Rail Incline (Kaitoke) - Bump 857m - Tunnel Peak - Rail Incline
Saturday 17 October 1998
From the rail incline carpark, the 14 of us walked about 4km past current logging operations on both sides of the Pakuratahi Valley to "our" side of the creek. This unnamed creek drains off bumps 857m and 792m (east of Tunnel Gully) which we would later ascend. Because the creek was up after recent rain we left it after 20 minutes traversing.
We went into fairly open forest to the south-east or left to climb about 220m vertically. Then, a mixed belt of second growth and small gorse to penetrate before reaching the manuka at the ridge top. Further south at a rocky clearing we had brief refreshments. From here we saw how the long ridge ahead curved back towards bump 857m.
There was reasonable going through untracked forest, but three scrubby areas and two little saddles slowed us. At 12.15 a sunny clearing was a suitable lunch spot.
Then a couple more undulations before climbing steeply to meet the spur from the Climie Creek / Pukuratahi confluence. Our direction changed to north-west on an easier gradient up to bump 857m. This was reached about 1.50pm.
Now on a cut track north for easier travel (except for new windfalls) over bump 792m to the Tunnel Gully track junction reached in 1.5 hours. A brief refuelling stop here. Then continuing north past the old ventilation shaft to Tunnel Peak, to get the view west from the trig point.
To the east now through good forest down a known spur for about 45 minutes to a newly logged pine clearing. Then a last descent to our left, noting a few, new plantings.
A few minutes stop at the rail incline before arriving at the carpark about 5.30pm. We were fortunate to have a fine, windless day. The party was friendly, humorous and competent - no leader could wish for more.
Those present were: Sue Cuthbertson, Margaret Conal, Glenys Evans, Alison Handley, Sue Jensen, Anne Opie, Mike Arnold, Michael Bartlett, David Cairns, Dave Dyett, Ken Fraser, Dave Reynolds, Tim Stone and Peter Jagger (leader and scribe).