Trip Reports

7 January 2007 Motueka Coastal Ramble. Organiser: Alison Nicoll

The day began with a light drizzle close to Nelson and Richmond but brightened and cleared as we neared Motueka. The tide was coming in as we made our way along the foreshore from the boat ramp end of this delightful track. The shelter provided by the parallel sand spit gives a very safe and pleasant water area for families. Of interest is the decaying hulk of the Janie Seddon once used by Talleys as a fishing vessel and an interesting historic panel recording the first settlement, wharfs and exports from Port Motueka. We walked to the end of the track at the Raumanuka Reserve where we had lunch and did some bird watching with the aid of binoculars. The overcast day may have attracted the large group of Godwits on the sand and at the waters edge not far away. Newly erected signs at both ends of the track give information about the area and the birds you are likely to see. We were amazed that dogs are allowed to run free on this spit where migratory birds reside and nest. I even found an article about the spit on the TDC website describing the area as Doggy Heaven! An inspection of the saltwater baths on the return at full tide showed the waves lapping over and replenishing the sheltered pool. Here we could see the sails of the sailing ship Spirit of New Zealand, making her way north parallel to the spit. A coffee at Toad Hall rounded off a very pleasant day and enjoyed by Karen Wardell, Grahame Harris, Denis Parnell, Robyn Walsh, Gretchen Williams, David and Alison Nicoll [scribe]

14 January 2007 Akersten Bay Organiser: Willy Stewart

The footbridges now resplendent with safety railings set the tone for a leisurely outing in the Abel Tasman National Park . From Tinline Bay the coastal track meanders gently through bush, beech forest and stands of lush green pongas, twenty to thirty metres above the sea where flotillas of kayakers paddled determinedly northwards and water taxis skimmed in and out of view. A slither and slide down a steep, narrow track brought us to the southern-most end of Appletree Bay, where we ambled over the golden sand which glistened and sparkled in the sunshine until we eventually rejoined the dappled shade of the track. For some of us a refreshing swim in the turquoise translucent waters of Akersten Bay provided a perfect entrée to lunch and the Appletree Bay walk proved more enticing to half of the group than continuing along the track, after which we regrouped at Tinline Bay for the walk back to the carpark. Coffee at Hot Mama's Café in Motueka rounded off a relaxing day's walk for Denis Parnell, Gillian Arbuthnott (scribe), Ken Ridley, Robyn Walsh, Willy Stewart and visitor Eddie Runge.

13-15 January 2007 Dillon Cone. Organiser: Tony Haddon Cancelled. Weather

21 January 2007 Lees Creek. Organiser: Margot Syms

While everyone in Auckland was raving about the upcoming “The Big Day Out” on Sunday 21 January, the only thing that sprung to mind was the club trip up Lees Creek . After cancelling the trip last summer due to the breaking of the drought with a vengeance, it was good to have settled weather. We headed up the Lees Creek Valley at a cracking pace until we remembered that it was supposed to be a medium trip, and slowed down to a good clip, pausing to admire Mistletoe and Ourisia in flower. The Lees is a lovely valley with beech forest, small grassy flats and isolated big mossy boulders, before the stream steepens to a cascade closed over with bush. Then it bursts out onto the large flats, where we lunched outside the hut. Only when Ruth's wee friend Skye was convinced that a chicken leg was not going to materialise would she deign to eat her dry little dog biscuits. Afterwards most of us strolled on to view the resurgence a little way up the left branch. Grahame expressed doubt about its existence, but when faced with reality he decided that on his previous visit it was raining so much that water-features were not paid special attention. Meanwhile Ruth and Skye remained at the hut for a bit of peace and sandflies. We were welcomed back with a yap, the only canine conversation of the day. Then it was back to the wagons the same way.

Rumour has it that there was also a rock concert on at Mt Smart Stadium that day.

Trampers: Dick Battersby, Claudia Lua, Grahame Harris, Peter and Margot Syms, Ruth Hesselyn and Skye.

21 January 2007 Blue Creek. Organiser: Dion Pont

Arrived at Courthouse Flat, Wangapeka, on an overcast Sunday morning. Had a quick look at the trip leaders map and we were off. Up Blue Creek track then up the bush track for 15 minutes before arriving at the big old log going up from the track. We followed a slightly overgrown track for 30 minutes, dropping into Blue Creek Gorge after an hour from the start. The dry gorge creek bed was damp from some recent rain. From here on it is just one way up! The gorge has some amazing rock formations, sculptured by the water, and sheer sided canyons, also nearly dry waterfalls and log jams. We moved on, coming across some small dry waterfalls, but with large damp rocks, some over 2.5metres high, which made it hard to climb up. The leader had to use his climbing skills to ensure everyone got up safely, setting up a rope so there were no major mishaps. Three hours later, near the end of the gorge, we had a quick, late, lunch. Nearly an hour later we emerged from the creek to join up with the track between the Staircase and Granity Pass Hut, then along the track to the Staircase where we found a big native mistletoe plant growing on a mountain beech, a great sight! Then it was a long slog back to Courthouse Flat, arriving at our cars about 6pm, after 8 hours of walking. A great day out was had by all, thanks to Dan McGuire, Carole Crocker, Gretchen Williams, Alison Nicoll and Dion Pont

27-29 January 2007 Mt Ella. Organiser: David Blunt Cancelled. Weather

27January 2007. Roding River Falls . Organiser: David Blunt

The scheduled Anniversary Weekend trip to Punakaiki did not go ahead because of forecast bad weather for the area. Instead a day trip to the Roding River Falls was arranged at the last moment. These used to be visited by members of the Club in its formative years in the mid 1930's but until last year when they were 'rediscovered' by Arthur & Yvonne no one seemed to know where they were. So on Saturday morning a party of six left the Brook Street dam bound for Fourth House on the Dun Mountain Track. (Fourth House is about 50 minutes further on from Third House) Just beyond Fourth House it is a steepish drop down through the bush to the junction of Coads Creek and the Roding River where a stop was made for lunch. At this point the river was flowing underground but a short distance upstream it passes through an imposing limestone gorge with huge rocks and boulders, waterfalls, deep pools and rata in flower. We stayed in the river bed scrambling around and over the rocks until the lure of the pools became too much for Mary and Gretchen who both took the plunge. Above the limestone gorge there is a dramatic change in the character of the river as it comes down through the mineral belt and it was here that we had to leave it to climb back up the hillside to Windy Point in heavy overcast conditions. Then it was back along the Dun Track to the cars. The party members who were all impressed with what they saw were Tony Haddon, Mary Honey, Dan McGuire, Gretchen Williams and David Blunt. Visitor, Don Burrage, stayed up on the track.

Postscript. Tony and Gretchen have since come down the Roding River and found other falls, including the "true" Roding Falls depicted in Arthur's historic photograph. A party of Tuesday Trampers have now made their way up to these falls from the Roding Carpark, finding the remains of an old track on the true left for a fair part of the way.

3 - 6 February 2007 Mt Owen Massif. Organiser: Grahame Harris

“It looks like we've got a fine weekend” said Grahame on the Thursday night. To expect good weather for a planned four day trip is optimistic. This summer – arrogant.

Day 1: Getting into Position: When Grahame brought 2 beacons and 2 trip plans, it seemed he was expecting a mutiny. When he handed one beacon to Peter and one plan to me, the finger was pointed. Off up the ridge from Courthouse Flat, we lunched in the open under Billies Knob with an excellent view to the NW. Here we played the first round of “spot the John Reid Hut”. Some of us more optically challenged had to resort to binoculars. The intention was to camp high up under Sentinel Hill, and at Granity Pass Hut we had the first attempted mutiny – nothing that a chocolate bar and 20 minutes rest could not quell though. We set up our tent village on a firm spot with a view (1420m) near a tiny running stream. Meanwhile tent city was being erected down around Granity Pass Hut. Fungal find of the day: fruiting cups on Verdigris Stud Fungus (the one that stains rotting wood green).

Day 2: Lord of the Rings Pilgrimage: By now Grahame had obviously gained confidence in the troops because when Dion and his shadow departed for the 2-day version of the trip, they were given a beacon. Mr Tolkien has done nothing for the solitude of Mt Owen (1875m). A worn path leads to the summit, and 40 pilgrims made the ascent that day. We arrived early and enjoyed lunch in peace on the top watching the cloud come and go. Next we adjourned to Replica Hill (1822m) via a circuitous route through karst humps and hollows. The cloud had gone, the view to the west superb, and here we were alone. Replica Hill is obviously not in the L.P. Guide to Tolkien film sets. Even getting back to the village involved Peter leading a route through a steep slope of outcrops.

Day 3: Walking on Rough Ground: We climbed Sentinel Hill to kill time while the cloud cleared from the tops. Then off down to Granity Pass via the hut, where we gained a couple of companions for the day. Being “about our age” Grahame thought they would help reduce the average speed of the party, but unfortunately they had the opposite effect. Straight up with no shortage of Spaniards we soon arrived at peak “Bob” (1669m) for lunch. We sidled on the eastern side of the next peak “Fred” (1764m), climbing it, or not, from the south. Finally onto Mt Bell (1857m) our quarry for the day. Mt Bell is what you are looking at from Nelson when you think you are looking at Mt Owen. It is only 18m lower. Weather glorious, views… haven't I said that before? And then it happened – the only real mutiny of the trip – we separated for 20 minutes into 2 groups because we could not agree on the best route off the mountain. Fortunately our companions had a beacon too, or Grahame might have had to get assertive. Another lovely night at the village. Meanwhile tent city had been dismantled and was on its way back to the North Island . Been there done that. Fungal find of the day – Mosaic Puffball, which looks like a very small vegetable sheep coming apart at the seams to reveal its dark dusty interior. Botanical thrill of the day – finding Swan Greenhood orchid ( Pterostylis tanypoda ) at 1670m, previously known from Canterbury and Otago. Suffice to say the NZ Native Orchid Group got excited when Mark informed them.

Day 4: Building up Stamina: After 3 calm nights we folded up the village onto our backs and set off to Culliford Hill, intending to find or make the track down to Nuggety Creek. We gained the peak (1756m) but not quite as fast as a large white billy goat. Further on, the ridge became a bit jagged and the vote to continue was not unanimous. We back tracked and headed down a valley to the east to lunch overlooking a flat bottomed basin, swampy in parts and with a pretty field of flowering Spaniards. On down to the same Granity Pass Hut, the same attempted mutiny, the same solution, and then we legged it to Courthouse Flat. We covered the distance in 3 hours, completing a 9.5 hour day. We used the long weekend to the full, great weather, great trip.

Pilgrims: Grahame Harris, Mark Graesser, Colin Duncan, Peter Syms, Margot Syms (scribe), Dion Pont.

28 January 2007 Trig K Pelorus. Organiser: Gavin Holmwood

A leisurely 9am start from the church steps and we were off. A few drops of rain as we left, and a few while on the tramp did not dampen our enthusiasm - indeed Beverly gave us a demonstration of her dancing prowess while recounting the film she saw the night before. A majority vote saw us take the steep but short way up to the Trig, and the long, not so steep track down. The track was well defined and well travelled. A highlight for many of us was the botany lesson from Robyn as she named and described the native trees we came across at the end of the tramp, much appreciated especially, by our English visitors,

The coffees at the Café also proving very popular.

Trampers: Dennis Parnell, Robyn Walsh, Beverly Muirhead, Ray Hems, Barbara Hems, Shirley deGroot, Lesley Holmwood.

4 February 2007 Holyoake Clearing. Organiser: Mary Honey

Five of us set off in perfect tramping weather from a crowded carpark at the Marahau entrance to Abel Tasman. Given the heat and popularity of the Park on that day, we headed up to Holyoake direct from Tinline and lunched with spectacular views. Following lunch we continued further into the forest on the track toward Castle Rock Hut. After checking out the diverse set of trees and shrubs in a particularly lovely clearing, we returned the same way, thus avoiding the probably crowded main track. A deviation along Porters Beach ended an enjoyable day.

Trampers: Dan McGuire, Uta Purcell, Val Latimer, Marlene Rothenbury (visitor from Canada ) Mary Honey

11 February 2007 Fringed Hill loop. Organiser: Gillian Arbuthnott

The Brook Reservoir was the starting point to join a well-shaded path – complete with strategically placed bench seats and outcrops of the noxious plant, Buddleia – which eventually brought us out onto a dry, dusty and deeply rutted firebreak/service road. A steep and prolonged ascent along this well-used track in the company of brightly-clothed mountain bikers eventually brought us to a junction of the Dun Mountain Track which meanders alongside bush-clad hills to Third House; here in the company of more mountain bikers and an aspiring marathon runner we enjoyed morning tea and a tantalizing glimpse of Tasman Bay . From the open spaces of Third House (Question: where are First and Second House located?) an undulating path winds through The Enchanted Forest where the smell of honeydew filled the air, purple mushrooms and small elongated red leaves brightened the carpet of brown beech leaves, dappled sunlight highlighted the luxuriant ferns and more bellbirds were in evidence. Lunch was eaten at Fringed Hill (somewhat serious in demeanour mountain bikers this time) against a backdrop of Nelson city, suburbs and beyond and the multi-hued blue waters of Tasman Bay, after which a rapid descent through gorse, bush and open terrain brought us back to the starting point. An energizing and energy-required local outing was enjoyed by Dan McGuire, Denis Parnell, Gillian Arbuthnott, Shirley de Groot, Val Latimer and visitors Amy Tomberg and Will Stone .

10-11 February 2007 Connors-Begley-Hamilton. Organiser: Steve McGlone

Joined by Grahame Harris and Bob Janssen.

We tackled this trip in the reverse direction to the trip description listed in the programme. Stashed a mountain bike in the bushes at the Hamilton end on the way up the valley in the car, and left Connor's Creek road end about 9.30 am. The weather was pleasantly misty, but with clearing visibility as the day wore on for our pleasant amble up the Connor's Creek. Mount Chittenden across the valley was cloaked in cloud as we broke out of the bushline into the tussock lands of the upper creek. A few brief skirmishes with Spaniard and stepping into many hidden holes among the alpine grasses, we reached the steady rocky chute of the saddle leading to a side stream of the Begley. A pretty but uneventful trip down this same valley on the true left took us to the mossy environs around Begley Hut, a pleasant and well-maintained 8 bunker.

Our relatively early arrival at this hut (4.00 pm) meant we had more time to enjoy the abundant sandflies that were awaiting us. A perusal of the hut book showed the last party a month earlier, and only 30 individuals had stayed in the hut over the preceding year. No wonder those sandflies were so hungry!

Next morning saw our welted faces spooning muesli and sandfly carcasses into our mouths for a 7.30am start. Two years earlier I walked this trip with the Waimea Club and we failed to find the track sidling above the upper Begley on the true left, and so wandered along the creek edge and among mossy open beech.

Our party made an extra effort to find the track and did so. On reflection this overgrown track was the lesser experience, as it was far from the lovely views of the pristine waters and ghostly forests I'd recalled.

If I were to do it again, I think I'd not be sad to miss the benched track, despite the small saving in time.

There are two passes over to the head of the Hamilton, either side of a peak 1823m. Two years earlier, our party took a route over the pass beyond that peak, up from the true left of the Begley. This route is steep and rocky on its approach, but more gentle a descent into the upper Hamilton . By contrast, we took a route up the nearer pass, which had a very straightforward tussock climb to gain the pass, but a steeper descent. On the plus side, it was an easy scramble from this latter pass to climb the 1823m peak, where the views were fabulous.

The route down the Hamilton is long and rocky, a lot of boulder hopping before giving out to a well marked track in the forest on the true right. Not very memorable, but the cold waters were a welcome respite from the heat of the day for a number of swims. Out by 4 .00pm in good time to cycle up the road the 5 km to collect the car and head back to Nelson and ice creams!

18 February 2007 Whispering Falls/Chromite Mine. Organiser: Ross Price

Party: Ross Price, John Faber, Grahame Harris (scribe).

Three people - quite a contrast with the forty three people who turned out for our Birthday tramp on this route thirty months ago. From the Hacket Picnic Area we walked to the Whispering Falls - only the left one was whispering but was still attractive. We then carried on to the clearing above, where the picnic table has been restored, and had our morning snack. Then down and on to the Chromite Mines, where both tunnels were inspected. Cave wetas were once reported in the longer one, but none there on this occasion. It was still early so we carried on to the Hacket Hut for lunch. We then returned, stopping at a slightly more secluded and less sandflied hole for a swim, and were back to the car around 2pm. Thank you Ross.

17-18 February 2007 Pinus Pullatus. Organiser: Tony Haddon

Heat, spiky scrub, sharp rocks, pointy needles, sticky sap, lots of crawling up down around and mutterings. Lots of beheaded, denuded, munched, and pulled up trees. Lovely place to spend a weekend, great campsite and weather. See you next year on the follow up?

Eager beavers; Ruth & Skye Hesselyn, Uta Purcell, Christine Hoy, Dion Pont, Tony Haddon .

Sunday helpers: Alison & David Nicoll, Gretchen Williams

24 February 2007 Family Group - Maitai Caves . Organiser: David Rae

A very enjoyable tramp with eight children from five families and four adults on a beautiful day. We tramped through lovely bush and streams with fords to the cave which we explored. Quite slippery and slidy but well worth entering. There was a feeling of adventure after going through a small opening into a cathedral-like cave with ropes inside- even the five and six year old girls went in! By the time they had been paddling in the river, caving, crossing fords with little legs and wet shoes, picking blackberries. What a wonderful adventure!  

Private trip Reports

Barker Hut/Mt Murchison - 3-6 February 2007

After 2 cancelled starts in the past few months and much weather watching and communication with people in Arthur's Pass, enthusiasm was waning but with a reasonable forecast and improved mountain and river conditions in the early New Year the call went out to previously interested parties one last time. It was now or never – well, for the time being anyway. 5 people were still keen and able to get away so 3 rd February saw us leaving Nelson in Mark's car which was sagging under the weight of 5 people and all their gear. By mid morning we were in Reefton waiting for a trainee barista to make us coffee which eventually arrived, barely lukewarm. After a friendly word about the temperature, of the coffee, and a replacement or two, we headed for Arthurs Pass where we had a late lunch and filled in an intentions form then it was on to Klondyke Corner. From the large number of cars parked at Klondyke there were obviously many other people taking advantage of the first spell of good weather and conditions, and the Waitangi Day holiday of course. Ruth's vintage bike, affectionately dubbed ‘old bronze' had come with us for the ride with the intention of someone taking the car back to the Bealey Hotel to a safe park and then cycling back to Klondyke, however that manoeuvre was abandoned as due to the large number of other vehicles parked it was decided safe enough to leave it there. So ‘old bronze' was locked in the boot and we headed yet again up the Waimakariri under packs heavily laden with all the usual gear and food plus ropes, climbing gear, boots (to keep them dry for the mountain climb) and one party member even carried a large umbrella, which didn't get used! The cloud cover and numerous river crossings kept us from overheating. After a steady plod up the riverbed it was a welcome relief to shed our loads at Carrington Hut and attempt to stand upright again. First priority was to get a brew on and stake our claim to bunks as the hut was fairly full. The evening soon passed with an excellent one pot shared meal, chatting to fellow trampers, and a game of cards then it was sleep if you can with the loud banging and creaking of the wooden hut and a few rumbles from certain bunks. Next morning, although we had eaten some of the food and left some at Carrington for our return journey, the packs didn't seem any lighter as we loaded up again and headed for Barker Hut which was new territory for all of us and a destination we were all looking forward to. Shortly after leaving Carrington we crossed the White River and continued up the valley, soon catching a glimpse of the 152m Kilmarnock Falls in the distance to our right. We continued rock hopping by the river and in a little over an hour had our first glimpse of Barker Hut in the distance, a tiny orange box perched high on a large rounded bluff. Although it was heartening to see the hut we knew we had another 2-3 hours of hard hot work before reaching it so it was onwards and upwards with plenty of rest and photo stops. Further up the valley we were treated to a profusion of alpine herbs and flowers. The upper White valley became harder work and below the hut, where there was once a swing bridge across a chasm, we had to climb down a steep gut to the stream and then up out again before climbing around under some high bluffs and eventually up the last steep section to the large shelf where Barker Hut sat in sunshine and perfect conditions and with several small tarns nearby. Another group of 6 was in residence so Ruth made camp near one of the tarns and the rest of us filled the available bunk space in the hut. After a welcome rest and lunch, some were getting twitchy again and it was decided to go for a wander and check out the route for climbing Mt Murchison the next day. From a lookout point nearby we had a good view of the proposed route and spent some time there watching the other group in the distance descending the snow slopes. Back at the hut we chatted with the others and quizzed them about the route, conditions etc. Although it would diminish our sense of adventure a little, it would be good to have others footsteps to follow next day. After tea packs and gear were prepared for the next day, the alarm was set for 5am and it was a case of sleep if you can with the hut full to overflowing. We set off eagerly next morning under light from a full moon and headlamps and made good progress to the start of the snow slopes where we stopped and put on crampons and helmets. As we cramponed around the slopes of the lower White Glacier, past impressive ice cliffs towards a steep ramp leading up to the upper part of the glacier, the early morning sun bathed the peaks ahead of us in a brilliant orange colour which was an amazing sight. Once on the upper White Glacier it was just a matter of following the footsteps of the previous party, zig-zagging our way up between the crevasses towards a steep couloir. At this point we encountered a small bergshrund and opted to remove our crampons before crossing this and negotiating a tricky rock section on the other side. Then with crampons on once more we ascended a short snow slope before removing them yet again for the final section of narrow exposed travel along the rocky summit ridge. By 9.45am all members were on the summit, celebrating their achievement and taking in the awesome 360 deg views in perfect conditions. These are the moments which answer the question “Why am I doing this?” which I'm sure we all ask ourselves at various other times! We could see right down the White valley, Mt Cook to the south and the West Coast in the distance. After time on the summit to savour the experience, record the views on camera and refuel, we started descending knowing that the sun would already be softening the earlier perfect snow conditions. Back at the bergshrund, Mike negotiated the tricky rock section and crossed the schrund and then a sling was fixed around a rock and our packs lowered down and passed across the gap before the rest of us smeared ourselves around and down the rock with the aid of the sling to hold on to. Once we were all safely across it was, yes, crampons on again and away, down and retracing the by now well defined lines of footsteps back to the hut, pausing near the ice cliffs to gaze at their beauty as we passed. We arrived back at the hut just after mid-day to be met by David who had been exploring near the hut and watching our progress on the mountain. He had only intended to go as far as Barker. After lunch it was decided we had plenty of time to descend to Carrington so we packed up and reluctantly bade farewell to this awesome spot, now able to fully appreciate why this is one of the premier locations in the Southern Alps . By the time we arrived back at Carrington Hut we were beginning to feel a little weary, and even more so with the thought of the long slog back down the riverbed. However a quick refreshing dip in the Waimakariri before tea was welcomed by all now and then there was time to even up the score in the ongoing euchre challenge before hitting the bunks for the night. Waitangi Day saw us heaving on packs again and heading back to Klondyke parking area where we had to have another dip in the river and change clothes before Mark would allow us in his car! Bealey Hotel was the venue for lunch which was also a birthday celebration for one of the party, after which we signed out at the Doc office in Arthur's Pass and headed for home. We had to stop in Reefton on the way though to check the temperature of the coffee at the café. It was much improved on this visit indicating that the barista had had plenty of practice in the previous few days. It was a weary but happy little band of ‘mountaineers' who arrived back in Nelson after a very successful trip. Many thanks to Ruth for all her organization and encouragement. It was worth the wait for the right weather. Also thanks Mark for the use of your car and your driving, and to one and all for working together to make it another enjoyable and successful trip. Participants were Ruth Hesselyn, Mike Drake, Mark Stevens, David Blunt and Carole Crocker

Mt Ella, January 3 – 6 (2263m) Mike Drake

Snow down to the road in Arthur's Pass, and the yearning for some summer weather changed our Mt Murchison and 3-Pass trip into a very enjoyable and sunny Mt Ella trip. David had the details, as he wanted to explore the possibility scheduling a club trip to Mt Ella. After a long flat plod up the Matakitaki we turned left up the McKellar stream. Thanks to DoC for a freshly groomed track. The climbing rope changed sacks regularly as the gradient increased. Too much turkey and not enough tramping I suspect being the cause. At the end of the marked track we had to descend to where the water emerged from the rocks. A very pleasant campsite (approx. 1270m) was found, and a kitchen established. The fresh water supply an arms reach away. Time to relax and wind down from the demands of the festive season. Tomorrow would be an opportunity to tap into the energy stored over the holiday period. Four people made the Mt Ella summit. Ruth, and then Bob, nudging the group along at a couple of points where the summit seemed elusive. The rope was put to good use, and a mixture of techniques was used. Bob learnt how to belay, and someone found that they were topologically challenged, i.e. they didn't know the knots. Can you tie a bowline, figure 8, clove hitch, klemheist, alpine butterfly, and double fisherman? Checkout this great website:

Next day we climbed to the head of the valley, cramponing a fair distance up a tongue of snow, then onto the main snow slope leading to a saddle. We waited a little while for the snow to soften and then down we went. The afternoon was spent escaping from the sun and reading. Bob and Mark headed up the side of the valley to check out the ridge and another peak. The next day we left this peaceful spot and headed out. On the way out a wasp nest was disturbed and Mark was the target for the wasps. (Tip: Always put Mark near the back to attract any disturbed wasps. The wasps love him.). So once again thanks for a very enjoyable trip; Carole Crocker, Ruth Hesselyn, David Blunt, Bob Janssen, and Mark Stevens.