Riddifords - Dicks Stream - Kotomu
27 January 2001
Nine trampers set out from the Orongorongo Station along the 4 wheel drive road which runs up the river valley. At Dick’s Stream we started up the bottom end of an escape route down from the top of the range which I had first explored 17 years ago and have used many times since. The route took us 1/2 kilometre up through open bush on sloping stream terraces on the true left of Dick’s Stream. This brought us to where the stream bed took a 90 degree turn to the right for a few hundred metres and then a 90 degree turn back to the left. Here my old escape route crossed the stream and we left it by following up a steeply climbing spur which ran up the true left side of the stream valley. Animal tracks through the bush gave us reasonably good off-track travel up this spur. Our planned route was to climb very high up this spur to a level where another major spur ran up to join this spur from the right. Here I had been advised by Murray Horlor that I would be able to join a route that he had found and explored, which would take us up to the summit of Kotumu.
Murray’s directions were good and we successfully followed his upper route, which provided good off-track travel with appropriate changes of direction to dodge obstructive scrub. The summit was a pleasant viewpoint and here we lingered over lunch.
After lunch we found a route through the scrub on the south of Kotumu to the top end of the high level farm track. We followed this track all the way down to Orongorongo Station - it ran along the top of the range and gave magnificent views all round during more than 2 hours of tramping.
Party members: Margaret Conal, Glenys Evans, Kate McPherson, Mike Arnold, Dave Dyett, Syd Moore, Dave Reynolds, Tim Stone, Gordon McKenzie (leader and scribe).