bed until tiredness eventually overwhelmed everyone and the happy chatter faded away.

Monday dawned as yet another fine day – how lucky we had been with the weather. A quick breakfast and the back-packs were packed for the walk out. The hut was cleaned; materials and tools stored away. The seating around the convivial bonfire was packed up leaving little evidence of the good times we had enjoyed during our visit.

After a team photo, (see top) we were on our way. Five hours later, we arrived at the cars for a very satisfying drive back to Nelson and our own comfy beds.


5 November 2016 | Robert Ridge Circuit | Nelson Lakes National Park

Leader: Michele Cunningham

On a Guy Fawkes Saturday, eight trampers gathered to walk the Robert Ridge Circuit in Nelson Lakes National Park.

We set off from the Mt Robert carpark up the steep but well-graded Pinchgut Track.  The initial views of Lake Rotoiti disappeared into the mist as we ascended into light drizzle. However, the group was cheerful and everyone seemed to be happy to be outdoors. We arrived at Relax Shelter just below the ridge for morning tea in the warm and dry.

From the shelter we broke into two groups. A small group continued straight to Bushline Hut, while five of us headed half an hour further along the ridge to the old Mt Robert ski-field.  From the rim of the basin we couldn’t see the ski-field buildings at all, but as we descended they began to loom out of the mist.  Peering through the windows we could see a cosy looking living and kitchen area, and a store-room containing skis and boots. According to the Mt Robert Foundation website, the lodges were built over 50 years ago by the Nelson Ski Club, and are still used by groups.

As we climbed back up to the main track the clouds cleared a bit for a better view of the ski-field basin, but closed in again as we walked back along the ridge and down to Bushline Hut to meet the rest of the group.

After a relaxed lunch in the hut, we made our way down Paddy’s Track. The weather was clearing as we left. Lake Rotoiti looked lovely as always, and all extra layers of clothing were quickly stripped off as we descended. We arrived back to the cars in warm sunshine, and the day was rounded off by a coffee in St Arnaud before heading back to Nelson.

Trampers were: Chris Louth, Kath Ballantine, Sue Martin, Tony Morgan, Grant Derecourt, Liz Henderson, Peter Phipps & Michele Cunningham.


13 October 2016 | Matai Bay Hut, Marlborough Sounds
Skipper: Ray Salisbury; Navigator: Ian Morris... ALONE, TOGETHER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piggy-backing opportunists, we were, going on a Claytons Tramp - the tramp you do when you’re not having a tramp.

While Marie Lenting’s large party of enthusiastic hikers set off from Penzance Bay, toward Elaine Bay – by foot – my faithful companion Ian and myself donned lifejackets and paddled into a curtain of drizzle, across the remote reaches of Tennyson Inlet.

Borrowing Barry James’ double-seater sit-on canoe was genius, as our work was halved. (Although Ian would say the effort was more like 80-20).

With the exception of a couple of vessels, we were alone, together. GPS kept us on track, around the eastern headland into Godsiff Bay, where we searched for the hut ahead, hidden in the bush.

50 minutes of relaxed paddling put us on the beach, where we moored the kayak and bagged the empty hut, which was originally built as a hunters base in 1968 by the local Reserves Board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier, George and David Godsiff tented here for two years while they milled timber for the railways.In 2011, DOC threatened to move the hut, so the locals joined together, eventually forming a trust in 2016 to maintain and protect this hut.

On our return voyage, the sea was still, our yellow craft cutting through glassy waters; only the bow wave broke the eerie silence. Hundreds of transluscent jellyfish were pulsating, gliding beneath our vessel. Black stingrays skimmed the ocean floor, and I was rather glad when we were back on terror-firma.

– Ray Salisbury, Scribe & Hut-Bragger


27 November 2016 | Richmond Fire Lookout walk, Nelson

Leader & Scribe: Lawrie Halkett

Even though the weather was a bit inclement two club members  (Annette Le Cren and Lawrie Halkett) and two visitors  (Marine and Julian – both  French, living and working in Nelson), set out on the walk. From Hill Street in Richmond it was up Jimmy Lee Creek, visiting the bird hide en route.

The Kiwis gave the French a lesson in identification of our native flora, and also pointed out our more common birds.

At the fire lookout we ran into Chris Louth who had propelled himself to the top of the range on a two-wheeled beast. The friendly fire watch ranger came out and introduced himself. Robbie had replaced Mike who, after 23 years on the job, returned home to a more comfortable lifestyle.

With rain threatening and a distinct downward drop in temperature, we headed downhill via Reservoir Creek.

The Richmond predator control group have done a great job at the reservoir (this site was the water supply for Richmond for over 50 years, starting in the very late 1800’s), erecting information boards, listing native shrub and tree species and native birds.

As we hit the streets it started pelting down, so it was a fast gallop home to Lawrie’s for a cup of tea and a cheese  cracker.


4 December 2016 | Pipers Reserve Walk, Nelson

Leader & Scribe: Lynette Salisbury

On the morning of the 7th, 7 intrepid walkers braved the elements (we needed sunscreen) and met at 10am at Victory Square. Club members  Ray and Lynette Salisbury, plus David Blunt, were joined by second timer; Sarah How, and first timers; Judy Oberhumer, Ashley  Benck and Malindi Gammon.

Once introductions were over, we headed up Emano Street to where the new Pipers Reserve Track begins. A gentle winding track, also used by cyclists, took us up to the lofty heights of Princes Drive (140m a.s.l.), where we exited Bobs Track and walked along the road to the Princes Drive lookout.

Ray gave our newcomers a brief explanation of where we were, and gave us the history of the building of Rocks Road beneath us, and The Cut.

We took the time for a brief photo opportunity, before crossing the road away from the gorgeous view, and down Quebec Road. After some gentle undulations we turned right onto Montreal Road, which gave us some lovely views of the city and Victory area, and headed downhill, turning left at the bottom and back onto Toi Toi Street, which led us back to Victory Square. The walk took about 1½ hours, and seemed to be enjoyed by all.

 

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