Off-track in the Tunnel Gully Area (Recce and Official Trip)
November and December 2000
The route dreamed up by the "Saturday trip triumvirate" was to traverse up Collins Stream (Tunnel Stream) from near the car park to the top forks, and climb the spur in-between, south to bump 828m on the main track. As this had not been used by the club for many years, it needed checking out.
On 12 November (Sunday), Peter Jagger, Michael Bartlett and Rhonda Billington did the check. Creek travel was reasonable despite overgrown banks which precluded much sidling. There were a few large windfalls to crawl under and round to major forks at map reference 910-067. As a brief alternative we went east and over steep rocks up to a wide waterfall pouring down a green face. The going above to the right looked on. We then returned down to Collins Stream and continued up it.
There were more awkward windfalls and thick vegetation to contend with to make this section up to the top forks less than enjoyable. The spur up to bump 828m was also very rough and not to be recommended.
As a result of the above, Michael and Peter looked at the alternative route on Wednesday 6 December. They came up Collins Stream to ref. 910-067, up the side creek to the waterfall, sidled it to the right, and scrambled round the edge of the face to reach open forest beyond. Then a belt of ferns, and fair going of small sections of saplings interspersed with tall forest. A couple of dips - hardly saddles - on a well graded climb up to the cut track on the range top some minutes north of bump 857m. This would be the better route up to the range top! Time from the car park about 4 hours.
Official Trip - 9 December 2000 - 5 takers - on a weekend of much tramping elsewhere.
The party followed the same route as that on 6 December. The low, wet mist meant almost dark travel up the side creek to the waterfall, where photographers used flashes. Beyond in the forest, parkas were needed as vegetation was soaking wet after overnight rain. At the range top about 12.15 pm for lunch, with mist preventing views.
Travel south-west on the track to bump 828m. Then east down a steep wet forest of about 290m/950ft to the top forks of Climie Creek, where the north branch pours down as a waterfall for photographers.
Then, instead of going downstream for 30 minutes to the spur base back up to the west we traversed in a diagonal for about 20 minutes to emerge well up the same spur. From there in open forest it was a steady climb up to Climie No. 1, still in mist. As we guessed, the weather forecasters had it wrong by several hours when the sun finally came out a few minutes down the road! We were down at the car park by 5.15 pm.
The party enjoyed the variety, especially visiting two different watersheds and seeing two unusual waterfalls, and thought at times the wet mist created atmosphere! Thanks were expressed to people who did the recce’s.
The five were: Bill Allcock, Maria Coveny, Glenys Evans, Dave Dyett and Peter Jagger (leader and scribe).