Trip Reports

25 February 2007 Roding River Mines. Organiser: John Lammin

A pleasant walk, mainly on good tracks along the Roding River , Champion Creek and United Creek. All agreed that it had been a good idea to visit the Champion Mine first as that protected us from the sun for all of the climbing. The only off track part was over the ridge from the Champion Mine to the United Mine. We had lunch on top and profited from the excellent views. Descending to the United Mine was rather rugged and fresh slips near the mine itself added to the interest. The heat of the day made it particularly pleasant to reach the cool of the United Creek Valley for a gentle stroll out.

Trampers: Dan McGuire, Uta Purcell, Gillian Arbuthnott, Christine Hoy, John Lammin, visitors Amy Tomberg and Gabriel, a French tourist.

25 February 2007 Rough Creek / No Catchem Stream. Organiser: Ruth Hesselyn

Rough Creek lived up to its name, the slippery rocks helping Claudia to a dunking (twice) and Carole was unlucky enough to be stung by the only wasp we saw in the valley. Anyway, after two and a half hours of sidling through bush, boulder hopping and numerous creek crossings we arrived at a small tarn, where we stopped for lunch. From here it was a bit of a puff over snowgrass and scree to point 1787 on the St Arnaud Range. From this lofty vantage point there were great views in all directions. North across the tarn flecked headwaters of Merry and Chinaman's Streams to the Wairau Valley , east to the Raglan Range and beyond, south to numerous unnamed peaks and west to the cloud covered Robert Ridge and distant Kahurangi, while at our feet were the boat races on Lake Rotoiti . A quick jaunt along the well trodden ridge tops took us to point 1683, overlooking No Catchem Stream. I had been down here about six months previously and wasn't that keen to repeat the exercise. AJ and I looked at the alternatives and spotted a nice looking spur on the true right and pointing in the right direction, a quick look at the map confirmed this. It turned out to be a good decision, giving fairly easy travel right to the road. But just to make sure we didn't take the trip too lightly, AJ and Ian who were in front happened to disturb a wasps nest with the result that Carole was stung again and Claudia received her fist wasp stings (three) An abrupt end to a good trip.

Participants were Alvin Johnston (AJ), Carole Crocker, Ruth Hesselyn, and visitors Claudia Lua and Ian

3 March 2007 Beebys Knob. Organiser: Uta Purcell

The car park was found in a paddock - a meadow full of waist high grass, clover, and wasps, where Jocelyn had arrived before us and ushered us through the farm gate. We took the plunge through the drone of wasps into the beech forest. It was a pleasant climb up to open tops, under cloud cover at first, sun later, and altogether excellent walking weather. Good views were enjoyed, big patches of gentian too, and the conversation that covered many topics, from German politics to funeral rites. We lounged outside the hut for an extended lunch break. The return along the same way led the organiser, while looking for markers, into some aggressive wasps. Val Latimer, who followed close behind, collected a sting too, the other participants: Dan McGuire, Jocelyn Winn and visitor Claudia Lua, escaped free of stings and in the right direction.

3 March 2007 Crusader Crossover. Organiser: Lawrie Halkett

The Mount Campbell / Crusader / Flora Carpark crossover was made all the more enchanting by lots of fluffy clouds, wafting mist, interspersed with numerous sunny spells and plenty of awesome views. The intrepid crew met at the Richmond YMCA at 5.50am ready to get an early jump on what was expected to be a long day. The northern party comprised David Blunt, Christine Hoy and Bob Hughes (visitor), the southern party being Grahame Harris, Carole Crocker and Lawrie Halkett. The strategy of attack was “let's get started from our respective ends – Mt.Campbell and Flora Carpark – and aim to rendezvous on top of Crusader for lunch, swap car keys, hard luck stories and hurry on. Well that's pretty much how it turned out, except there were no calamities to report and whilst it was a long day (around ten hours of walking) no one hurried as there was just so much to take in.

The route basically follows the spine of the eastern Kahurangi National Park , as seen from the Waimea Plains. The views both west and east were fantastic. The sedately meandering mist, sliding up from valley floors below allowed some nice photographs where scenes were often framed by walls of cloud. The route along the tops is just that, a route, although here and there trampers from a bygone era have spray painted (almost faded) and tied bits of blue plastic to stems and branches. The route in most cases is obvious, but the northern party did require a compass coming through the mist on Hoary Head. The predominantly limestone country is rich in flora – the ubiquitous Mountain Cedar and Mountain Celery Pine were my favourites. There was also plenty of evidence of noxious animals, pigs and goats both sighted on the Mt Campbell end of the traverse. Also fascinating on Hoary Head among a seascape of limestone were pineapple-sized hunks of concentrated iron ore.

This is a gem of a tramp, as for most people living in the Waimea Plains, gazing westward, they are bound by the skyline of Mt Campbell, Hoary Head, Crusader, McMahon and Lodestone (see following photograph of the range) … and of course Mt Arthur and the Twins; the latter, well that's another story.

10 March 2007 Price Clearing. Organiser: Jocelyn Winn

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, but nippy enough to be comfortable wearing enough clothing to protect us from scratchy scrub. Grahame, armed with secateurs, led the charge through the small, unmarked track entrance in the blackberry at the edge of the clearing. Once we were into native forest, life became more comfortable, although we needed to make a detour back into the bush to avoid the old man gorse on the ridge bordering the reverting Hicky Clearing. As we climbed the upper clear part of it we were rewarded by grand views of the Mt Owen area and Mt Star partly obscuring Sodom and Gomorrah . Bellbirds sang happily, wasps minded their business in the pleasant patch of open beech forest near the top. Price Clearing too was very dry. How far would the sheep that once grazed it need to descend for water? We lunched near the old musterers' hut now falling into disrepair and gazed across at Mt Arthur and The Twins not far away. It would be quite feasible to continue along the ridge over Barron Bold to Ellis Basin another day. Perhaps most satisfying was to arrive back at our starting point as the route is erratically marked and little used. Thanks Grahame for volunteering as chief guide and for the input of the one or two others who had distant memories from a past visit. On the trip were Jocelyn Winn, Grahame Harris, Uta Purcell, Christine Hoy, Val Latimer, Mark Graesser and Dan McGuire.

11 March 2007 Grampians Twilight Picnic. Organiser: Robyn Walsh

This particular Sunday was gloriously sunny but by mid afternoon the clouds had built up along with a cool northerly breeze, which didn't matter, as to have an evening meal on top of a hill with views over Nelson was a pleasant change. Regretfully no Club members (except the trip organiser) took up the opportunity. We met on the south side of the Grampians at 4.15pm and started up the Kahikatea Track, passing some impressive trees including a massive kahikatea with its large impressive boardwalk and also a lone nikau palm. We branched right to do the Kanuka Track and so were able to do a circumference of the hill, seeing all the views it had to offer. The Kanuka Track came out at a junction with the Collingwood Street Track and from here we took a short steep grunt up to the next saddle and junction. Then tea at 6.30pm and we went to the lookout platform where the nearby eucalyptus trees provided some shelter from the wind. After ten minutes on the Fuchsia Track we cut across a firebreak and descended a gully where we stopped in awe of a thick massive vine winding its way along the ground and disappearing further up the hill; possibly a native passion fruit. One final stretch past the water retention dams and back to the cars. On the walk were Robyn Walsh and visitors Joe Sanders and Ken Holmes

17-19 March 2007 Kahurangi Lighthouse. Organiser: Barry Pont

Left Nelson and arrived at Collingwood at 10.30am on a cloudy, marginal day. Met up with the Nelson 4WD Club there and tagged on to their trip to Farewell Spit radar station site (WWII) and visited the Puponga coal site. Then moved on to Mangarakau school house, which is now able to accommodate more than twenty eight people, in four different rooms. Later in the afternoon we drove to the mouth of the Anotori River which was in a flash flood and this is as far as we were able to go on our expedition. After watching the flood water rising, we moved back to Mangarakau where along with the 4WD Club members most of us spent the night. The next day we looked around some of the local sites. Members who attempted this trip were Hazel and Mike Blowers, Rosemary Weir, Christine Hoy, Dion Pont, Barry Pont, David Blunt, Ruth Hesselyn, Beverley Muirhead and visitors Pete Peters and Ian Blackman.

18 March 2007 Pearse Resurgence. Organiser: David Nielsen. Cancelled.

24-25 March 2007 Brass Monkey. Organiser: Mark Stevens

Weekend over night tenting in an alpine environment, with a lightweight tramping pack? I hear you say how can that be? Well get comfy on the couch and I will tell you a tale of love and woe.

As all good tales begin, and I will continue to uphold the tradition. Once upon a time long long ago as the fable tells, there was a small, two bunk biv orange in colour in a far away land called Lewis Pass. So it was told six members of the Tramping Round Table set out to see this brass-monkey biv for themselves. Knapsacks were packed with tent; cookers and sustenance stowed in preparation for an arduous undertaking to follow. As fate would have it, a small fee paid to the ferryman saw us to the top of the Lewis Pass at the lofty height of 700 metres. After a walk in the dark forest we popped out on the tops to fine vistas, to be met by the [pensioner] tramping club aka Peninsular Tramping Club of Christchurch. They too were in search of the brass-monkey biv. Lunch was consumed by mountain tarn and billy boiled for tea, thanks Mike. The mountain range we travelled proved not too taxing with good views all along and plenty of tarns to camp by. Julie Andrews and the tune, “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music” sprang to mind. Mt Technical looking down upon us with foreboding as we made our way. A tarn was picked to camp by just short of our destination, six micro-light tents erected, dinner was cooked and eaten, and then six happy travellers enjoyed a mountain sunset and lay down their weary heads. Sleep was long and good. With a short stint of downhill in the morning, the brass-monkey biv was spotted in the mist and it lived up to its name. There indeed was a brass monkey nailed to the inside of the door jamb, so with our quest for the brass monkey quenched, we travelled along the range with a bit of rocky sidling and a lot of easy tops until the sight of Lake Christabel was taken in. Then down a poled route of Rough Creek, a misnomer, to the road, then to the bike hidden in the undergrowth, and back to the horse and carts for our journey home. As in all good fables we lived happily ever after.

Thanks to fellow travellers Dion Pont, Mike Marren, Uta Purcell, Carole Crocker, Jocelyn Winn and scribe, Mark Stevens.

25 March 2007 Marsden/Barnicoat. Organiser: Robyn Walsh

On a beautiful Saturday morning four of us met at 9.30am. From the Marsden Valley Memorial Cairn to Stoke's war heroes we climbed and walked the series of loop tracks which thread through the bush on the lower slopes of Jenkins Hill. This was followed by a quick car ride up to the Barnicoat carpark and a walk through the bush to the old weir. A snack break followed and then we retraced our steps halfway down the road, branching off across a stream to an uphill track through native bush to join up with another track. We had an easy flat walk above the valley floor, through the bush and out onto the Barnicoat road until a lunch stop at 12.30pm, then returned to the cars. Thanks to those present for a great half day trip – Robyn Walsh, Val Latimer, Hazel and Mike Blowers

1 April 2007 Maitai Caves. Organiser: Gavin Holmwood

No April fools here. An internationally flavoured group met at the church steps at 10.00am and headed off to the Maitai Caves . We were temporally blocked from reaching the Caves by the Taylor 's Womens' Triathlon being held at the same time. This minor setback saw us going to the Brook Sanctuary for a warm up walk. Once this walk was completed we left for the Caves. It seemed longer to reach than expected, to some of us, but the weather and the company were fine so time flew by. We all got our feet wet at least once. A very enjoyable day. Trampers: Lesley Holmwood, Jim Maxwell, Gavin Holmwood, and visitors, Mary Wu, Brenda Pasco-Sullivan, Sarah Einjorn and Joe Sanders.

1 April 2007 Wooded Peak from Maitai. Organiser: Dan McGuire

Yetta Nother Route up Wooded Peak

I had heard that Dan had a thing about Wooded Peak . He seems to collect routes up it, as some collect DoC huts, or bag peaks in an area. So when Wooded Peak appeared on the club programme, here was a chance to find out more about this bewitching place. But first I had to get the map out and find where Wooded Peak was – mouth has been washed out. It was lovely weather all day, contrary to most forecasts, and we followed the track to near the Maitai Caves where a log across the creek marked the spot – heaven help us if a flood washes it away. Dan did not need a map; he had the back of his hand. We then headed “off piste” up a ridge to the south which kept us out of mischief for several hours – and so it should, we had to climb 800m and have morning tea on a sunny outcrop overlooking the dam's watershed. Peter found an epiphyte, Tmesipteris sp ., which is a fern ally (fork fern) and the genus is limited to NZ, Australia and the Pacific.

We reached the peak at midday and what did we see - well, wood actually. However this trip had a plan and we went a short way west down the track to lunch in dappled sun on an outcrop with a view southwards to the mineral belt and Richmond Ranges . Homeward bound via Sunrise Peak where there is a crossroads of tracks, kindly signposted by an organisation “NTC”. Finally we rolled down a firebreak to lose the last of our height and complete a very enjoyable day.

Later I found myself looking at the map for other possible routes up Wooded Peak – settle down.

Wooded Peak-baggers: Dan McGuire, Uta Purcell, Val Latimer, Pat Holland, Peter Syms and Margot Syms (scribe).

6-9 April 2007 Diamond Lakes area. Organiser: Mark Graesser

A small party had a lot of fun wandering about the delightful Diamond Lakes area in weather ranging from good to superb. On Day 1 we drove to the Cobb and walked up to Sylvester Hut for lunch, thence on to Diamond Lake via the grassy ridge leading from the hut, a total walk of four hours. We camped near a lovely beach on the eastern end of the lake, perfect for enjoying late evening sun. Day 2: a six-hour tramp down the open valley leading to Ruby Lake , up and along the ridge above the Cobb Valley to Mt Benson, down the scree slope to Ruby Lake , and back to camp. Day 3: a similar circuit, this time to Mt Lockett, around the ridge above Lake Lockett , down to the lake, and back to camp with a bit of bush-bashing and rock-scrambling to stay above the trees on the northern slope. Lots of time for basking on the beach. Day 4: A cloudless day with crystal clear air, perfect for enjoying views from the tops. So we climbed past Lake Lilly and around to Iron Hill, clambered along the jumbled ridge, and then descended past Lake Sylvester to the hut and the track back to the car. With endless views of valleys, peaks and ranges in all directions, accented by genuinely jewel-like glacial lakes, and colourful subalpine flora and rock, this region is surely one of the most beautiful in the country, or, indeed, on the planet Earth! Party: Arthur Jonas, Dion Pont, Mark Graesser , and new Nelsonian Dianna Ingram. Special thanks to David Blunt and Christine Hoy for participation in a reconnaissance trip two weeks previous.

15 April 2007 Mts Sunday and Riley. Organiser: Grahame Harris Cancelled - access road closed

15 April 2007 Mt Campbell. Organiser: Grahame Harris

(Substitutes: Dan McGuire and Gillian Arbuthnott)

Six stalwart trampers left the end of Brooklyn Road at 9.30am to conquer Mt Campbell. While Jim Maxwell said

he would go at his own pace (presumably a slower one!), the others, led by (astray!!) by that infamous trip leader, Dan McGuire, headed off until they emerged from the bush to see …..drum roll … Jim Maxwell way up in front toward the top of Mt Campbell. A pleasant lunch stop was held on top before a more rapid descent to the cars was made. We were all pleased to see Jim tramping so well. Participants were Dick Battersby, Colin Duncan, Gillian Arbuthnott, Dan McGuire (scribe), Jim Maxwell and Trish Bennett.

22 April 2007 Takorika. Organiser: Gretchen Williams 546 8328

Participants started from Havelock Fire Station and passed through nice bush areas to the translator road at the top of the hill with lookouts over Havelock and Pelorus Sound. A leisurely lunch at the top didn't stop everyone from another stop at the marina for coffee after the walk. Participants were Gretchen Williams, Alison Nicoll, Dan McGuire (scribe), Trish Bennett, Jim Maxwell and visitors Mary Wu and Sue Billingham