Woodside - Coal Stream Headwaters - Mt Reeves
Saturday 31 October 1998
On a warm, misty morning about 8.15am, the eight of us left Woodside Farm on the track towards Mt Reeves.
Nearly two hours later, on meeting the other track up from Walls Whare maps were consulted. We now wanted to find the untracked spur which led NNW from near here, down to the Coal Stream headwaters. Colin climbed a tree for a misty view. However, Michael and I checked that the spur began some minutes up the main Reeves track.
The spur was open, but was not as straight as cartographers portrayed as a dog-leg to the west showed. Much lower down we identified a certain side-creek pouring into Coal Stream, and descended a greasy bank to it. This had meant a descent from the Reeves track of about 340m/ 1120ft. Photographs were taken of this rugged, rocky crossing. There was also a large waterfall two minutes up Coal Stream.
We started our climb (ultimately towards the Cone/ Reeves track) on the south side of the side-creek by sidling a dense supplejack belt. Then the greasy, wet forest gave slow going underfoot. The gradient lessened after about 30 minutes, and estimates of our height were between 700 and 730m, at the lunch break. Guesses as to how near the Cone! Reeves track varied between 10 and 30 minutes- dependent on height accuracy.
Soon after lunch we were into the unusual, black trunk dracophyllum belt. We sidled the thick clumps and reached the track in 22 minutes (sidling adding to the time). About 15 minutes later we left the forest to emerge on the first of the rocky knobs north of Mt Reeves. From Reeves, only Mt Tauherenikau was in the clear, all peaks west and north were in the mist.
Then a steady descent on the main track - Totara Flats now visible - back to Woodside Farm by 4.45pm
A fit, competent party: Michael Bartlett, Tony Alder, Colin Cook, Dave Dyett, Rhonda Billington, Dave Reynolds, Tim Stone and Peter Jagger (leader and scribe).