Trip Reports: 10/07

26 August 2007 Mt Malita from Roding – Organiser: Jim Maxwell for Alison Nicoll 

A perfect spring day saw twelve eager trampers assemble at the Roding Reserve early on Sunday. Jim Maxwell led the tramp due to Allison having recently had an accident. Jim led the charge and the group was at the top in record time.. A very leisurely lunch followed with intense discussions on local and world events. We had good views of Ben Nevis, Bishop's Cap, Purple Top, Rintoul, and later Fishtail and Mt Richmond when we walked a bit higher. After a rest in the sunshine, everyone headed down at breakneck speed and we were back at the cars by 3:00pm. Many thanks to Jim for leading the tramp. 

Participants: Jim Maxwell, Dan McGuire (scribe), Maurice Cloughly, Katie Cloughly, Val Latimer, Dave Familton, Lou Kolff and visitors Andy Hamilton, Mieke Hamilton, Merrick Mitchell, Karen Mauoragh, and Trina Blythe.
26 August 2007 Peanter Peak – Organiser: Patrick Holland 

After hiding our cars amongst the myriad of bona fide vehicles at the Rainbow ski field, eleven suitably attired folk left the car park on a brilliant Sunday morning. Weather was perfect with little wind and the snow was quite deep and giving excellent coverage of the ski field and surrounding peaks. So off we went up the broad ridge and basin under Pt 617 and then onto the long sidle around Mt Macrae. The team broke into 3 loosely linked groups – fast, medium and slow. Good to see Grahame out in the hills again but he wisely elected to bring up the rear with Mary, one of our newer and less experienced members. Confidence was gained in use of ice-axe and crampons - some polypro long-johns seemed to be getting rather frayed! Steady progress was maintained on the steepish sidles. The snow was not heavy but had a breakable crust and so plenty of effort was required. At the saddle beyond Mt Macrae, our destination came into view some 1.5 km South across a large snow basin. The fast team maintained a high sidle while the rest moved down to the less steep ground around the edge of the basin. Eventually the long gradually rising ridge was reached that led us to Peanter Peak (1880 metres). Lunch was taken on top with magnificent views all around including the St Arnaud end of Lake Rotoiti and the mighty peaks across the Travers Valley of Angelus, Hopeless, Cupola and Travers itself. Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku stood out away to the East where some of the party had been 2 weeks before. Time was running so back we plodded with few pauses. The welcome sight of the ski field came into view and the weary party trudged down to join the skiers who were also finishing a full and marvelous day in the mountains. A good effort all round, especially by our new members Jo, Mary and Susie. 

Participants were: David Blunt, Grahame Harris, Ruth Hesslyn, Pat Holland, Mary Wu, Jo Kay, Dion Pont, Uta Purcell, Susie Sinclair, Mark Stevens, and Shane Winterton.
1 September 2007 Mt Fishtail – Organiser: Dan McGuire 

Seven ambitious trampers arrived at the Prince Albert Hotel before seven in the morning, and were at the Fishtail carpark just after 8-30am. It was a three hour slog to the hut, but with impressive views of the Inland Kaikouras and other ranges all covered in snow. We pressed on to the top, arriving for lunch at 1-00pm in the afternoon. After obtaining some photos, the cloud began moving in, so we quickly descended over snow and ice back to the hut, and from there made haste back to the carpark, where we arrived at 4-30pm. Many thanks to drivers Dave and Margaret. Participants: Dan McGuire, Dave Blunt, Margaret Page, Sue Davies, Carol Crocker, Uta Purcell and visitor , Kazu Abe. 
2 September 2007 Gridiron Shelters – Organiser: Grahame Harris (standing in for Gillian Arbuthnott) 

  After final assembly at Richmond, nine of us set out in two cars for the Flora Carpark, but a few hundred metres from the top Jim's car lost its cool and let off steam. Fortunately Jim the mechanic diagnosed the problem, left it to cool, and returned with copious supplies of water at the end of the day to get us safely home. Thanks Jim. The day was cool but fine and the party visited the Upper Gridiron Shelter for lunch, inspected the sheer limestone cliffs behind, moved down to do over the Lower Gridiron Shelter, and returned at a gentle pace. No sign of blue ducks this time. Back to the cars with everyone agreeing it had been a pleasant trip.  

Party: Grahame Harris, Karen Wardell, Mary Wu, Jim Maxwell, Ann Sheridan and Martin, and visitors Merrick Mitchell, Maries Greeks, and Bev Stevens. 
8-9 September 2007 Cotterell Peak – Organiser: Ruth Hesselyn 

Four members set off from Nelson on a fine and calm morning, stopping first in Richmond to collect our illustrious leader, oops I should say ‘organiser’, and then in Belgrove for Mike and a few more kilos of climbing hardware. Next, with 6 eager ‘mountaineers’ aboard, it was on to Rainbow Station for the gate key and drive up to the start of the Hamilton Valley. Cars were parked, packs and gear organized, morning tea had and we were ready to head off on foot up the valley. The track initially went through some fairly open bush, then out onto river flats and eventually we just rock hopped, following the riverbed up to the bush edge where we set up camp after an unusually relaxed and gentle paced (believe it or not) wander 4 hrs from the cars. With plenty of time to spare and the sun soon to disappear from our campsite, we busied ourselves collecting firewood, to go with the kindling we’d carried from home!, and the pyromaniacs in our midst soon had a campfire burning brightly to poke and prod at. After numerous ‘brews’, a gourmet dinner including ice-cream, slightly soft but none the less tasty thanks Ruth, and some socializing around the campfire, it was time to retire to our luxury accommodation for the night. Sunday dawned clear and calm and we left camp at 6.30am and headed up through a patch of short scrubby vegetation to cross a large area of recent avalanche debris. Snow conditions were generally firm and crisp and we made good progress. Ruth’s recollection of a short steep exposed section near the top of the mountain had us carrying a rope and other gear to set up a safety hand line if necessary, however the route we took turned out much easier and after zigzagging our way upwards, a long traverse and a couple of moderately steep climbs we were on the summit at 9.30am with almost a hint of disappointment in the ranks that it was too easy! It made a pleasant change though. The sun was shining and the views were great however, as is so often the case, there was a strong cold wind so after a quick round of photography we retraced our steps and arrived back at camp at 11am. It was good to be able to pack up dry tents and have an unhurried brew and lunch before heading down the valley and arriving back at the cars by 3.45pm. All in all a very relaxed and successful trip, with congenial company, good weather and great views. Thanks to participants Ruth Hesselyn, Mike Drake, Mark Stephens, Pat Holland, Ken Ridley and Carole Crocker (scribe).
9 September 2007 Gordon's Knob – Organiser: Grahame Harris for Claudia Lau 

Party: Grahame Harris, Jo Kay, Jenny Revell, Ann Sheridan, Bernard Molloy, Margaret Page and visitor Martin Rutledge. Arrived at Inwoods Lookout on a fresh clear sunny day and apart from warming up later it stayed that way. Immediately climbing up the spur to North Peak, then branching across, going the wrong way through the trees but what the heck, on to the saddle and up to the top of Gordon's - breaking into two groups part way up because one group preferred to stoke up on lunch before reaching the summit. There were patches of snow on top that were easily avoided and magnificent views of snowy mountains in all directions. Then back down to the cars and home in good time on a pleasant and uneventful day enjoyed by all.
16 September 2007 Waimea River Stopbank –Organiser: Peter Wise 

This was an easy Sunday stroll for seven Club members and four visitors plus the scribe's K9 friend Maddi. We started 9.45am in overcast weather at the Appleby Bridge, parking the cars next to the Play Centre. The Waimea River walk follows the top of the river stop bank for 6kms south to Livingstone Rd which is not very far from Brightwater. Arriving at the other end in a slight drizzle we had a wee snack then returned the way we came. We made a little detour part way back when the sun showed itself for a lunch break and to let Maddi go swimming for a stick. By 1pm we were back at the cars. Those on this trip were: Peter Wise & Maddi, (scribe), Ruth Hesselyn, Beverly Muirhead, Graham Harris, Gillian Arbuthnott, Shirley De Groot, Willy Stuart, Denis Parnell and visitors Nicky Sanders, Youngju, and Lyn Charters.
15-16 September 2007 Hunters Hut – Organiser: Arthur Jonas 

This is a five hour trip to the upper reaches of the Motueka River. The hut is on the wrong side of the river if the river is high. It had rained on Friday but the river didn’t seem affected and we had the hut to ourselves. Some additional rain overnight caused no problems on the return trip but intermittent drizzle, low cloud and a cool wind meant tramping in parkas and no views. It also meant that there was no demand for a lunch stop. A good workout all the same, with Margaret Page, Yvonne Kyle, Adam Womersley, David Blunt and Arthur Jonas.
22 September 2007 Ski day at Rainbow – Organiser: Ruth Hesselyn 

Despite the marginal conditions, poor visibility with the added bonus of a little sleet and rain, it was an enjoyable day. But was it the ‘full on’ skiing or perhaps the age of the gear that saw three pair of boots disintegrate, one pair before they even hit the slopes! Apart from Karen, the cross-country skier and Beverly, a regular (at least twice per season) the rest of us hadn’t donned skis for somewhere between four and fourteen years. So, a few turns were taken on the intermediate slope before tackling the big one. Great, no queues and few people on the slopes, or was it that you just couldn’t see them! After numerous ups and downs in varying degrees of style, interspersed with cups of coffee, we called it quits around 3pm. A final round table chat and hot drink saw another ski day being pencilled in for next season with the proviso of blue skies. Oh yes and if you want to keep the teenagers amused, just wear your thirty year old ski gear. Were they looking at Mike’s ski pants or my froggy hat? Fellow skiers were Beverly Muirhead, Colin Duncan, Karen Wardell, Mike Drake and visitors Hazel and Mike Blowers. 
29-30 September 2007 Aorere Goldfields – Organiser: Ross Price 

Drove out on Saturday morning to Collingwood, turned towards Bainham, then turned down the Aorere Goldfields past the Devil’s Boots, a striking pair of rocks, and on to a rather awful stretch of road to a farm gate. Walked about 1km on a further stretch of strictly 4WD road, and then we were on a rather muddy track leading up through head-high scrub to Stafford’s Cave – shaft running downwards, so stopped at entrance. Had lunch then continued on to the Ballroom Cave – able to penetrate some distance in a big open cave before meeting a rock scramble. Then followed an old mining water-race for some distance to Duggan’s Dam – quite a large expanse of water. Then more muddy track around part of the lake to a muddy downhill 4WD road leading out. The only signs of mining days were the water race and the dam. Apparently there are more things to see on a private guided trip nearby. Stayed at Collingwood Motor Camp. Sunday was wet so we returned home before lunch. 

Party: Ross Price, Lynn Charters (visitor), Grahame Harris (scribe) – i.e. no-one without some official status. 
30 September 2007 Mt Meares – Organiser: Tony Haddon. Cancelled due to weather. 

6-7 October 2007 Mt Technical – Organiser: Mark Stevens. Cancelled due to weather 

7 October 2007 St Ronans Stream – Organiser: Jocelyn Winn. Cancelled due to weather 
13-14 October 2007 Lake Chalice / Mt Wairau (nee Patriarch) – Organiser: Ken Ridley 

After a leisurely start from Nelson we arrived at Lake Chalice carpark at 11.00am in fine clear weather. As the forecast was not good we decided to drive on as far as we could and get to Patriarch that day. It was still a long trudge along the road from where we left the cars, but the views were great particularly of the Marlborough Ranges and Kaikouras. We stopped for lunch and a rest at the end of the road, before tackling the interesting scramble and sidle along the ridge and final scree slope to the top. We arrived at the top just after 2.00pm and shortly after clouds covered the sun. However the views to the east were still with us. By the time we were back at Lake Chalice carpark it was clagged in all around and raining for the last hour’s walk down to the hut. There were two other people at the hut so with six of us, it was nicely full. The rain continued all night and in the morning it was partly clear with a cold southerly blowing, so we were pleased that we had climbed Patriarch on Saturday. We did the walk round the lake and returned to the hut for another brew and then up to the carpark by lunch time where it was snowing lightly. So drove to Havelock for a late lunch and coffee. On the trip were Arthur Jonas, Yvonne Kyle, Beverley Muirhead, Ruth Hesslyn, David Blunt and Ken Ridley. 
20-22 October 2007 Courthouse Flat – Owen River – Organiser: Dion Pont 

Despite the cancellation of the planned trip because of high rivers and the general weather conditions, 

undaunted Dion took an enthusiastic team on to Mt Richmond Hut. After tenting around the hut on Saturday night all four climbed Mt Richmond then three carried on to summit Johnson Peak. Home Sunday evening so that Ruth Hesselyn, Marguerite Verheul, Mike Drake and Dion Pont could spend Labour Day on other pursuits.
27 October 2007 Dew Lakes – Organiser Uta Purcell 

It is always a pleasure to introduce a favourite tramp to anyone who is interested and then to find out, whether it did measure up. The scenery at Dew Lakes and its views never fail. We were supposed to have a fine day. But the cloud cover in the west repeatedly encroached and shaded us. The wind was still cold. It is good to tramp in those conditions. There was lots of lively talk while we settled down to a medium uphill speed. We missed the Maori Argillite Quarry but not the piglet crossing our path. Jim informed and entertained us with his GPS, which travels on top of his hat. During an early lunch on the ridge the sun warmed us and brought the colour of our surroundings to life. We returned the same way and did not encounter anyone else. Those out to enjoy it were Jim Maxwell, Julie Sherratt, Lou Kolff, visitor Caleb Hill, and organiser Uta Purcell.