Does a Mystery Trip add to Tramping or is it up to The Leader?
Saturday 2 October 1999
The concept of this mystery trip was to conduct the party from Sunny Grove, Wainuiomata into three different watersheds (and back) via undisclosed routes. As an appropriate beginning, about 8am saw the seven of us moving up into mist towards the signpost at the McKerrow/"New" Whakanui Tracks junction. After 1¼ hours travel or so, we were at the head of an obscure, misty spur which took us over steep, rough forest interspersed with more level sections before an awkward descent to rocky creek forks. Someone said there was a resemblance to Upper Climie Creek Forks - but we could not be there! Then a steep climb south up an open, if pig-rooted spur to another spur denoted by SAR plastic tapes - meaning we should not be lost! A few minutes ascent up this spur as sunshine dried off the thinning mist, to find a suitable lunch spot.
Continuing this climb after lunch, we emerged on a cut track (seemingly in a N-S direction). Unexpectedly, the party was led south for about 15 minutes, to find a prominent spur going west. We continued down this for 35 minutes or so, to reach a big side-creek/main stream confluence. Comments suggested we were in the Whakanui Creek system.
A scramble up the bank opposite (west) to ascend an open spur which led to a top ridge where an old, overgrown track went N-S. We went north on it for about 4 minutes only, before turning west down a short, easy spur to a prominent track identified as the "New" Whakanui.
The party expected to stroll on this track back to tae morning's signpost but after some minutes the leader indicated to go down an old slip, before moving right onto a spur to soon cross a side-creek feeding the main stream identified as the Turere. An easy, short climb up to the McKerrow Ridge, and only two minutes travel west on it for the final surprise.
Some members thought we were on our way to the Boys' Brigade camp, but no, we turned north and descended a short, little spur to join the main track below and several minutes west to the signpost. The leader said this last move was a geometric solution - to avoid two sides of a triangle. Then down to Sunny Grove by 4.15pm.
The 'mystified' team was: Michael Bartlett Colin Cook Tim Stone Glenys Evans, Masaki Kojima, Dave Reynolds and Peter Jagger (leader and scribe).
Thanks all for being patient stage by stage as the trip unfolded! PJ