2016/06 June Bulletin

posted 7 Jun 2016, 20:46 by Wakatipu Walker   [ updated 26 Jan 2017, 00:10 ]

Adopt a Plot Sunday 1st May 


5 club members spent a few productive hours on the Tramping Club plot up Ben Lomond. Tom very kindly detoured from his and Helen’s own block to deal to some of our larger trees with his chain saw. We are now getting up into steep country – and there is still plenty more for next Spring.

Looking down on part of our area (left half of photo)   Photo: Judy



Milford Track 7-10 May 2016 

A neat dozen of potential trampers unfortunately was trimmed to 11 when Lois M realised she couldn’t afford the risk of being stuck on the track for extra days. Because the forecast was not great. In fact MetService must have doubled its internet hits, the number of times I checked and rechecked. But no matter how often I did, it still forecast rain. However, it looked as though the worst of it would be possibly on our last day – and in fact that ended up being fairly correct. I heard later, that the track was closed the day after we got out, and Fiordland as well as the rest of the country got hit by a bit of a weather bomb.

So the downside was tramping in the rain. But the upside was waterfalls and raging creeks and rivers. Giant’s Gate was truly impressive. So even though all but two of us had done the Milford Track several times before, it was still truly impressive to see Nature in full glory. It also gave us pause for thought when crossing the swollen stream which claimed the life of an inexperienced tramper last season. Needless to say, this trip would not have been as enjoyable or even possible had the bridges been down.

Kindly we were given a few hours window when the rain stopped for us to cross McKinnon Pass – and the temperatures were generally reasonable despite the wet. A couple of weeks later, that rain would become snow.

The huts were warm and welcome, and nibbles created a good social time for lots of interesting conversations about the effect of tourism on our country, overseas adventures, etc and card games. I won’t name winners and losers but they know who they are. Our last morning was also Claudia’s birthday but we’re still waiting for the expected cake !

We left Dumpling Hut around 8 and despite some areas of waist-deep water, got to Sandfly Point in plenty of time. Because there were about 24 trampers to take, several trips were needed. Thankyou to the drivers who helped with transport and to a lovely group of people who made it a thoroughly enjoyable tramp.

We were Peter DLM, Peter D, Dick H, Judy F, Pip C, Di F, Vicki T, Claudia S, Lorraine & Roger, and Jude C (scribe).

Editor’s footnote: For the first 3 days parkas were only occasionally needed (see following photos). We had very mild temperatures – so much so that our serial skinny dipper stripped to his undies to run behind the Sutherland Falls.

Hidden Lake – looking down Clintin Valley


View down to Quintin hut and old airstrip (first time I’ve seen this in 5 trips:PDLM)

McKinnon Saddle shelter and loo                                                       photos: Peter DLM


Big Hill track  Sunday 22 May 

Five brave souls slipped out of warm beds on a Sunday morning to tramp over Big Hill in Arrowtown via Saw Pit Gully, with ominous weather forecasts and the odd flake of snow already falling. Peter D keenly drove over from Alexandra for the outing, and Margaret B, Sally , Lindsay , Roger and Lorraine joined in. Warm gear was donned, day packs heaved up onto shoulders(except for Peter D’s which was feather light and hardly weighed anything!) We set off up the hill, pulling on, and taking off clothing as the weather changed from wind, to snow flurries, to brief sunny spells. It was very confusing, but steadily deteriorated. We managed a brief morning tea in a patch of sunshine, and turned off at the Big Hill Saddle to proceed left, on down to Eight Mile Creek. Lunch was enjoyed under the verandah of a corrugated iron cute hut, before the next windy snow flurries came in. We were at about 680 metres above sea level. We carried on down to the creek, where several river crossings ensued, wetting several pairs of feet. We carried on down to meet the track from Macetown and the Arrow River, and hot footed it out to Arrowtown. 20 km in all. Advance peak looked magnificent with a thick top of snow. Winter has come!


Photo: Sally


Photo: Lindsay



From the Archives 

Sept 1981 – from bridle track above Sunshine Bay – note lack of wilding trees on track, Watts Road and Dart Place not yet created. Destination Lake Kirkpatrick because it was pre Alpine Retreat. This and other photos from the early club show many younger family members went on trips.