Trip Reports

21-22 August 2004 - Balloon Hut. Organiser: Gretchen Williams

Party: Alison Nicoll, Gretchen Williams, Roger Bruce, Tony Haddon.

Flora Car park was full of people and vehicles when we arrived – Friends of Flora were having a working bee.

We had a break at Growler Shelter and again at Salisbury Hut (this one specially to pin up the FMC Hypothermia poster). The snow on the Tablelands was firm and about ankle deep – we had to take care and walk in previous frozen foot steps so it was slower going. We explored Bishops Cave and then on to Balloon Hut which was a welcome site, especially the big gas heater! We settled in for a good nights sleep and awoke to snow falling gently and a beautiful picture. It snowed while we walked back, all the way to bushline and then it drizzled til we arrived back at the car park (still full up but we hadn’t seen anyone else all weekend).

22 August 2004 - Robert Ridge (Peanter Peak cancelled due to avalanche risk). Organiser: Grahame Harris

When DoC advised against Peanter Peak because of avalanche risk (!) the trip was transferred to the Robert Ridge, and several participants dropped out before we left. When we arrived at St Arnaud it was raining lightly and more dropped out, having coffee at the new cafe and then returning home. The remaining four set out to do the circuit. It was up the Pinchgut in weather that had now cleared, meeting snow lying in the bush. At the Bushedge Shelter light snow started falling, increasing in intensity by the time we reached Relax Shelter. We decide to continue on the circuit, and the snow thickened into a mild whiteout on the traverse to the Bushline Hut. We could only see one marker pole ahead at a time, but the wind was not severe and the temperature was not too frigid. After lunch at the Hut the weather cleared a bit and we continued on down Paddy's Track. However, about half-an-hour from the car there was a clap of thunder that would have been quite terrifying if we were still up on top, and it rained steadily for the rest of the way. We were back at the car by 2.30pm. All expressed enjoyment of the exercise and experience of different conditions. Crampons had been carried but were not needed as the snow was quite deep but crisp and easy for walking

Party: Uta Purcell, Christine Hoy, Mary Young, Grahame Harris.

28 August 2004 - Whispering Falls 70 th Birthday Tramp. Organisers: Uta Purcell & Lindsay Twiname

Has this trip set an attendance record? 43 trampers, including 23 visitors. The circle of people for introductions almost took over the lower part of the Hacket carpark. From the carpark, everyone was encouraged to set their own pace (but behind “volunteer” Ruth!) and spread out to prevent long waits for the one-by-one crossing of the swing bridge. This worked well and everyone re-grouped at the picnic area at the turnoff to Whispering Falls.

From here Ian (who was carrying the birthday cake, club billies, etc), Dion and Mark went on ahead to collect water from the stream and get the billies going in preparation for the group’s arrival. Thank you guys for doing this – it was wonderful to have hot billy tea ready waiting for us. We should do this again!

As we entered the bush just below the falls, everyone stopped to admire a tree on which had formed the most beautiful pattern of icicles. The falls themselves also had lots of icicles – all testament to the recent frosty weather.

Lunch time was most pleasant. Our large group was a very sociable and chatty group, and we had the added delight of a delicious birthday cake (thank you, Uta), billy tea, and chocolates (well, we did need energy for the return trip). Our patron, Ian Bethwaite, did the honour of cutting the cake and congratulated the Club on its 70 years of tramping and wished us well for future years. And of course with it being a lovely sunny still day, it was great to just soak up the sun and admire the view.

Some people returned directly to the carpark from our lunch spot whilst others headed back up the Hacket Track to investigate the chromite mines….and the cave wetas. Lots of really big wetas were found in a long cave and this was the start of much laughing and screaming (and a small degree of panic?), as well as much flash photography. Will David enter his “weta on steroids” photo in the Club’s photo competition? Designed to induce nightmares…..

It was an excellent day and wonderful to have so many people help celebrate the Club’s birthday.

Uta and Lindsay would like to thank those attending:

Ian Bethwaite, Shirley Gabrielsen, David Blunt, Mary Honey, Gillian Arbuthnott, Dion Pont, Robyn Walsh, Gretchen Williams, Arthur Jonas, Yvonne Kyle, Carl Horn, Ruth Hesselyn, Alice Patterson, Marianne Hermsen, Anita Robertson, Mark Stevens, Ian Pavitt, Alvin Johnston & grand-daughter Savannah; and visitors Margaret Sutherland, Shirley Jack, Sarah Simmonds, Chris Rabey, Linda Fraser, Aine Byrne, Lucy Walmsley, Mike Beever; Jeana, Mike, Brittany & Toby Packer; Karen Wardell, Ken Matsuzaka, Gwen Wills, John Lammin & Sharon, Eryl Glynn, Diana Reeves, Rolly Penhall, Peter O’Donnell, and Kathy Harrison.

Editor: Mr Ken Matsuzaka has asked me to pass on his thanks to everyone for such an enjoyable day. Ken very much appreciated the opportunity to go tramping and he hopes to join us again on his next visit to Nelson.

4-5 September 2004 - Scotts Knob. Organiser: Mike Drake

Friday night found 12 determined trampers prising up, throwing and rolling boulders, converting boulder-strewn stream beds to passable fords… It all started in Havelock during a “Ruth coffee stop”. We were all seated round a log fire, drinking coffee when I launched my Scotts Knob marketing bid. Mentioning the word “camping” caused a physical recoil. Perhaps not a smart move in front of a fire! Sensing the mood the trip was turned into a base “camp” at Greigs Hut, with a Friday start. After twenty plus phone calls on Thursday we had a plan, three vehicles, 4 MTB’s and 12 trampers. The weather forecast was fine with strong southwesteries. A contact in the Wairau Valley indicated that the rainfall had not been significant.

At 05:00 Saturday (Greigs hut) morning preparations began. A clear and frosty morning promised good things. At 06:00 the quick drop down from the hut, and the slow grind up the valley began, the sky turning clear blue and not a cloud to be seen. Iced-covered rocks added “interest” to creek crossing. At the snow two routes were taken; a left pincer movement, and a direct approach. All 11 trampers were on the top by 12:20. The only wind was the occasional gust, the forecasted strong southwesteries I was expecting to meet on the saddle were absent.

With much reluctance we started heading back down to the hut wanting to maximise the stay in snow-surrounded mountains with a glorious blue sky, in an attempt to make up for all the bad weather we have had on past trips.

As we approached the hut chainsaw sounds were heard - Bob (ex‑forester), in black singlet, had spurned the hut axe and was happily cutting firewood. A good round-off for the day. After dinner the table was cleared and the cards produced. Cheat provided an opportunity of psychological insight; from extrovert to quiet calculated play. Steve’s introduction to Euchre allowed me further insight as Steve grappled the idea of the left and right bower.

Sunday (original summit day) dawned with clouds and light rain. Ah! We had tricked Murphy; the summit had already been attained. Further road building was done on our retreat from the hut, followed by a well deserved coffee at St Arnaud that rounded off a very pleasant weekend.

Many thanks to the team; Carole Crocker, Mark Stevens, Uta Purcell, Roger McMichael, Bob Janssen, Ken Ridley, Ruth Hesselyn, Steve McGlone, and especially the 4WD’ers Dion Pont, Barry Pont and Brian McLean.

See for the photos.

5 September 2004 - Boulder Bank. Organiser: Grahame Harris

Eighteen people lined up by the cesspool at the end of Boulder Bank Road and did not delay too long setting off from the aromatic fragrance of the effluent. Before long we were clear of the smell, but also on that part of the Boulder Bank which has been most broken up by vehicles - there is no notice or barrier to warn them off any more. The stones were loose and made for hard walking. The instructions were that everyone should proceed at their own pace, have lunch at noon, and turn back. As it turned out all but four reached the Cut at the end, and were entertained by a young seal lying on the concrete slabs, then taking to the water and lolling in the channel among passing boats at considerable risk. On the way we had passed the shag colony perched on the dead branches of the remaining tree, the other trees having succumbed and collapsed under the assault of shag-colony droppings. Then the baches, several of which have been spruced up a bit in recent years. On to the lighthouse, which everyone reached, and which was locked; there had been ill-founded reports that it was left open lately. Along this stretch many seabirds were seen - oystercatchers, black-backed gulls, but mainly red-billed gulls - but there was no sign of nesting activity yet. On the way back a flock of royal spoonbills were congregated on the edge of the mudflats. Everyone was back in good time in spite of the wearying nature of the stony route, and all seemed pleased they had done the trip.

Party: Grahame Harris, Brenda Sinclair and infant daughter Shelley (who walked for 3 hours!), Ross Price, Alison Nicoll, Rosemary Weir, Robyn Walsh, David Blunt, John Olykan, Christine & Dale Hoy, Gretchen Williams, Tony Haddon, and visitors Cathy Worthy, Karen Wardell, John Lammin, Sharon Foga, Don Cameron, and Arnia Byrne.

12 September 2004 - Atawhai Foothills. Organiser: Carl Horn

Party: Adriann Smith, Aine Byrne, Anne, Brenda & Shelley St Clair, Carl Horn, Chris Rabey, Eryl Gwynne, John Liman, John Olykan, Sara Simmonds, Sharan Foga, Trish Bennet.

We started our tramp by congregating in the Botanical Park below The Centre of New Zealand (what a coincidence that the centre of New Zealand is right on the top of a hill overlooking Nelson, and not in a clump of gorse halfway down the hill on the other side – actually a rough approximation seems to put the centre of New Zealand somewhere near Kumara, but it seems they’re not complaining, so here it is in Nelson, right on the top of one of our hills).

There was a bit of a kafuffle at the start because one of the party didn’t arrive on time which caused us to wait a while and delay our departure. As it turned out, further down Milton Street some distance from where we met they had seen a sign pointing to The Centre, so they parked there, took that route, and met us at the top (it was a time when a cell-phone would have been handy, but it seems that it was turned off).

The day was cloudy, bright, and dry, a comfortable day for tramping, with good visibility. From The Centre of New Zealand, the route was down to the saddle and up the other side onto the Atawhai Ridge Walk, which is actually a 4-wheel drive farmer’s dirt road, wide enough that pairs could walk abreast. Along the ridge we had excellent views not only of the Bay and the Abel Tasman National Park in the distance, but also looking the other way east up the Matai Valley to the valleys and mountains beyond. Rather than fight the gorse to take a shortcut, we stayed on the road until we came to a flat open area with an excellent outlook over the Bay, where we stopped for a convivial lunch. Then it was back the way we came, arriving back at our cars in the middle of the afternoon.

The walk, uh, tramp, had a highlight for me besides the views. That was watching Shelley St Clair walk almost the whole route without any whinging, at least none that I heard. Nor did she fall behind and require us to wait for her. It was only almost at the end, just before descending back to the Park below The Centre, that she was given any help by her mother Brenda. Shelley is all of two years old. I suspect that Shelley with her determination and perseverance may, in a few years, be one of those New Zealanders standing on a podium receiving a gold medal. She certainly provided an extraordinary performance that day.

Many of those along that day were not members of the club. They had seen the notice in The Leader and had decided to join us. As the cliché goes, a fine day was had by all.

12 September 2004 - Mt Starveall. Organiser: Roger Minchin

After Grahame asked me to organise a trip, Shirley G. suggested Starveall, as the road through Carters forest had recently been opened. It rained on Saturday but the forecast for Sunday was accurate with a fine clear morning that was to turn windy/cloudy in the afternoon.

We left Stoke at 7.30 picking up 3 trampers at Richmond. It took an hour to drive to Serpentine Knob up the Lee over 12k of good forestry road after the locked gate ($300 key if lost). Then it was a moderate climb to Starveall Hut in pleasant conditions. All 19 of us got to the hut in 90 minutes.

Alice was unwell and stayed here but the rest went up the poled route up the ridge to the Slaty turnoff on the sheltered side of the Starveall ridge. According to my map, Mt Starveall is the point just above here but there is a higher point to the south of the ridge which we walked to. Back to the turnoff for lunch. Coats went on for the exposed walk back to the ridge. It soon warmed up just off the top. Had another spell and drink at the hut leaving at 1.00. It took slightly less time to get down.

A good day enjoyed by all. Very lucky with the weather. Thanks, Shirley, for your suggestion.

Participants:- Alice Patterson, Arthur Jonas, Yvonne Kyle, Ruth Hesselyn & Skye, Bob Janssen, Carole Crocker, Dan McGuire, Barry Pont, Shirley De Groot, Margaret Edwards, Grahame Harris, Lindsay Twiname, Margaret Page, Mary Honey, Shirley Gabrielsen, Uta Purcell, Jenny Easton, Christine Hoy, Roger Minchin.

18-19 September 2004 - Angelus Hut. Organiser: Grahame Harris

This moderate snow trip was cancelled when DoC warned us that it could only be reached with ice-axe and crampons, there was avalanche risk in the Angelus Basin, and the Angelus Hut was almost buried in snow - up to the roof on one side. The search for an alternative trip was also abandoned in the light of a bad weather forecast.

19 September 2004 - Wooded Peak from Maitai. Organiser: Dan McGuire

Participants: Arthur Jonas, Yvonne Kyle, Mary Honey, Grahame Harris, Jim Maxwell, Hisa Matsuo, & Dan McGuire.

We walked up the Maitai Valley on the Caves track, then bush-bashed our way up untracked territory to a ridge above the caves. A distinct limestone ridge running up Wooded Peak was climbed, with outlooks to the Glen and Maitai Valley. We stopped near the top for lunch and, after reaching the top, we headed down Wells Ridge and along Sunrise Ridge back to the Dam.

All participants showed exceptional fitness and some are planning a Kaikoura expedition.

25-26 September 2004 - Golden Bay. Organiser: Dave Blunt

After leaving Stoke at 7.0am, the first stop on the weekend visit to Golden Bay was the Collingwood Cafe. Then it was on to the Motor Camp just along the road to sort out accommodation and collect Rosemary before heading across the Aorere estuary to the Dolomite factory. Here we left the vehicles at 10.15am and proceeded up the road to the quarry before turning off at Gritty Point to Mt Burnett. The road passes through some attractive rainlike forest and periodic stops were made to try and identify some of the species. Fortunately we had plant expert, Alice, with us to make things easier.

Upon reaching the top of the Mt Burnett range the 4wd track continues around and up to an unnamed peak on which there is a large translator. After getting there it became clear that this was not Mt Burnett so after a stop for an early lunch it was back down to a saddle and then up to our intended destination a little further northwards. It is a great vantage point with all of Golden Bay spread out below with Farewell Spit to the north and Westhaven Inlet to the west. Unfortunately a lengthy stay was out of the question because of other places to visit so it was back down to the cars and then up the road to Puponga where one car was left at the Wharariki carpark and the other at the carpark below Cape Farewell. A short walk to the Cape, the northernmost point of the South Island, was rewarded with views of dramatic cliffs and a glimpse of the snow capped tip of Mt Taranaki. From the Cape we followed a poled route across the Puponga farm park before dropping down to the large sandhills behind Wharariki beach. A stream crossing saw Ross quickly up to up to his shorts in a patch of quicksand but fortunately no help was needed for his extrication. Following a stop for afternoon tea we traversed the whole length of the beach, a feature of which was the ever changing appearance of the Archway Islands together with some interesting rock formations and caves. What was a very rewarding round trip was completed by following the track back to the carpark. On the return journey a detour was made into Visitor Information Centre and cafe at Puponga and to the display panels on the hill just above.

Back at the Motor Camp 3 tents were pitched by those not staying in two of the cabins and we had had visits from Christine and Marianne who had each come over separately. The day was concluded at the Collingwood Tavern with an excellent meal after a patient wait for service.

Sunday morning got off to an early start, a very early start, with loud music from the tavern starting up just after midnight and drag racers burning up the streets around the township. Night was turned into day for the tenters by a very bright navigation light, no doubt of great benefit to some of the whitebaiters setting out before daylight in their motor boats. Despite all these disturbances we left town at 7.30am in good spirits under a cloudless sky for the upper Aorere valley and the start of the track to Mt Stevens.

Leaving a very small and swampy carpark at 8.15am we traversed some bush cleared terraces for about 3/4 hour before heading up a moderately steep bush clad ridge for a further 2 1/2 hours. After emerging from the bush a peak could be seen not far away to the north which was assumed to be Mt Stevens as it was the most prominent and had a trig station on it. So that is where we all headed except for Jim and Ross who were behind the main group at that stage and knew where to go having been there before. It was not until we met up later on back at the carpark that it become apparent that all but two of us had set foot on "Ian’s Mistake" or Mt Stevens No2 which is 5 metres lower. Not that it mattered too much as from the trig point there was a 360 degree view all round to the west coast on one side and the peaks of Lead Hill & Mt Olympus, of “Lord of the Rings” fame, directly opposite on the other side of the valley.

Good time was made on the way back down in just under 3 hours which included a bit of botanising on the way. Before returning to the Motor Camp to retrieve spare gear from the Gypsy Rose, (thanks Rosemary), some of the group made a short visit to the recently restored historic Salisbury footbridge over the Aorere River and the attractive waterfall and swimming hole in Salisbury Creek on the other side .

Those who took part in a most enjoyable weekend, favoured with great weather were: Jim Maxwell, Alice Patterson, Ian Pavitt, Ross Price, Uta Purcell, Lindsay Twiname, Karen Wardell, Rosemary Weir and organiser David Blunt.

26 September 2004 - Gridiron Shelters. Organiser: Gavin Holmwood

Ten people left Stoke Post Office for the start of the track at Flora car park. In fine, cool conditions we headed for Gridiron Shelters, 2 hours walk away. The massive limestone overhangs known as Gridiron Rock Shelters no doubt provided a valuable bivvy for the itinerant goldminers who passed this way many years ago. We explored these shelters for some time before having lunch and returning to the Flora car park and home.

Those on the trip were: Gavin Holmwood, Lesley Spedding, Gillian and Hec Arbuthnott, John Lammin, Sharan Foga, Kazumi Yamamoto, Anna Christian, Robyn Walsh, and Grahame Harris.

3 October 2004 - Peanter Peak. Organiser: Andy Clark

This trip was rescheduled from a previous effort in August. By lunch time on Saturday we had a grand total of 16 persons plus the necessary transport to lay siege on this peak in the St Arnauds. As luck would have it, the day dawned clear and calm with the same conditions at the Rainbow Skifield. The trip was on.

An uneventful car trip had us ready to start the walk at approx 9am. Due to firm conditions, most people strapped on crampons and for those who were new to this concept, quick lessons were given. The pace was not pushed with all the group sticking together and approx 3 hours later all were safely at the top of Peanter Peak, 6150 feet. No great hassles were encountered with the easy sloping snow and ideal snow conditions making travel as good as it gets. All had lunch, while a helicopter flew past giving one member a potentially embarrassing moment. The return saw snow conditions much softer in places but most still had the energy to amble up Mt McCrae, 6100 feet, at which the helicopter had been dropping of keen skiers and snowboarders. More views were admired and many more future trips planned.

Coffees etc. were had at the skifield café before our departure home. All enjoyed themselves on this introductory trip for some in the use of ice axe and crampons, weather and snow conditions just about right.

My awesome group consisted of: Brian McLean, Dan McGuire, Christine Hoy, David Blunt, Dion Pont, Grahame Harris, Ian Pavitt, Lindsay Twiname, Marianne Hermsen, Mark Stevens, Mary Honey, Roger McMichael, Uta Purcell, Yvonne Kyle, and Beverley Muirhead who spent the day on the skifield.

2-3 October 2004 - Rocks Hut. Organiser: Gretchen Williams

Party: Alison Nicoll, Gretchen Williams, Ross Price, Tony Haddon.

Collected Ross from the Brook Camp and Tony dropped us off at the Maitai Dam and then went home to his garden. We made good progress up to Dun Saddle where we had lunch before heading up to the Dun summit because Alison and Ross had never been up there. We arrived at Rocks Hut with its splendid yellow inside paint job at about 4pm after the obligatory clamber up the large viewing rock along the ridge. The fire was lit but it was still early so Alison and I went further along the ridge for a look see. When we got back Tony had arrived and then a party of 5 arrived from The Hackett (I don’t think the hut has been that well used for ages!).

On Sunday we went up to the lookout by the hut and had lovely views of where we were headed that day and of all the rock outcrops along Rocks Ridge. We explored the copper mine and had an uneventful trip back along the Dun walkway to the Brook.

9-10 October 2004 - Mt Mantell. Cancelled due to weather.

10 October 2004 - Mt Malita. Organiser: Trish Bennett

The day dawned with high cloud, no rain, no wind, which was an ideal day for a hill climb. 27 of us met at the Badminton Hall in Richmond, then proceeded in pooled cars up the Aniseed Valley to Roding Reserve, at the very end of the road. Here we commenced the ascent of Malita. Long 4WD tracks wound their way round the foothills then we began to climb steeper. Two groups were formed, David Blunt led a slightly faster group while Trish led a slower group. During the course of the climb, some people merged into the slower lot, and vice versa. As the track became steeper some people started falling a bit behind, but Grahame and Jim kept an eye on the slow ones. Gretchen and Kathy reached the top first, with David's main group arriving shortly after, in under two hours, while the rest eventually scrambled to the top and lunch a bit later on.

Wonderful views from the top, out to Tasman Bay, and Farewell Spit could be seen in the far distance. The top of Dun Mountain was very clear, though Fishtail was enveloped in cloud. The sun came out for a little while and we had some warm spells there, as we ate our lunch. The small hut was visited while we were there.

Descending later was a lot easier though Sharon twisted her ankle coming down the grassy mountain slope, so took the return trip quite slowly. However we all arrived safely at the carpark. While sorting out the money the sandflies were having a field day on our bare skin, but it was a wonderful day and Trish did a sterling job leading a very large group of members.

On the trip were: Gretchen Williams, Alison & David Nicoll, Anita Robertson with friend Cathy Harrison, Beverley Muirhead, David Blunt, Grahame Harris, Jim Maxwell, Mary Honey, Shirley Gabrielson, Uta Purcell, John Olykan, Ross Price, Rosemary Weir, Arthur Jonas, Yvonne Kyle, John Lammin, Sharan Foga, Hec & Gillian Arbuthnott, Brenda Sinclair, Trish Bennett, Chris Rabey (scribe), and visitors Ana Christian, Kathy Worthy, and John.

17 October 2004 - Mt Hodder. Organiser: Jim Maxwell

The day started cold but clear on our climb up Lodestone to get to Mt Hodder. The saddle between them was very steep in places but the scrub was easy to get through. The route is used as a poison and trap line by DOC. Lunch was had near the top of Hodder where it was calm and warm in the sun. We continued west along the top and then dropped steeply down towards Flora Stream until we ran out of track. From here it was a map reading exercise to find the nearest feature on the map (a small almost level area) and set a straight course to a chosen spot on the track back to the Flora car park. Participants:- Grahame Harris, Shirley Gabrielsen, Margaret Page, Ruth Hesselyn, Mary Honey, Marianne Hermsen, David Nielsen, Anita Robertson, Kathy Harrison, & Christine Hoy.

17 October 2004 - Trig K, Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve. Organisers: Gillian & Hec Arbuthnott

Ten people travelled from Nelson and met up with two more at the Pelorus Cafe carpark on a cloudless Sunday, perfect for a tramping trip after a very wet start to the weekend. Some folk were confident that their bladders could handle a departing coffee while waiting for one more possible participant, but once they were swilled down and a quick round of introductions completed, we set off at about 9.50. It was a wonderfully cosmopolitan group, with Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland and of course Aotearoa New Zealand represented.

To get us warmed up and to avoid too early an arrival at the top for lunch, we went via the gentle Tawa Path on the flat and took a wrong turn before we were barely out of sight of the cafe! Little did we know what challenges lay ahead. As we turned on to the Trig K track proper, we started to climb straight away and the group became strung out as some people found the need to pant more than others! After some ’unofficial’ drink stops, Hec finally called a halt for elevenses, a welcome refueling. Though it’s basically up for 1.5 hours, the gradient is not too demanding, as level bits give you some recovery time. The summit (not K2!) surprised us barely 20 minutes after our morning tea stop, but everyone seemed very happy to get right down to lunch and we had made good time on the upward leg. The views from the top were fantastic: right down the Rai Valley, paddocks and roads laid out like a quilt and then in the other direction, the Maungatapu Valley. The map and binoculars came out, a sketchy version of the Maungatapu murders was retold - and of course, photos were taken, disregarding the Queen’s rule not to be snapped while eating. It was very warm in the sun, so reviving after what seems a long cold winter and an uncertain start to spring.

We set off on the downhill section of the track and this is where the fun began! We had heard that the storm and strong winds of the previous week had felled some trees and on the way up we noticed some very recent clearing work, maybe three or four trees. We can proudly say that we were the pioneers on the downward track, probably the first group to get through since the storm. The full force of the wind must have hit this northwest facing slope and considerable destruction has happened in just a few hours. Thanks to Hec and other gallant members at the front of the group, we managed to find the track each time we had to detour around a fallen tree. Some of the slain were the very ones with the orange triangles! We clambered over and under and around and there were a few casualties to the nasty spines of bush lawyer and definitely a lot of mud on the previously pristine designer tramping gear! The one Leki pole on the trip was admired, but then its owner managed to topple over on the slippery clay as well!

Finally we were down beside the Pelorus River again and we were on the last, more relaxed part of the tramp. Two kayakers waved to us from the river and we made two short detours to waterfalls, the second of these particularly lovely in its mossy green grotto, with a fine mist coming down to cool off those that were overheating, as well as the impressive main drop. From there it was only minutes back to the carpark (arrival 3 pm) and the full range of refreshments on offer at the cafe. As we enjoyed our sense of achievement, the forecast change in the weather to high cloud and a stronger wind arrived right on cue. Our adventure had been rather more challenging than we had expected, because of the force and unpredictability of nature. We were reminded again of the hard work that is done to maintain tracks and the impermanence of it all. Even so, the impression over the whole track was of a rich variety of plants and trees, with a lot of vigorous new growth and the ability to regenerate after damage. My appreciation goes to the leaders of the day and all my fellow trampers for their easy and supportive friendliness.

Trampers: Gillian Arbuthnott, Hec Arbuthnott, Silja Bar, Aine Byrne, Ana Christian, Sharan Foga, Carl Horn, John Lammin, Susan Ledingham (scribe), Rosemary McCallum, John Olykon, and Karen Wardell.