This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in August 1998
Judd Ridge - Sheridan Creek - Rae Ridge - Otaki Forks
Saturday 2 May 1998
The nine of us crossed the Waiotauru Bridge noting the river was up, on a mild morning about 8.40am.
Up the Field Track to Bump 591m. Then, a steep, winding route down south-west through open forest to Sheridan Creek (a route previously recce'd by Michael Bartlett, Dave Reynolds and Peter Jagger). A short refreshment stop here, observing the creek up about 15cm.
Our route was to cross the creek, ascend the steep, lower spur opposite, and later join the Rae Ridge. Michael got us through dense supplejack for about half an hour. As we moved up into good forest, the gradient eased off, but there were huge, old windfalls from 1936 to by-pass. Lunch was in a clearing about two thirds the way up the spur.
At the Rae Ridge, which we had to check out because old discs had gone, we made sure of where to start the proper route down.
The descent was noted for again, some track markers absent and fern re-growing strongly in places. Gordon and Sieny concentrated for us when the route was obscure.
We re-crossed Sheridan Creek easily, as it had gone down since the morning. This fact encouraged Dave to persuade us to attempt a crossing of the Waiotauru River. If done, it would obviate our going round by the circuitous Loop Track. We crossed easily to the surprise of some!
We were back at the carpark by 4.30pm, after a little new ground for all of us. Thanks to Michael, Gordon and Sieny for leading on occasions.
The party: Michael Bartlett, Dave Reynolds, Sieny Pollard, Gordon McKenzie, Glenys Evans, Cherie Marshall, Margaret Conal, Mike Arnold, and Peter Jagger (leader and scribe).