Newsletter, September 2018



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KATE's KORNER | AGM report

2017–18 has been another busy and successful year for the Nelson Tramping Club. There has been some great work going on behind the scenes for the club that has enabled the tramping programme to, weekend after weekend, be offered to the membership. I want to thank the committee for their hard work and support of the club’s vision and purpose.

 We have such a great club with a dedicated and hard working Committee that allows us to do great things for the community like hut renovations and providing a fun way for people to get out and explore the region with like-minded people.   

We have completed two hut renovations this year: Mt. Fell Hut and John Reid Hut. Both have been a great success. We are currently looking at a couple of huts in the Matakitaki area that need painting. Watch the Programme for future working bees.

We have also introduced some new training sessions organised by Liz Henderson, Debbie Hogan (snow skills), Richard Walker (leadership) and Mike Glover (navigation). There is another course being planned for November that will include bushcraft and navigation run by Mike Glover and organized by Liz. Again, watch the Programme for updates.

 Our new system of assigning weekends to trip leaders is working well. I really appreciate all of the leaders for their efforts. We are always looking for more so please let me know if you are interested.

Currently, leaders only have to run 2–3 trips per  year of their choosing. They can swap dates with others. As always, the Programme is lacking in the easy–medium trip categories. These types of trips act as great introductory trips for potential members. If you can help by leading 1–2 of easier trips every year, it would greatly help the club round out and diversify our programme.

As you may know, the club is over 84 years old this year. The club archives, consisting of two cardboard boxes of records dating back to the 1940s, are now seeing the light of day. They make some interesting reading. For example, in 1956, the Committee included a ‘Lady Club Captain.’ (I imagine that trips including women in those days required a chaperone of some sort.) The annual subscriptions were $1.25 for men, $1.00 for women, and $1.50 for married couples!

We have yet to decide how best to preserve these documents, however, scanning them as a digital copy would be a good first step. We do have some keen historians in the club. So, if anyone is keen to write a historical summary based on the archives, please let me know.

One of the highlights of the year was Mike Drake’s Garden of Eden trip in south Canterbury. Mike worked tirelessly to organise the challenging trip including pre-trip meetings, many emails and Excel sheets that measured shared weights of gear to the gram! The trip was a great success, with us achieving the goal of traversing the Garden of Eden at New Year. It was a trip of a lifetime!

Mike is currently is planning another multi-day trip from Molesworth Station through to the Wairau valley via the Severn and Leatham valleys in October.

Graeme Ferrier has been kind enough to head up our Constitution Review this year. The last time the constitution was revised was in 2005. So, it needed some tweaks and updates to bring it more in line with technology and the club’s current day-to-day functions. I want to thank Graeme for all of his hard work on this, plus Pat Holland and Ian Morris for their wise inputs. We have had some feedback, so will take a few more months to revise, then present for ratification at a future club night.

 Further to the constitution review, will be a review of the Trip Rules this year. Recent discussions around safety on trips brought to light that our trip rules are out-of-date. (They don’t even mention the use of Personal Locator Beacons on trips.) So, once again we will review these and make sure they are up-to-date and current.

The Facebook page is continuing to be a great success in attracting new members and promoting the club to non-members. It is a great platform to show off the amazing places we visit, and the great fun we have, as well as providing a forum for non-members to ask questions and share information about tramping.

I look forward to another wonderful year of tramping with you lot! I wish you all a fun and happy year in the Hills and in the day-to-day life we all have in this beautiful place.


Kate Krawczyk

Kate Krawczyk, President

 Photo Competition | Revised Rules & New Format

DEADLINE: 20 July 2018

WHEN: Monday 6 August 2018

TIME: 7.30pm

WHERE: Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi St, Nelson South


JUDGE: Kathy Pantling – Nelson Camera Club

Come to our club’s Annual General Meeting, (which is very brief) then enjoy a projected display of all the photographic entries. Vote for your favourite!

Kathy will then show you the top three photos in each category, and share why these images deserve to win. Kathy is an experienced PSNZ judge.

New Categories for 2018:

These changes are to align with FMC’s national photography competition. In the past, about five club members have won really good prizes, including coffee table books valued at $80.

CLICK HERE to see full details of FMC competition

1. ABN Above Bushline with NO human element (nothing man-made)

2. ABW Above Bushline WITH human element (e.g. person,hut, etc.)

3. BBN Below Bushline with NO human element

4. BBW Below Bushline WITH human element

5. NFF NATIVE Flora & Fauna. NO human element

6. HIS HISTORIC – Pre 1990. Can be from club archives.

7. OPEN – Anything goes (overseas snaps, cloning, exposure blends, cloning, humour, out-of-date images, etc.) A club category only.

+ PEOPLE’s CHOICE –  Win a trophy. The judge has no say!

Revised Club Rules:

Each image must have:

  • been taken by yourself – within New Zealand
  • been shot during the past 18 months (i.e. since the last competition in December 2016).
  • only basic post processing applied (e.g. exposure & colour correction, lens correction, cropping, sharpening, etc.)
  • Panoramic stitching is allowed, and HDR blending.
    But no new elements can be added!

How Enter:

  1. Send JPEG files - (1000 pixels wide or more)
  2. Maximum of 3 images per category. (Max. 21.)
  3. File names should include:
    category entered / your name / a title
    ( e.g. ABL_rsalisbury_interesting title.jpg )
  4. Email images to Ray Salisbury:

Deadline: 20 July 2018

Ray needs time to sort the entries, and Kathy needs time to judge them before 6th August. If you have any issues, or difficulty, please contact Ray :-)


17–19 March | John Reid Hut Renovation | Kahurangi NP

This was a follow-up to the very successful working bee in February led by Silvano and Ian. They did extensive building work: some repiling, lined the ceiling, removed the old open fireplace & chimney, installed a wood burning stove plus flue and a new bench-top, and made a woodshed out of the old chimney.

Our task was to do a full paint job. The team of five assembled at Mike and Heather’s homestead on the Tadmor Hill at 7am. Our kit and painting gear were transferred to Mike’s 4WD Hilux – a very full load. However, as we topped Tadmor Hill on our way to the Wangapeka, a call came in from Reids Helicopters that the morning mist in the valleys was too high for the fly-in and we would have to wait until it burnt off.

So we went back to the homestead where we paid for coffee and cake by splitting wood until we got the call after lunch. A uneventful drive gave us the rendezvous with the helicopter at Wangapeka Base. After quickly loading up, a five-minute flight of 1000m delivered us to John Reid Hut.

The delay to our legendary early start meant we stayed over Saturday and Sunday nights to get the job done. We worked hard Saturday afternoon with the prepping with a little interruption from a woman and two young teenagers who had come up from the river in a meagre three hours. After wiping the sweat from their brows, they decided to return, rather than risk a night in a hut full of dodgy characters.

Next, Shaun Barnett (tramper, author and FMC’s Backcountry editor) arrived with a trio from Wellington, all sporting huge packs. They decided to camp on the ridge for the first night of a multi-day trip. (See Shaun's picture above).

We fired up the new stove with difficulty, as there’s not much dry wood about. We then settled down to St Patricks Day dinner prepared by Graeme, with Irish music from Pat’s smartphone, aided with a few noggins to ease the pain.

A very full schedule of work was completed on Sunday. We painted the hut interior, exterior, roof, windows and door. There were also some finishing touches to the build (e.g. joist hangers to the new piles, and bunk ladders). The new pile under the doorway and associated carpentry has greatly improved the entranceway, lobby and door alignment.

With their work all done by Monday morning, Kath and Pat went up to the ridge for a grandstand view. We all departed at 10:30am for the four-hour tramp down Chummie’s Track. There was a minor rebellion over the lunch spot when Pat’s promised ‘clearing with views’ did not eventuate. After an easy crossing of Wangapeka River in low flow, we tramped 30 minutes up the road to Wangapeka Base and our vehicle.

So the hut is now a real treat from what was an unattractive destination: dark, dank, drafty,  and smokey. The interior has brightened up with the ceiling lined, with a fresh paint job all round. My photo above shows the new bench, stove and one of the bunk ladders (other is behind the door; high quality items prefabricated by Bob Janssen). The exterior building work and paint job have ensured that this building will endure another 50 years+. The location is fantastic, being just above the bushline, with great views across the Wangapeka Valley to the Mt Owen massif and further west; east across the Waimea Valley to Tasman Bay; and the Richmond Ranges. This spot is well worth visiting as part of the Mt Patriarch—Kiwi Saddle circuit, or to Sodom and Gomorrah at the end of the Arthur Range. The club will file a report on this project with the Backcountry Trust. Otherwise, we believe the job is DONE.

Painters were: Patrick Holland, Graeme Ferrier, Kath Ballantine, Mike Drake & Ian Dohoo.

Pat Holland
Former President


1935: Kicking Horse Hut.

Leading ridge of Mt Starveall, Richmond Ranges. Built from split logs and malthoid roofing, it didn’t last too long.

1935: Rocks Hut Mk1.

Headwaters of Middy Creek, Richmond Ranges. Used during epic search for downed aircraft in 1942.

1948: John Tait Hut.

Travers Valley, Nelson Lakes. Named after club president.

1949: Trampers Retreat.

Harvey Bay, Tennyson Inlet, Pelorus Sound. Pre-built & barged in (before the road was developed).

1956: Rocks Hut Mk2.

NTC re-build. 1967–8. Re-located next to present site (remains can be found in the bush). Materials flown in by a Bell 47 helicopter.

1966: Water stations installled:

North Peak of Mount Fell, Richmond Ranges. Installed during Easter 1966, and still working in Feb 2018.

Summit of Old Man, (also in the Richmond Ranges.) Date unknown.

1970: Suttons Hut.

 Right branch, Wairoa Gorge. Purchased. Locked cabin used for instruction weekends, back in the day.

1982-3: Rocks Hut Mk3

Built by NZFS next to old club hut site; presently run by DOC. (We still claim it as ours.) Richmond Ranges.

Smith House in the Maitai Valley

This was used for club meetings, but vandalism caused us to leave.

Third House, Dun Line. NTC installed chimney.

2015-6: Flora Hut

 Kahurangi National Park (built in 1927). Painted, interior lining, alterations to fireplaces & ventilation. Outside water tap installed.

2016-8: Mt Fell Hut

(Built in 1964 by NZFS.) Relocated by airforce chopper. New woodstove, benches, watertank & woodshed. Hut painted.

2018: John Reid Hut

(Built in 1963 by NZFS.) Chimney replaced, door piling re-done, interior lined,  bunks made accessible & hut painted.

Sources: NTC Newsletters from 1983, 1997, 2017 & 2018. The Press, 1935.


Trip reports need not be extensive epistles, or feature award-winning writing. Just the facts, spiced with some memorable moments. Adding the total walking time may be helpful to future trip leaders searching our website database.

Following these guidelines will not only save the Newsletter Editor hours of extra work, but it will make it easier for others to read your trip report... they might actually READ your trip report!

1. Write the report in MS Word, not an email. Don’t be lazy! Because an email does not contain proper formatting, and copying from an email deletes all paragraph returns - this means lots more work for the editor.

2. One space between sentences. We have moved on from typewriters to computers! Get with the times. If you put a double-space between sentences, and the article is justified during pagination, horrid ‘rivers’ appear down the columns.

3. Title: Add Date / Name of Track / Name of Forest-National Park / Leader’s Name. Remember to record all participant’s names, IN FULL. This will save the Editor having to refer to the club website or Facebook, trying to fill in the gaps.

4. Use humour ... but avoid ‘in-jokes unless they are obvious to the general reader. Ha, ha, ha.

5. Keep sentences short for easier reading. Avoid joining different ideas together with an ‘and’. Use paragraphs too!

6. House Style: we write numerals 0–12 in full (e.g. zero, one, two, three).

Do not abbreviate (nth, sth, hrs,) Contractions are fine (such as don’t, didn’t, we’ve). Acronymns (such as DOC) are acceptable. Use past tense.

7. People like seeing themselves in photos, and images of people are much easier to take than landscapes, (and print better at a small size in the newsletter). So, try to get at least one decent group photo. Pose the group facing the light (unless you know what you’re doing shooting contré jour).

8. Photos: Email only the best 4–5 shots to the Editor. Don’t just post 21 images on Facebook, and expect the on-line viewers to sift through all the rubbish shots to find the good ones. Spend 5 minutes choosing them.

Note: Facebook compresses the images so the low-resolution isn’t really suitable for printing in a newsletter.

Thanks for all your contributions! Keep 'em coming in...

Ray Salisbury
Web & Newsletter Editor

CLUB EVENTS:add to your calendar

Social Night | Sprig & Fern Pub, Hardy Street

Monday 2 July - 7.30pm

Organiser: Kate Krawczyk |

Annual Photography Competition & AGM

Monday 6 August

Place: Nelson Intermediate School staffroom, Titipahi Street, Nelson. Time: 7.30pm. Guest Judge:TBA
Cost: Gold Coin Donation

See entry details in previous article (above) & in Newsletter.

Deadline for entries: 20 July 2018.

FACEBOOK PAGE | Have your say | Publish photos

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Remember, ‘sharing is caring’... so keep all your comments positive on this forum. Here’s the link: