|Sunday 21st July||Whanganui to Upokongaro by cycle||There
is a new cycle bridge which makes this a return trip. Easy terrain on a
sealed path, suitable for all who can beg, borrow or steal a bike,
maybe an electric one? Or there could be a walking option for those who
would prefer. Leaving Hawera at 9am.|
Leader: David McNair 06 278 6938, 027 249 2226 email@example.com
|Wednesday 7th August||Club Evening||Jeff Rawson. Jeff had the opportunity last year to be involved in research in the Arctic Circle. Encounters with Polar Bears? 7.30pm|
|Sunday 11th August||Beach Walk Waihi to Tangahoe||The
tides are right. Maybe a car shuttle or could do a return journey
depending on participants and weather. Clubrooms 9.15am or Waihi Beach
Leader: Jim Finer 06 272 8138, 027 444 9190 firstname.lastname@example.org
|Sunday 18th August||Snowcraft||Learn some basic snowcraft skills at Kapuni Lodge|
Leader: Jim Finer 06 272 8138, 027 444 9190 email@example.com
|Sunday 25th August||Te Henui Walkway/Cemetery||Since
the old cemetery closed, maintenance on the historic site has been in
the care of a team of volunteers. It was included in the Taranaki
Garden Extravaganza last year, aquiring park like status.|
Leader: Jan Fleming 06 278 4460, 027 418 2429 firstname.lastname@example.org
|Wednesday 4th September||Club Evening||Dave Rogers from DOC. Our hope is to get an update on tracks, predator free programmes and other key developments which impact on our members. 7.30pm|
|Sunday 8th September||Waitiri Track, Omoana Saddle||An
easy 3 hour return along a ridge, with the goal of viewing the
daffodils on the old house site. It is 2 years since we did this, so we
can find out whether the daffodils are still doing well. Leaving Hawera
8.30am, a short walk but long drive.|
Leader: Jan Fleming 06 278 4460, 027 418 2429 email@example.com
|Friday 13th to Sunday 15th September||Ohakune Weekend||Still in
the planning stages, but hopefully the venue will be Ossies Ski
Apartments. Options include walking, biking, maybe some skiing?? Or
shopping and cafes if inclement weather. Always a great social weekend.|
Leaders: Graham and Cathy Thompson 06 278 5408, 027 434 2104 firstname.lastname@example.org
|Saturday 28th September||At Home Dinner||Hawera Club from 6.30pm. Speaker: Ross Dunlop. Details to follow|
The snow craft course this year was aimed at revision of basic skills for members who encounter snow conditions occasionally or less regularly than the keen climbers of the club.
After overnight snow, Sunday dawned fine and mostly clear with some cloud around the Kapuni Lodge area.
We climbed from Dawson Falls to the Kaupokonui snow bowl with the cloud clearing as we arrived.
Subjects covered: Self arrests with ski poles & ice axes
Step kicking & step cutting
and general safety awareness in this environment.
A very relaxing and nice day out and finishing with a visit to Kapuni Lodge. Many thanks to those that came to help or learn.
Alistair Barkla, Kathryn Jones, David Sattler, Andrea Shepherd, Helen Cooper, Liam & Bruce Finer
Leader: Jim Finer
Twenty people and two dogs met at Waihi Beach. With the tide receding and weather overcast but rain free, we set off toward Tangahoe which is a walk of about 12 km. A pleasant way to spend a winters day.
With the walking speed variations of this big party, we soon split into several groups. The papa cliffs are in poor shape, with two separate slips occuring during the walk. Slips large and small were evident along the whole stretch of the beach. The slower walkers opted out at Rifle Range Road while the faster and fitter walkers completed the walk to Mokoia Road or Manawapou Road depending on transport pickups and vehicle placements. Linked arms were required for the Tangahoe river crossing which was in flood, but safely achieved at the mouth. Michelle's dog Ginny struggled with the crossing and two of the guys had to cross back over to the rescue. Many thanks to the vehicle drivers to make this trip possible and who picked up stragglers from all potential exits from the beach.
Those who went were Jim (leader), Keith & Caleb Finer, Ross & Alex Corrigan plus Georgina, Justine Clark, Graham & Cathy Thompson, Suzanne, Jeff & Jack Rawson, Helen & John Cooper, Alistair Barkla, Wietze & Rae Hoogeveen, Kathryn Jones, Peter Makin with Jessie and Michelle Meyer with Ginny.
Drivers: Irene Barkla & Marilyn Finer
Oakura Beach to Greenwood Road Beach Walk, Sunday 14 April 2019
Six walkers from Hawera joined seven keen walkers from New Plyumouth at the starting point at Oakura Beach. It was a glorious day for an easy 2 ½ hour stroll, starting on the walkway as far as Ahu Ahu Rd, then continuing on the beach. A highlight on the way was the wreck of the Gairloch, which ran aground near Weld Road-end. When we reached the Greenwood road we extended the walk a little to view the St George Redoubt and Tataramaika Pa Site. Linda Le Fleming's daughter and son brought cars round to Greenwood Road to shuttle drivers back to the cars at Oakura. Oakurawas bustling, and as the Hawera cars were planning to return via Opunake we all drove the short drive to Okato to the Lahar Cafe for an enjoyable lunch. Those that enjoyed a social and easy beach walk on a beautiful autumn day were, Keith, Caleb and Ethan Finer, Eleanor Walker, Kathryn Jones and Jan Fleming, Wietze and Rae Hoogeveen, Dorothy and Alistair Linn, Werner Gut and Yolanda Muehlemann.
Sunday 7th April 2019, Waingongoro Forks.
On a cold day dogged by drizzle, ten of us set off from Dawson Falls bound for Waingongoro Hut. At the hut there was time for a quick bite in the briefly shining sun; fresh snow thinly covered the slopes above in what was to be our only view of the day.
Then began the trip proper. Pushing into the bush behind the hut we headed for the forks. It was a pleasant walk, gradually descending through open understory for an hour or so, before eventually intersecting the old hunting track. We made a side trip down to the forks and scouted about for the bivvy site. All that remained was a dip in the canopy and a few rusting sheets of iron.
Despite our good spirits, the bush remained gloomy, lunch being a mostly standing affair for lack of a dry seat. We headed south back across the grain of the land, following the old track – now sporting blue triangles – with greasy conditions and a few steep guts to keep things interesting. It wasn‟t far though, and still early afternoon when we reached the rushing Kapuni. With the odd wet foot we walked the last few hundred meters to the second roundabout. Thankfully a car left here saved a slog up the road; we'd managed a different sort of round trip despite the drizzle.
Those who braved the day - Graham and Cathy Thomson, John and Karyn Copplestone, Wietze and Ray Hoogeveen, Al Barkla, Catherine Jones, Liam Finer and myself, Bruce Finer.
Graham and I were joined by Al Barkla, Justine Clark, Maryanne Whakatu and 4 members of the Butler family (Anna, Matt, Felix and Scarlett) for the drive to the top of Kahui road. There we were met by Wietze Hoogeveen and Rae Hannah as well as Andrew Jordan from New Plymouth. It was a warm but partly cloudy day and it was nice to be in the bush out of the sun. The track was in good condition and the gradient very easy. We arrived at the crossroads with the Oaonui/Kopoaiaia track in 1 ¼ hours (the sign-posted time). Here Anna, Matt and the kids left us to look at the nearby river and head back to their car.
The 8 of us continued on to Kahui hut which was another 1 ¼ hours away. The track became very slightly steeper. On the way up the track we were passed by a group from a Wellington tramping club who had stayed the night.
Andrew showed us a mysterious hole in the bush not far from the track. The hole was about 1 ½ metres wide and 3 metres deep with very steep sides. We were all very careful not to fall in! We explored around Kahui hut and had lunch on the deck. Kahui hut has a volcano monitoring device powered by a solar panel on the roof. It was very tidy.
On the way back Justine's ancient boots lost their soles and time was spent taping them up – and replacing the tape as it wore through. Al offered to loan her his "boots" – pity he was barefoot as usual!
Back at the cars we were assaulted by sandflies and went our separate ways after a pleasant day out.
Saturday 19th, 5 of us tramped some north egmont tracks. Having
left a car at Mangaoraka car park for the return, we began at Rahiri cottage on
the Waiwhakaiho track.
It was a warm day and it was pleasant walking in the bush. We heard titipounamu/rifleman frequently and sighted two. Continuing up onto Rams track to the visitors centre, we filled our drink bottles and crossed over onto Ngatoro track where we stopped for lunch. Ngatoro track is well cleared and on the edge of a large area that is heavily trapped where toutouwai/ north island robin were released. We heard several but couldn't entice any to come close enough for us to see their leg band colours. Soon afterwards we emerged from the cool of the bush into a 28º afternoon at the carpark. An enjoyable 6 hour tramp.
Those who came were John, Graham, Cathy, Kathryn and myself.
Although a little overcast on the day, the cloud soon broke up and a mostly fine day was had. Our route was from Stratford Plateau, up the Curtis Ridge passing close to the old hut site where in 1890, Oswald Curtis built a two room hut, now long gone, then up and just past the Priests Fingers. We descended from the ridge to join the upper ski field, traversing across where we met with John, Alistair and Wietze who had opted to join us via the ski field.
The following is taken from the history of the Stratford Mountain Club:
The first Manganui Hut was built in 1931.
The following is taken from the Mt Egmont Handbook, 1955:
Curtis Hut was built under the direction of Oswald Curtis in 1890. It collapsed on April 25, 1928. The material was sledged up by bullocks and is now incorporated in the Manganui Hut. One door, with the names of visitors on it, went to Dawson Falls hostel.
Stratford Walkway, Sunday 28th October 2018
One can never tell what the weather is going to do on the day. Four of us met at the Clubrooms with the weather looking a wee bit threatening. Up to Stratford where it was starting to lightly drizzle. We put our raincoats on and we crossed the main road and headed East from Colonel Malone Statue to the Swing bridge on the edge of the Stratford Demonstration Farm. It was decided to head this way as there was more shelter from the weather. It was very pleasant walking and we saw 3 fishermen trying their luck at trout fishing. We had the track to ourselves. Did we get wet? Only slightly. After doing the loop, we stopped in at the Café at Mitre 10. It had cooled down by this stage and a nice warm cuppa was enjoyed. By the time we left there, the rain had set in so it was back to the cars and head for home.
Thank you Lois, Kathryn & Jim for joining me on this great walk.
Pukeiti Walk, Sunday 30th September 2018
Marilyn and Jim Finer, Graham and Cathy Thompson, Anne Mitchell, Jan Fleming, Dave and Pat McNair had a leisurely stroll through the gardens. No rain. The cafe was a good place for a "latte lunch".
OHAWE TO WAIMATE PA
Ohawe to Waihi, Sunday 26th August 2018
On Saturday, we went down to Ohawe Beach and an attempt was made to cross the river to see if it would be safe to cross but the river was still flowing too fast so it was decided that the walk would be from Ohawe to Waihi instead.
A group of sixteen plus two dogs met at Ohawe in the early afternoon. The tide was going out so it was ideal. A nice walk along viewing the cliffs and spotting a baby seal that had climbed up a slip for safety. The walk took just over the hour and two of the group turned around at Waihi and walked back.
The rest walked up to the car park at Waihi where there were cars to shuttle people back to Ohawe.
I would like to thank Alan & Irene for being our shuttle drivers and the Mitchell’s for opening up their café.
Those who joined me were Bruce, Liam, Matthew & Marilyn Finer, John Cooper, Kathryn Jones, Cathy & Graham Thompson, Jackie Shera, Anne & Mary Mitchell plus Maxi, Susanne Rawson and Tia, Alistair Barkla, Pat & David McNair.
North summit climb, 6th July 2018
Helen Cooper and I set off to the Stratford Plateau for a north climb of Egmont. Lovely sunny calm day. Some ice present on the track, nice conditions for crampons heading up the north, only came across 2 men heading down toward the lodge, became a little windy higher up, apart from becoming rather tired the higher I got, I was very pleased to reach the summit, good views and sheltered lunch stop.
Helen suggested looking at south entrance to check conditions, looked good even to me, although in cloud, there was no wind, some firm areas, but no problem, we sidled lower down to the lower ski tow before removing the crampons, by then my toe nails were quite painful, thank you Helen, I loved having a chance to winter summit again, my first one for 2018.
A North Summit Climb, 4th July 2018
On wed 4th July John, Helen and myself (Andrea) left Hawera early to the Plateau for a mountain day hoping the snow and conditions would be suitable for climbing. Once above Tahurangi Lodge we geared up with crampons etc and headed up. The snow further up was the firmest I have encountered yet, another good learning experience. The day was wonderfully fine, cloud far below and much less wind than expected.
thrill of a day, and thankyou to John and Helen who happily share their
mountain skills and knowledge.
(A note for those who haven't tried micro-spikes, they are fantastic for the icy steps/path from below the ski field most the way to Tahurangi Lodge).
Waiwhakaiho Track, "The Tramp that wasn't" Saturday 23rd June 2018I cancelled the planned sunday tramp because the rain forecast for both sides of the mountain looked pretty bad for river crossings. Saturday morning looked a possibility and so the four of us able to go (Kathryn, John, Helen and myself) left Hawera soon after 7am. Assessing the weather as we drove around the mountain we decided the Plateau looked the best option. We went prepared for anything with both our tramping gear and also crampons, axes, helmets etc. Sure enough we soon found some beautiful cramponing snow and geared up. Glenys also happened to be on the mountain and it was great to have her join us.
Lake Mangamahoe, Sunday 10th June 2018
Nine members enjoyed this stroll on a fine but overcast Sunday morning. Leaving the clubrooms at 9 am there was some confusion about which carpark we were starting from but we all eventually caught up with each other at the top end of the Lake, beginning with a walk up to the lookout for glorious views of the mountain looking down the Lake. The track is a mostly an undulating ridge walk, enjoyed a leisurely pace, reaching the road in under 2 hours. Some walked the road to the car, while Pat and I waited for a pickup. 8 of us said goodbye to Derryn who was heading to New Plymouth, and we headed back to Egmont Village Cafe to enjoy a very nice lunch. Those who enjoyed the walk were Pat and David McNair, Graham and Cathy Thompson, Rae and Wietze Hoogeveen, Justine, Derryn and the writer.
Day Tramp Taihore Road, Saturday 5th May 2018MEAC joined with Stratford Tramping club to do an historic track in the Strathmore area. The tramp followed the track walked by the Tarrant family from their farm to join the “main” road to Statford. Phyllis Johnston wrote a series of books based on the memoirs of her grandmother, May Tarrant, beginning around 1910. The first in the series, Nobody Went to Town, May was around 5 and her parents and older brothers milled the bush to eke a living farming in the Taihore Rd area. Dave Digby was our guide and we started the walk at Popanui Rd, just before Strathmore, and followed a valley and skirted a ridge through to Taihore Rd. A side trip was taken to see a benched track which had a logging tramway for hauling the felled timber, and to look for remains of an abattoir which weren’t found. Great views were had as we skirted a ridge to drop down to the Taihore Rd. After lunch at the side of the road we found our cars which had been kindly shuttled by STC member who weren’t joining the walk, at the Puniwhakau School site and drove a wee way up the road to view the house that was built by Mr Tarrant during the period covered in the book. The walk took around 3 ½ hours at a leisurely pace, and there were 25 walkers altogether, with 8 from our club.
Club Summit, Sunday April 8th 2108
After a false start on Saturday morning for Alistair and I, we teamed up with David on Sunday morning and headed up to the Stratford Plateau. It was a leasurly start and we were up on the grass of the skifield at 8:30 and it was a bluebird cracker day very unlike the cold wind of the day before. After having a chat to a group of guys from Afghanistan who had one of them lying down flat on his back unable to descend, about easier routes for their next attempt, we made good time straight up East ridge and enjoyed climbing the sections of rock face on our way to Sharks Tooth before tucking in down the chimney and up to the Summit for a well earned lunch. The crater had only a couple of small sections of ice left before the early snow storm a couple of days later. It was a good day and Alistair and I enjoyed plenty of old climbing stories from David. We ended the day with a beer and a coffee at the Mountain House.
Bill McCrory, Alistair Barkla and David Sattler
Brewster Hut April 2018
The next morning was drizzling as the following front made its way into the area. The descent was steep and full of tree roots and a real challenge in itself, with the resultant toll on muscles. The final crossing of the Haast river was bone numbingly cold. We were all satisfied with experience we had and this mountain amphitheatre. Of course, then there was discussion of the next trip on the bucket list are: Perhaps Mt Adams, or Elie de Beaumont, or .......
MTEAC member since 1969
Kapuni Lodge Track Working Bee, Saturday 21st April 2018
On Sat 21st April an enthusiastic bunch of us cleared a long section of the track from below Hillary Seat towards Kapuni Lodge.
John, Helen and Andrea had an early start and were taking a well earned break on the seat when very welcome reinforcements arrived: Richard, his son Krzysztof, and a friend Liam. Jim, his brother Bruce and son Liam.
By lunchtime we had cleared almost to Hooker Shelter and then continued on up. Some of us finished by 2pm while Jim, Bruce and Liam continued to where the white seat once sat above Hooker Shelter.
A massive thank you to everyone who took part. We made a big difference to the track which was getting rather overgrown in places.
So focused on the task that we got no photos, so to see the evidence you'll have to head up and check it out, enjoying no wet undergrowth to walk through. (While doing so please feel free to take clippers and continue where we left of!).
Kaupokonui Hunters Hut, 25th March 2018
We parked one car at the Park
Boundary and we teamed up in Barry’s ute which we parked at the second
roundabout on the Dawson Falls Road.
We quickly found the start of the hunters track situated about 100 metres up on the left. Although the bush was wet from overnight rain, the day was fine and good time was made to the hut situated on the true right of the west branch of the Kaupokonui River.
The hut sits in a nice sunny clearing above the river where we ate lunch and set off to return back. Between the west branch and east branch of the river, there is a small lake above the track which is marked on the map. So with GPS in hand, we bush bashed off track to find it. 15 to 20 minutes later, we achieved that goal and then picked up the track to return to the road.
Those who joined me were: Barry Greenbrook, Amanda Lockley, Werner Gut & Graham Thompson.
We changed plans a little, deciding to do the complete Hauhangaroa track because the four of us, Graham, Cathy, Jenny and I had Friday free.
Amazingly we struck 4 fine days between two serious weather events. Talk about lucky!
Arriving in Pureora around lunchtime we climbed Mt Pureora, enjoying views of Lake Taupo, the hills and mountains and a glimpse of our mountain before cloud hid it.
Back down to the timber trail and we farewelled Jenny who was joining the Taranaki Mounga team who were in the northern part of the forest pre-feeding toutouwai (robins) in preparation for catching for release onto Mt Taranaki.
After all the bad press Bog Inn hut gets we were rapt to find it is a delightful real old time totara slab hut. Full of character. And despite the heavy rain earlier in the week the only sign of the 'bog' was that the hut rocked slightly when we walked around!
Saturday we tramped to Waihaha hut, finding in the hut book that the Stratford tramping club had walked in on the Waihaha track for lunch, hello Lois!
Sunday onto Hauhangaroa hut. With awesome views of Ruapehu, Ngaruahoe and Tongariro from the ridge.
Monday we walked out to the road end, feasting on blackberries on the way to meet Jenny.
Graham really enjoyed the variety of forest we tramped through. Cathy photographed enough brilliantly coloured fungi to satisfy her (they were stunning!) I saw and heard enough birds to keep a continual smile on my face and Jenny's team fed mealy worms to a record number of toutouwai.
We are really grateful to Jenny for doing the many hours of driving necessary.
Apart from one other tramper the first night we had the huts and tracks to ourselves. A fantastic four days that I'd be keen to repeat in a couple of years time.
For those interested, track times:
Friday 5 hours.
Sat 8 1/2 hours
Sun 6 1/4 hours and Monday 3 1/2 hours.
Day Walk to Kapuni, with a difference - 21st January 2018
A group of people met up at Dawson Falls and from here Wietze walked up to the lodge via the track while the rest made their way up to Wilkies Pool. From here, we left the track and wandered up the Kapuni River and visited the springs at the head of the Gorge. Then up the old slip face that has re-vegetated and onto the Lodge for lunch. The kindling cracker was delivered and kindly carried up by Werner. Graham had to make some running repairs to his boot which he denso taped up the sole as it was trying to detach from the upper. A routine check of the Lodge was made and then it was back to the car park down the normal track. A pleasant stroll on an overcast day.
Those who joined me were: Wietze & Rae Hoogeveen, Werner Gut, Andrew Jordan, Jeff & Susanne Rawson, John & Helen Cooper, Andrea Shepherd, Cathy & Graham Thmpson.
Biking the Timber Trail 16th - 17th January 2018
The 85km Timber Trail is nestled in Pureora Forest, between Lake Taupo and Te Kuiti, in the Central North Island. The journey begins at Pureora Village in the north and ends at Ongarue in the south. It boasts some of the highest and longest suspension bridges in New Zealand, as it weaves its way through ancient forest, across ancestral lands of local Maori Tribes, and along part of the historic Ongarue Tramway that was formed by saw millers early last century.
Nine of us made our way to Taumaranui Holiday park (via Whangamonona Pub) last Monday evening in preparation for an early start next day.
We met our shuttle provider Paul from Epic Shuttles who loaded our bikes onto a large trailer towed by a small bus and hauled us through to Pureora village. Meanwhile another vehicle couriered our luggage into the Timber Trail lodge. Epic supplied bikes to those who didn’t bring any.
Weather was perfect, dry with grey skies so not too hot as we climbed up and around Mt Pureora then mostly freewheeling downhill to the brand new lodge built beside the trail. The lodge provided dinner, bed, breakfast and packed lunch plus a panoramic view of the forest. It even had Wifi!
Day two was expected to be wet but the rain held off until we got home. Again it was mostly downhill with just one climb, over more swing bridges and through old tram cuttings. There were quite a few information boards depicting details of the flora and fauna as well as details of the old settlements, machinery and mills. The final section included a spiral where the trail loops around itself with a bridge and tunnel constructed in 1923.
The timber trail is a good introduction to mountain biking with 4 having their first ride and 5 repeating.Participating were Phil, Donna & James Cram, Jeff Rawson, Chris Young, Alistair Barkla, Alan Rogers, Cathy & Graham Thompson.
Achievement and fun in the snow.
On Monday 4 December Andrea Shepherd achieved her first summit of Mt Ruapehu with John and Helen Cooper. They drove over early in the morning to Turoa. Then it was up to the top of the Giant lift walking on several areas of snow. From here they geared up with ice axe and crampons to climb a complete snow route to the highest point, Tahurangi. Although the snow was softish they still needed their crampons, especially for the last steeper section directly below the Summit area. After a little over 4 hours they enjoyed a well deserved lunch with some rewarding views. It was great to look down onto the Crater Lake and over to surrounding peaks.
They descended a different route, initially walking along a narrow part of the Summit Ridge then dropping down to the Wahianoa Glacier. From here they traversed around to Girdlestone Col, at this stage finding the snow very soft. After drinking in the views from the Col they began descending the Mangaehuehu Glacier before traversing back around to the ski field. This was followed by an easy walk back to the carpark.Andrea and Helen also took advantage of good snow conditions to do a climb up the South of Mt Egmont on Tuesday 12 December. They had a complete snow route from Rangitoto Flat. The snow was softish but they still needed their crampons. There were several good areas for Andrea to practise some snowcraft on the way. It was a rewarding and enjoyable day!
Syme Hut via Tram Tracks, Sunday 3rd December 2017
Some photos from this trip up the Tram Tracks and down the mossfields.
Wilkies Pools Loop Track, Sunday 26th November 2017
Cathy Thompson, Kathryn Jones and Jan Fleming met Dorothy and Alistair Linn at Dawson Falls on a warm cloudy morning. For those who haven’t seen in it, the new accessible track up to the pools, with a new swingbridge, is very impressive. We spend some time at the pools exploring rockpools and photographing before heading back on the Wilkies Pool Loop, then onto the Ridge Walk. 3 of us returned to Dawson Falls Lodge for a coffee while Kathryn and Cathy went down to the base of the falls, meeting back at the cafe in a short time. It was a leisurely walk on a nice day with great views of the peak in spite of the cloud.
Escarpment Walk, 12th November 2017
Graham and Cathy Thompson met up with Hikmat Maaliki to
check out this relatively new walkway
which is part of the Te Araroa trail. We met at Pukerua Bay railway station and walked to
Paekakariki. The track was very well built with 2 swing bridges and a lot of
steps. We had some great views of Kapiti Island and the main
highway below, but the weather wasn’t quite good enough to see the South Island
clearly. We didn’t get wet and the wind stayed pretty light. There
were many other groups enjoying the track.
The 3 of us took 2 ½ hours to get to the Paekakariki railway station. Hikmat met up with his family there and Graham and I took the train back to Pukerua Bay. It was convenient having the train to get back to our car.
Waiaua Gorge and plane wreck, Sunday 29th October 2017It was time for a walk on the West side of the mountain. A good size group met at the top of the Ihaia Road. From here, there was a short walk over farmland to the park boundary. The kids set a good pace out front while the wanderers made their way leisurely to the Oaonui River. As a result of the high rainfall, the track had some numerous wet and boggy areas. The bush was lovely to walk through and nearer to the edge of the river; you passed the remains of the old Oaonui Hut.
Some history on the plane crash.
Avro Anson 4 September 1944
Despite being badly
injured, Flight Sergeant Alexander
Peterson pulled himself out of his plane’s wreckage and crawled seven
miles down the Oaonui Stream to
get help for his injured colleague. His Avro Anson trainer had crashed
into the side of the
mountain, near the site of old Oaonui Hut. Sgt Peterson reached a
farmhouse on the Ihaia Road and a
search party was sent up the mountain. The ground party could not find
the plane but next morning
an air search found it, dropping a smoke bomb to alert the ground team.
Sgt Bruce Rough had spent the night in the wrecked plane,
wrapping himself in parachutes to keep warm. The airman had a fractured
wrist and was suffering
The other crew: Flight Sgt John Paterson Cummins and Sgt Maurice Roy Haycock had been killed on impact.
Climbs of Mt Egmont, good achievements for both Andrea Shepherd and Kathryn Jones!
On Tuesday 31 October Andrea Shepherd achieved her first climb of Mt Egmont. Andrea had missed out on the Club’s snowcraft weekend because of a hand operation. With John and Helen Cooper, Andrea climbed the North route from the Plateau. The snow was softish but they still needed their crampons. They observed one person trying to climb the mountain without ice axe and crampons but then having to turn back.
It had really helped that Andrea had practised snowcraft with John earlier in the month on the northern slopes up to Drinking Rock. Because of this and having a good standard of fitness she did really well!
Earlier in the month Kathryn Jones and Helen Cooper had an enjoyable climb up The Surrey route. They started from the RTM Track going up the Organ Pipe Valley then accessing Surrey via a couloir. The snow was softish at times but hard and icy with small rime in the summit area. They enjoyed descending partly down the North then traversing around to above the Policeman and on down the ski field. This was Kathryn’s first climb of the year and a great achievement since she broke her elbow in January!
Awahou Tramp 8th October 2017
Our group of 8 set off from the clubrooms in showery weather. John and Helen Cooper, Cathy and Graham Thompson, Maria Cunningham, David McNair, Andrea Shepherd and our leader Jim Finer.
We drove up over lot of saddles on the Forgotten Highway to
the Awahou Scenic Reserve. Andrew Jordan met us there and a car shuttle was organised.
The track starts in Taranaki but finishes in Manawatu/Whanganui. The track was in good condition but very slippery due to the recent rain. Maria was delayed at the start as she stayed to watch a group of Whitehead birds near the road. The track was mostly ridge walking with some big drop offs visible through the bush.
When we got to the McLuggage’s tunnel area the Coopers and Jim, using their local knowledge and GPS, led us down off the ridge to the tunnel entrance. The tunnel had a nicely engineered cathedral shaped roof. I was surprised how large and long it was. We all walked through using our headlamps at times. There were a lot of glow-worms on the roof. From the far side of the tunnel most of us went back the way we had come but Andrea and the Coopers bush- bashed their way back to the top of the ridge. This turned out to be a shorter route and they arrived before us.
We all had lunch together back on top of the ridge and then continued on the track back to the Forgotten Highway road. Just before the road there was a boggy area with a small but extremely muddy, steep-sided stream. Luckily our guides knew where the log crossing point was and we didn’t have to wade through!
More car shuffling and then the long drive back home. The weather turned out to be only cloudy with no real rain so the group all enjoyed a good day out.
Ozzies Weekend, 15th-17th September 2017
Once again we set out to have a couple of sunny days scratching the snow at Turoa, and once again we were denied by the weather. This time however we came prepared, some with bikes others just with helmets and cash to hire bikes. So and after the obligatory morning tea at the OCR café, Jim, David, Graham & Cathy and Wietze and Rae set out on a showery afternoon to bike the Old Coach Road loop. There was plenty of wheel spinning in the mud and walking as we ascended the track then it was downhill and over the old viaduct and back to the junction and the Mangawhero walkway. It made up for the lack of skiing and was less expensive (for some).
Sunday dawned the same so it was we broke camp and took various routes home, some with a day walk first.
Shall we try again next year? May as well, got to get it right some time.
Participating were Jim & Marilyn Finer, Wietze & Rae Hoogeveen, David McNair, Jan Fleming, Hikmat, Courtney, Remy and Ramsey Maaliki, and Cathy & Graham ThompsonGraham Thompson
Fanthams Peak, Saturday 2nd September 2017
The Fanthams peak climb is an annual climb to give recently snowcrafted members or anybody else who wants to come, some guided experience on the slopes. This year we were set back with the weather but after a postponement, and with severely depleted numbers, decided to go anyway into a worsening weather pattern.
This year, Hikmat Maaliki, plus John and Helen Cooper, and John Coplestone made the trip.
So, left Dawson Falls in mild and windless conditions, with a sweaty walk up to put on crampons at the lowest snow finger adjacent the top of the stairs. Good steady climbing around to the south with good cramponing conditions, and into a whiteout and decision making about where Coplestone Peak actually was. Windchill by this time decreasing rapidly, and snow stiffening. Climbed up the south side of the peak, then thru a fairly good whiteout to reach the - old hut site!! – oops wrong hut – adjust direction – and try to find the new Syme hut.
Lunch inside, then decided that due to the conditions no point wandering around with only couple of meters of white mist to see, so left to try and find the way down. Must be around here somewhere……….
Not far down, and out of the mist another reasonably inexperienced TAC climber appeared, and asked to join us for the way down. We had passed him fairly close on the flat and he could hear us, but we couldn’t see him (apologies mate, can’t remember your name).
Good snowfall on the way down, then rain clouds below for a nice wet end for the day.
Overall an excellent day, with excellent conditions for a new climber. Thanks to Helen and John for the tuition and help.
Footnote - From discussions with people who had initially put names down, very good feedback received from the Snow Craft course run the previous weekend by Jeremy. Well done !!John Coplestone
On Sunday 23 July, Pauline, Wietze, Rae, John, and Helen joined Jenny and Andrea at Rotokare. Not just for a walk but to experience some of what happens daily there.
Everyone added a cleaned, newly calibrated stoat trap to their pack and those who wanted put a container of mealy worms (food for robins) in their pocket. Jenny also brought along the kiwi tracking transmitter. And Pauline her camera.
Just 10mins along the track and we were watching hihi (stitchbirds) and toutouwai (north island robins). Pauline got some awesome photos. We explored access tracks used for bird monitoring, hearing and seeing tieke (saddleback), more toutouwai and hihi and popokatea (whitehead) as well as the more common kereru, tui, etc.
After lunch up by the predator fence we walked the trap, Jenny removing old stoat traps from boxes and replacing with the ones we'd carried. (And yep we took the old ones back ready to be cleaned next week). We saw Jim's plane fly over (some people have interesting ways of coming tramping!) Coming down another access track Jenny showed how the transmitter worked and we spent time hunting kiwi. Back at the carpark we caught up with Pauline who had enjoyed a very pleasant day of bird photography.
An awesome day in a very special place. And a very big thankyou to Jenny who told us so much of what is happening at Rotokare and answered everyone's questions.
David Sattler led a club trip up to the Mossfields on Saturday 18th of March. All day we had great weather with very occasional cloud drifting low.
We started from the Stratford car park, walked round to Tahurangi on the Round the Mountain track and then up the track to Warwick’s Castle. We went between Warwick’s Castle and Lion Rock where we had a break for morning tea and then traversed across to the upper skifield. All the way there were delightful patches of moss, lichen, berries and flowers. Also some brilliant views of the summit, sharks tooth and Fanthams peak.
Once at the top tow we climbed below it and over to the Priests Fingers. Another break here to take in the views and then headed to Curtis ridge and back down to the carpark. The Curtis ridge track was very eroded in places – some of the washed away slots were almost as deep as I am tall.
We had a stop at the Mountain House on the way down after an awesome trip.We didn’t encounter any other people so had a very peaceful day. Thanks to David for showing us some of his favourite places.
Participants in trip: David Sattler, Cathy and Graham Thompson and Grant Upson.
Two Summits in one day. Leader Jeremy Johnston.
We all arrived at the Stratford Plateau carpark at sunrise on what turned into a great day out.
The aim was the East Ridge route to the summit with the Shark’s Tooth summit as an extra.
Jeremy led us straight up the skifield and then over to the “Policeman”. The party was unfazed by the rock hopping /scrambling involved and continued to the left of a large ice patch and up to “Pleasant Valley”.
The “Chimney” was found and then most of us took the extra scramble up to the summit of the Shark’s Tooth itself. This was a surprisingly wide area of rock considering how razor-like it appears when looking over from the Mount Taranaki summit.
The Chimney had only 1 piece of rusty wire to assist with descending but that didn’t deter anyone and we all got into the crater without problems and then made the final push to the “real” summit.
There were plenty of people on the summit and in the crater which was a surprise as the East Ridge was so quiet. We had only met a couple of other small groups on our way up.
Our group had lunch on the summit and there was plenty of time for photos and viewing the scenery on a perfect weather day.
There were a lot of people still ascending as we headed down the North side and back to the carpark.
An excellent day out thanks Jeremy.
Those in the party were:
Jeremy Johnston, Bruce Finer, Simon Baylis, Cathy Thompson, Pauline Annabell, Brigid Annabell, Patrick Taylor, Steve ?, Al Barkla and Andrew Jordan. We also had 3 Germans along for the trip, Katie, Hannah and Lucus.
Fanthams Peak, Sunday January 29th 2017
David Sattler led this annual trip to Fanthom’s Peak as a warmup for the club summit climb on 11th Feb.
Joining David were Cynthia and Charles Steiner, Jackie Townsend and Cathy and Graham Thompson.
In fine sunny conditions they meandered up the track taking frequent breaks to enjoy the views. After lunch at Syme hut they descended directly to Kapuni Lodge via the old track for afternoon tea. All in all a leisurely climb in extremely benign conditions experiencing Fanthom’s at its best.
Lucy's Gully, Sunday January 22nd 2017
Graham and Cathy Thompson and Andrea Shepard joined Andrew Jordan at Lucy‘s Gully which is situated on the north side of The Kaitake’s off Upper Ahu Ahu Rd Oakura on a windy damp Sunday.They took the Waimoku Track up to the summit of the Kaitakes enjoying remarkably pleasant condtions in the shelter of the coastal bush. Good views of the coast were obtained at various lookouts through the breaks in the cloud. The downhill leg was via Sefton ridge and was less steep and slippery than the uphill leg. Arriving back at 1 pm they set off by car to Opunake for coffee just as heavy rain set in. Many thanks to Andrew Jordan who stepped up to lead this trip at short notice.
New Walkway to Waihi Beach return, January 15th 2017
Seven members met at the clubrooms on a drizzly and windy morning, Alistair Barkla, (barefoot), Lois Sundy, Andrea Shepherd, Marilyn Finer, Anne and Allan Mitchell and the leader Jan Fleming. We were all very impressed at the wide, sealed path, with a couple of viewing platforms to take in the views, especially of the mountain, along the way. As we were approaching the beach the subject of morning coffee was raised, and several were regretting they hadn’t brought a thermos. Easily solved, and after all this was one of Jan’s Latte Walks, so we ordered up the mobile cafe (Flemings campervan). By the time we had walked down the track to the sea, and returned John Fleming had the cafe parked up and the kettle on. After tea, coffee and chocolate chip cookies Allan took the easy option and hitched a ride back with the cafe and John and we returned to the clubrooms. The rain held off and we all felt better for the walk.