Trip Reports

16 December 2007 Loveridge Peak Organiser: Andy Clark 

Eight keen members donned boots and packs at the start of the Baton Track and followed this upstream until the Loveridge Track was reached. Here the climb started with the track conditions superb as most thought this an unmaintained track, but over the last year or so things have changed for the better – thanks DoC!! A good cloud cover kept the temp down slightly and helped with the ascent, arriving at the former bivvy site just on lunch. All continued on to the bush edge, lunch was had in drizzly conditions and low cloud – five opted to head down while three optimists headed on up to Loveridge Peak . Occasional views from the top were had, making the climb worth while. 

A great day to this seldom visited location, shame about the lack of views but a good work out for my companions Dan McGuire, Dion Pont, Ruth Hesselyn, Christine Hoy, David Blunt, Aucks Hoogeveen and Brian Renwick 

19-23 December 2008. Boulder Lake to Fenella Organiser: Mike Drake 

Drove from Nelson on the morning of 19 th , at the track start by 11am, after an excellent coffee stop at the Naked Possum in Kaituna. Day clagged in as expected, firstly along farm track where we gingerly hopped over limestone fissures, noting the piglets that had met their end in the depths! Then a tedious uphill haul to Boulder Lake through beech forest. Out on the tops at last, a quick downhill and then the lake loomed out of the drizzle. A wet trudge round the flooded shoreline brought us to the new hut's soft beds and cosy potbelly by 7pm, where the roar of the nearby waterfall drowned out the rain. Woke to clear blue skies and enjoyed great views back to Boulder Lake and accompanying tarns as we climbed to Green Saddle and on to the ridge skirting round to Adelaide Tarn. Followed the tops, then a dip down through dracophylla (mountain nei nei) forest, sidled along, then up through the Needle's Eye, and there was Adelaide Tarn way below, with our best views of the Dragon's Teeth. Set up our tents at the North end of the lake, a quick sluice down in the waterfall pool, then cooked up in the teeny hut as rain threatened again. Rain set in as we dived into the tents for an early night, lulled to sleep again by waterfalls plunging in then away from the tarn. The rain stopped in the night and we set off at 7.30 am for our hardest day, frustrated by cloud all round as we reached the ridge above Adelaide Tarn, but got a few tantalising glimpses of the tips of the Dragon's Teeth through the mist before we plunged down on the long descent through bush to the Anatoki River. On the flats we were treated to tall forest, marshes, and huge mossy boulders by the river. A paryphanta crossed our path; birds came to visit as we lunched by the river at an old campsite – robin, tomtit and weka. Had a bit of search before we encountered the cairn to tell us to cross over and start the ascent. Raining steadily now and the GPS and compass were consulted frequently by Mik e to check the trail we followed, sporadic cairns reassured us. These got more frequent as we at last came out into alpine vegetation, and there faintly in the mist were the Drunken Sailors. Mik e spotted a deer on the tussock. Lonely Lake Hut - 2.5M x 3M, seemed a mansion after an eleven hour day as we climbed into dry clothes, unrolled sleeping bags on the 3 narrow, creaky bunks, and got the billy on. Day Four dawned brilliantly fine, with mist packed down below us hiding the river. We got views back to the Dragon's Teeth as we wound back up and onto the Doug las Range . We could smell goats ahead of us, and spotted hoof prints in the mud. Stopped for a half hour dry–out in the sun, timely, as mist was rolling up from the valleys once we started threading our way onward along the ridges. No wind though, and warm, and sporadically a vista would open – of Aorere Peak , across to Snowden, down into the Burgoo. After four hours we rounded a bluff and ran into the day party coming out to meet us from Fenella – Val, David Blunt and Mark Graesser . We got a sunny spell for lunch with an awesome view down to Lake Stanley . Met and had a quick chat with Mary Honey and Jenny on their way to Lonely Lake for an overnight, then the final few hours around Kakapo Peak and back to Fenella – enjoying an encounter with a kea, the alpine Spaniards and daisies in flower, and vegetable sheep. 

Fenella was lots of friendly faces, lots of bottles of wine (!), watermelon and Christmas cake, a delicious dip in the tarn, and a tasty nosh up on leftovers. A sunny stroll down Cobb Valley , awash with yellow maori onion flowers and white gentians, to Trilobite next day completed an adventure to be treasured always for the participants: Mik e Drake, Rene Visser and Julie Sherratt . 

21 - 23 December 2007 Fenella Hut and Beyond Organiser: David Blunt 

As we descended towards Cobb Lake our spirits were lifted by the sight of vast areas of yellow flowering Bulbinella in the reverting pasture. The Gentians with their fine mauve striped petals were doing their best too. That was more than could be said for the weather which was intermittent drizzle all the way to the hut. David set off at a crackling pace, a spell at Chaffey's Hut, lunch at the tent camp below Lake Camp , and we were at Fenella for afternoon tea. Now you would think that a 2 ticket hut would mean light packs, but no – an unnecessary tent-packing panic when we found five cars at Trilobite Hut, some of us forgetting that the hut had gas, and a few extra festive goodies led to packs approaching get-fit weight. Saturday dawned beautiful, and we were up at 6.00am and the “enthusiasts” were away at 7.00am accompanied by the shrieks of the long-tailed cuckoo. Meanwhile the “moderate party” feigned a sleep-in until we were out the door. The valleys were filled with cloud and it was calm and sunny as we headed north along the ridge, soon to see the impressive Dragon's Teeth jutting skywards. We expected the valley murk to burn off, but instead, just as we reached Kakapo Peak at 10am; it rose up and sat on the ridges instead. A couple of “semi-enthusiasts” then headed back, meeting en route the moderate party who had had the sense to climb Waingaro Peak while there was still a view. The enthusiasts meanwhile continued north and at least caught a glimpse of Lake Stanley . At noon they met Mike Drake's party coming south. After lunching together and with the weather not improving, all made for Fenella. And only once there did the cloud finally dissipate. By the time we all got back Santa had arrived, without reindeer and sleigh – a pack and a pair of strong legs served instead, and without red suit and white beard – a pair of bright green shorts and, well a beard did not really suit her. Christmas cake for afternoon tea, lazing in the sun on the ample hut verandah, the prospect of wine with dinner, and a warm rosy feeling overtook the extended party. After said dinner Val brushed her teeth just before the chocolates came out. It was just as well that she had brought an extra ration of toothpaste. Sunday also dawned beautiful, and we were again up at 6.00am and the enthusiasts, somewhat thinner on the ground today, were away at 7.00am. For them a quick ascent of Waingaro Peak with 360 degree views was in order before returning home. 

Christmas revellers : David Blunt, Mark Graesser , Grahame Harris, Val Latimer, Peter Syms, Margot Syms (scribe) and Santa was played by Ruth Hesselyn. 

23 December 2008 Motueka Coastal Ramble Organiser: Katie Cloughley 

After some initial hesitation – would there be a ride for the organiser??? – would this be a leaderless tramp??? – Robyn Walsh saved the day with an extra detour to and from Stoke to collect Katie and Maurice. The walk was on! This turned out to be a delightful stroll along the Motueka Beach and Spit. The weather was perfect, and being high tide when we first arrived, yachts were heading out for the day. The saltwater baths were topped up. We alternated walking on the track that runs parallel to the beach to the sandy beach itself. An early lunch at the end of the track at the Raumanuka Reserve was followed by a sortie onto the spit itself in the hope of seeing the fabled godwits. Alas, no sightings of such, but pied oyster catchers were observed, plus five herons, one pied stilt and – back ashore – a sighting of the Greater Talley in full summer plumage in its native habitat. Actually, driving a splendid antique car. We returned to our more modest vehicles at the saltwater baths carpark at around 2 pm. An ice-cream detour in Motueka was appreciated by Robyn Walsh, Maurice and Katie Cloughley. Visitor Lynne Charters and her Chinese students, Zuiwen, Kerr and Simon completed the party. 

13 January 2008 Airport Perimeter Walk Organiser: Alison Nicoll 

Grahame Harris; Gretchen Williams; David Nicoll; Alison Nicoll [scribe] and visitors Catherine Gregg; Angie Lin; Vicki Tseng; Kanako Ikeda; Megg Hewlett and John Lyell 

A pleasant walk around the airport perimeter and exploration to the end of the peninsular was enjoyed with the help of a cool sea breeze counteracting the heat of the sun. Wild life seen included a small skink trying to hide from us in our own shadows and under our shoes, at some risk! After a refreshing pause in the shade of the trees by our cars, most of us continued on to the Honest Lawyer where more refreshments were needed! First group tramp out for Alison following the broken leg in July and much enjoyed.

13 January 2008 “Footstool” of Culliford Hill Organiser: Margot Syms 

The appetite was whet when visiting Culliford Hill from the south on Grahame's trip last February. Then the news that the Alpine Club had marked a new, more direct route from Courthouse Flat made the idea irresistible. With 1400m to climb and no water en route the trip suited a long day trip, rather than lugging a weekend pack. The new route starts just before the Blue Creek resurgence, and sidles up through bush onto the ridge where the old track ran. And “up” is the only word to describe it. Having cleverly dodged the gorse, the track then emerges onto the ridge and uses the old track thereafter, complete with permolat markers at times. After meeting the recently re-cut track down to Nuggety Creek, the track soon emerges into the open tops, where travel is through low scrub. Here we were able to give our UK visitors an introduction to Spaniards. The weather, although better than forecast, was now threatening drizzle. So, having already climbed 1000m we stopped for a well earned lunch in the shelter of a large rock. After, we climbed onto the hill with point 1597m, where we could at last see the start of the summit ridge of Culliford Hill hidden in cloud and drizzle. We knew that near the top was quite tricky and slow, and that visibility was preferable. It would also take us at least two hours return to visit the summit, so we decided to turn back and be satisfied with just getting to Culliford “Footstool”. A rapid descent, a few sandfly bites and a cold beer at the car, courtesy of David, and an ice cream stop at Tapawera completed the day. 

However this must be regarded as unfinished business, and is likely to appear on the program again – next time we will leave Nelson at 6.00am and pray even harder for a fine day. 

Trampers : David Blunt, Ruth Hesselyn, Tom Brown, Ken Ridley, Margot Syms and visitors Anthony Benson and Stephen Whyte

20 January 2008 Pukatea Track Organiser: Robyn Walsh 

It must be at least seventeen years since our Club has walked this lovely patch of bush in the middle of Hira Forest . Logging operations have blocked our access over the years. So I was keen to see what state the bush was in after all this time. What perfect weather we had for our return visit – very warm and clear blue sky all day. My group of ten met at the Church Steps at 9.30am where we had to cram in to Jim's car an unscheduled extra arrival. We tore up the Maitai to Teal Saddle and through the gate for which we had the key. A quick snack and group photo session before heading up the track at 10.30am. The track was still good but in a few places we had a branch or two to climb over and supplejack to grapple with. We walked the upper loop only because we couldn't find the lower loop entrance. After forty five minutes we were at the top ridge of Pukatea Trail, where the picnic table still stands. Recent logging gave us a vista of bare hillsides as we lingered here for a short time. David found the other side of the loop so we re-entered the bush at that point, on to even more windfalls, but not too obstructing. Into the hot, hot cars at 11.45am for a further 3km along Central Road to the old Waterfalls/Conifer Track. Before we could get to the track we had a short road walk and some clambering over piled up branches from logging work. It wasn't too far before we got to the series of pools and rock formations. Being lunch time we stopped by a good sized pool below a nice waterfall. Always game, Grahame couldn't resist trying a dip in the pool, but didn't stay in too long. Lunch was enjoyed either in the shade of the bush or by the creek in the sun. After lunch a further explore to see if we could find more of the track and after walking up what appeared to be a creek bed we found the old track, which we followed for another ten minutes until windfalls and stinging nettles caused a disappointing retreat. Retracing our route we arrived back to even hotter cars about 2.30pm., with a further stop at Teal Saddle to allow our visitors a look down over the Maitai Reservoir. 

Participants: Dan McGuire, David Blunt, Grahame Harris, Jim Maxwell, Robyn Walsh and visitors Donata Setyoutomo, Maria Drongel ( Sweden ), Dominic Barth ( Germany ), Steve Tucker, and Angie Lin ( Taiwan )

19-20 January 2008 Ride the Rainbow Organiser: Mark Stevens 

Support Crew: Mark Stevens, Bronwyn Jones and Tony Haddon. Riders: Maurice Cloughley, Carole Crocker, Ruth Hesselyn, Mike Drake, Gretchen Williams, Ken Ridley and Rosemary Weir (Scribe). 

On Saturday morning we set off from the Rainbow Carpark on a bike ride up the Rainbow. The weather was hot but also windy at times. The views as we went up the Rainbow Valley and into the Molesworth were glorious. We arrived at our campsite in Island Gully hot and tired but soon refreshed ourselves in the nearby river. Mark and Bronwyn in one vehicle and Tony in another did an excellent job of supporting the riders, providing tea and shade en route. A shared meal and birthday cake in Bronwyn's honour completed a wonderful day. We woke on Sunday to a light frost and a clear cloudless day. Three large, black, and friendly bulls came to visit and had a dust bath on the opposite river bank. The return journey was equally scenic as the day before and we arrived back to the vehicles well satisfied with our weekend excursion. Many thanks to the support crew.

 26 January 2008 Wooded Peak from the South Maitai Organiser: Dan McGuire 

Five ambitious climbers met at an early hour and proceeded to the Maitai Dam for a race up the valley and assault on Wooded Peak via an unmarked ridge. We passed through a famous area of podocarp forest before eventually gaining a well-defined ridge with limestone outcrops. On one of these with a good outlook over the valley we stopped for morning tea, and then slogged another hour to the top where we found another open spot to have lunch, with views over the Richmond Ranges . After lunch there was a rapid drop in elevation through beautiful beech forest, and up again to Sunrise Ridge. The intrepid organiser thought he knew of a shortcut via a mountain bike track but this caused an extra hour's descent over rough territory before we reached the south Maitai. We re-traced much of the walk in, done earlier in the day. In all an eight hour trip but all participants showed great stamina! Participants: Uta Purcell, Christine Hoy, Dan McGuire and Mike and Amy (visitors).

27 January 2008 Roding River Falls Organiser: David Blunt 

The trip to the lower Roding River Falls could perhaps be described as one of 'rediscovery' as it is many years since the Club last went there. 

In near perfect conditions seven members and nine visitors began the walk in from the carpark at the end of Aniseed Valley Road. The first part of the walk was on the familiar 4wd road up the Roding River to United Creek. On the way we passed the Roding caretaker heading back home with a morning catch of two wild pigs. At United Creek a short detour was made up to the copper smelter site where a leisurely morning tea was enjoyed in the sun. The smelter was closed down 100 years ago in 1908 when it became uneconomic to continue operating it. Then it was back to the Roding River which was followed up for about one hour, on an unmaintained and sometimes indistinct track or trail, until the Falls were reached just after midday. It is a picturesque spot with a deep emerald pool immediately below the Falls in which some members of the party took a plunge. This spot deserves more frequent visits and it could be reached more easily with some track clearing and marking. At present the going could be described as easy for experienced trampers but not so for novices over the final kilometre. After a lengthy stay for lunch the return trip was made in much quicker time to conclude a very enjoyable day's outing. 

Party members were David Blunt, Katie Cloughley, Grahame Harris, Mary Honey , Jim Maxwell, Margaret Page, Mark Stevens, & visitors Antony Benton, Steven White, Bronwyn Monopoli, Linda Christieson, Rod Spencer, John Tolmie, Alannah Jones, Louise Walton and Donata Setyoutomo.

3 February 2008. Urban Hills Organiser: Grahame Harris. 

Party: Grahame Harris, Gillian Arbuthnott, John Faber, David Nielsen, Mary Honey, and visitors Iain (spelt the Scottish way) Dephoff and Tonya (spelt the Solihull way) Ball. 

We assembled at the Cathedral Steps, went West and gassed up at the Shell pumps, then climbed the footpath to Mount Street, worshipped briefly outside the residence of former President Maxwell, continued to the top, then dropped down some steps and along to Hampden Street. At this stage Tonya told us about her career rubbing peoples' feet. We then followed Hampden Street across to its eastern end for scones and a cup of tea. Unfortunately we missed the house and found ourselves climbing a track, new to most of the party, up to the Grampians lookout. After tensies we descended the Kahikatea Track, with an exchange of information about kahikatea and some herbal natives (plants), to Brook Street. Across the valley and up the Codgers Track, where we found one of the codgers doing some maintenance, to the Tantragee Saddle. Left into the bushes on forest roads and cycle tracks to emerge for lunch down near the golf course. Followed the Maitai down to Dennes Hole and up to the Maitai Llookout where we waved across the valley to former President Haddon and faithful former Secretary Gretchen (they did not wave back). Down off there and up the backside of the Centre of New Zealand, scorned the tourists on top and sidled along to Walter's Bluff. From there down to Founders Park and refreshments, having completed our four hills (some people maintained it was six). Seemed to be enjoyed by all. 

3-4 February 2008 Lewis Pass day trips Organiser: Jim Maxwell 

Plan A of day trips cancelled due to “not ideal” weather forecast for that area to be replaced by a day trip to Lookout Peak and beyond on 3 February. Excellent views of Nydia Bay and Duncan Bay but the route was a bit overgrown. 

Participants: Jim Maxwell, Ross Price, Dan McGuire, Katie and Maurice Cloughley, Beverley Muirhead and visitor, Donata Seeyoutomo.

2-6 February 2008 Thousand Acre Plateau – Wangapeka Organiser: Bob Janssen 

With heavy rain predicted for the Buller on the Saturday I decided that for a five-day tramp most of the weather overall should be fine. I left Nelson at 6am to pickup our tramping party, Carole Crocker, Dion Point, Ruth Hesselyn and then Mike Drake. We had not traveled long before it started to rain; so at this point we agreed to stop in Murchison for a coffee. Shortly after this we drove up the Matiri Valley and headed to a DoC approved parking area. We agreed that because of the low cloud on the ‘Tops' that the route via the west branch of the Matiri that leads up onto the 1000 Acre Plateau was not an option, so instead we preceded on to Lake Matiri. We headed up the ridge track to Poor Pete's Hut where we kept meeting up with other trampers, so hut space was on short supply. After a cup of tea, Dion recommended that we would find better campsites for tents at Larrikins Hut. However the hut was crowded so we pitched out tents under the shelter of the trees. In the crowded hut, Ruth cooked us a great meal, followed by dessert and wine. This special treat was to celebrate Carole's Birthday. The next morning it was still raining and visibility was very poor and so we decided to wait for the weather to improve and the cloud to lift, which it did after an hour or so, and the sun came out as we climbed over the Hay Stack. Once on top we were met with more low cloud moving across the ridge from the west, with visibility problems we had a bit of trouble avoiding bluffs and steep terrain, before moving through to safer ground. We stopped for lunch and then proceeded along the crest of the ridge. It was late afternoon and whilst standing on the ridge directly above where the Hay Stack Hut had been Dion noticed from this vantage point that he could see the roof of the hut. It was quickly decided to go down hill and make camp beside the hut. The hut turned out to be a new transportable Fish and Game hut (2 bunk). The third day with a bit of cloud hanging round the tops we tramped over the ridge and descended the steep face, sidling in a northern direction until we hit the bush line. On the way we spotted several live powelliphanta land snails and an orange-coloured fungi none of us had ever seen before. By midday we had bush bashed and scrambled to intercept the cut track en route to Lake Jeanette and arrived at Hurricane Hut mid afternoon. It was a treat to dry our tents, wash our clothes and relax in the sun. On Tuesday morning we were to be in for a fine day, with little wind and good views from the ‘Tops' and an easy stroll along the ‘Tops' at a given point to choose a good leading ridge that would take us into the Whangapeka Valley within proximity of Kings Hut. As it turned out all the ridges were steep and ‘bluffy' and the gullies were steep and ugly. The short-cut prospects didn't look good. The majority vote decided that we would proceed the long way along the ridge and have lunch and a brew at the Tarn . After lunch we followed the ridge to Nugget Knob, and picked up the track into the Whangapeka Saddle and then followed the track to Stone Hut. We stopped for a brew then after thirteen hours of tramping, feeling weary and foot sore, we arrived at Kings Hut. We were to share the hut with a friendly DoC worker. The final day we were on the track in good time and arrived at Rolling Junction about 11am. Shortly after we were met by David Blunt, Beverly Muirhead and Mike's wife Heather who treated us with fresh fruit and drinks. A pleasant surprise and much enjoyed by all.

9 February 2008 Maungatapu – Dew Lakes Organiser: Mary Honey 

We set off early to avoid both the summer heat and rain forecast for later in the day. Only one pack of motor bikes shattered the morning peace before we reached the Saddle and turned off road up toward the Maungatapu Ridge through the podocarp bush. 

We enjoyed views of Nelson and Tasman Bay from the rocky outcrops along the ridge and views of Pelorus and the Sounds from our Dew Lakes lunch stop. We paused at the Maori argillite mine on our way down via the Rush Pools through the mineral belt terrain. No one actually mutinied about the sharp, albeit short, ascent from the Maitai Dam back up to the cars parked at the Foresters House, but gentle suggestions about parking a car below are noted for next time! 

The happy trampers were: Dan McGuire, Alice Paterson, Val Latimer, Margaret Page, Grahame Harris, John Faber and Mary Honey

10 February 2008 Mt Arthur traverse O rganiser: Patrick Holland Cancelled… weather

17 February 2008 Sharlands Creek Organiser: Gillian Arbuthnott 

Six pairs of hands scrabbled amongst the contents of packs for - surely not rain jackets? – at the start of the Kaka Hill forestry road which zigzags pleasantly uphill through large stands of pine, whilst simultaneously offering soul soothing views of green-clad hillsides surrounding the Maitai Valley. Off with the jackets and on with the sun hats and a final burst of energy saw us emerge out in to the open to enjoy the wide vista of Nelson City, Tasman Bay and the western ranges; the ambience of the seating arrangement at Sharlands Lookout will surpass the outdoor seating arrangements of your favourite local café. Following a quick descent through the bush via Supplejack Track to the junction of the Rimu and Sharlands Tracks, we chose the latter and wound on downwards through the bush admiring glimpses of tawa, honeydew-clad beeches and the soft green of statuesque pongas to the sound and eventual sight of Sharlands Creek at bottom of the valley floor. Here the track meanders gently alongside the creek itself through bush, a stand of totaras and open grassy areas where the sight of ripe, juicy and sun-warmed blackberries necessitated several stops for some of the group. Ignoring a somewhat rustic looking picnic table we chose the edge of the forestry roadside for a snack stop and continued on down the said road back to the starting point. On an enjoyable Sunday morning walk, thanks for the company of David Blunt, Denis Parnell, Gillian Arbuthnott, Grahame Harris, Ruth Hesslyn and visitor Angie Lin. 

16-17 February 2008 Kirwans Hut Organiser: Marguerite Verheul 

We had a rainy drive down to Capleston then we got lucky with the weather. It slowly began to clear. There is a piece of new track from the car park to Boatmans Creek Bridge so you don't have to cross any farm land and you stay in the bush all the way now. It is a lovely walk all the way to Kirwan's Hut, very green and mossy and a gradual climb that took us about six hours in total. It was a chilly evening but we got good views. Kirwans can sleep about sixteen people and we were cozy with the coal fire. It was very foggy the next morning but we still got a good look around from the top of Kirwan's Hill. I like Kirwans Hut because it's got big windows in the front of the hut and I wish I could have stayed longer. Kirwans is an old mining area that is a good place to explore. On the trip were Marguerite Verheul, Dion Pont, Ross Price, Mike, Deirdre, Wade (scribe), Alice and Chelsea Glover.

24 February 2008 Wainui Hut – Moa Park . Organiser: Alison Pickford Cancelled weather

22 February 2008 Patutu Organiser: Uta Purcell 

This trip was re-scheduled as a day trip due to impending bad weather. 

Four hardy souls met in Nelson at 6:00 a.m. for the drive down to Kaikoura. Arriving at the track to Patutu at Okiwi Bay at 8:45 a.m., they noted the DoC signpost stated it was four and a half hours to the top. But with Dave Blunt leading the charge, we arrived in three hours, to be met with a great view over the Seaward Kaikouras and Mt. Alexander once we had risen above the coastal fog. There were gentians, celmesias, helichrism, and other flowers in abundance. We descended in two hours and made the trip back to Nelson to arrive back exactly twelve hours after leaving. Participants: Uta Purcell, Dave Blunt, Christine Hoy and Dan McGuire.