Tunnel Gully - Climie No.1 & 2 - Redington - Spur Pakuratahi River - 857m
Saturday 21 November 1998
Weather Workshop predicted a fine afternoon (a workshop means working through many ideas/data, not always knowing the best!). However, home barometers had dropped 4 points overnight, for more low pressure. Which would be right?
The seven of us left Tunnel Gully top carpark at 8.20am, with drizzle and mist ahead on the road. With Mike's altimeter, we checked that local mountain cabbage trees grew as low as 670m.
Extra clothing and parkas were necessary near Climie No.1. We continued to Climie No. 2 (860m) seeing only swirling mist. Then eastwards on the recently cut route through the scrub belt across to the head of Redington Spur, for a refreshment stop. This spur has two main arms. We took the eastern one (actually N of E) which eventually comes down near the confluence of Climie Creek/ Pakuratahi River. Was this the first official TTC party to traverse this route?
The vegetation was sopping wet. Progress was slow firstly sidling black dracophyllum, then old and new windfalls. There were no views to help route-finding, but we did well until the confluence was possibly 15 minutes below. Then inadvertently we got on a side-spur which landed us some minutes up Climie Creek. Soon, down at the river. We crossed, to the rebuilt hut, which had been wrecked by a huge windfall in 1995.
After lunch, we started from the true left bank of Climie Creek, up a steep bush face, to gain the base of the long spur going NW which eventually reaches the disced track at 857m. However, before then, there are four small saddles to prevent quick height gains. At the first of these we went too far west, but recovered after Franz and I checked it out. From here we were very careful to have compass checks by Mike and Franz, but route-finding was accurate, if unavoidably slow now and again. As we gained height near 700m, we were exposed to the south-easterly wind which was surprisingly cold.
At 857m for brief refreshments, we opted for the fast route out, as a few members didn't want a late return. This meant going SW on the track, via the saddle above Tunnel Creek, and back to the road north of Climie No.1.
Disappointingly, the mist had given no views at all, and it was only returning down the road that we finally left it behind. It was obvious that further workshops were required! Back out by 6.30pm.
The party kept cheerful throughout and may have enjoyed the challenging conditions. Thanks to all for route-finding help.
Members were: Mike Arnold, Margaret Conal, Dave Dyett, Sieny Pollard, Franz Hubmann, Ernst Hubmann, and Peter Jagger (leader and scribe).