M/F Off track exploration
5 November 2005
The intention had been to start the trip on Friday night, with a trip up to Jumbo Hut and to explore the headwaters of Francis Creek on Saturday. A weather forecast of gale force winds soon activated Plan B. The original plan had a great deal of merit but it will wait for another day.
Plan B was a trip into the Mangatarere Valley, starting with a short road walk then crossing the Mangatarere Stream at 158249. Our crossing of the stream was greeted by some boisterous bellows and hoof stamping from a young bull, but as we were soon climbing the spur we were able to leave behind the rather irritable bovine. The direction of travel was west or maybe a little south of west.
Two small bumps at about 680m indicated that we had reached the spur dividing the Mangatarere catchment from the Kaipaitangata catchment. At this our direction of travel changed initially west of north, and then north of west to bump 810m. Bump 810 is off-set from the main spur to the east. A short sidle foot pad soon had us on the main spur and heading for our next landmark – Waiohine 818m. The wind was very strong even in the relative shelter of the bush and the temperature was not the most welcoming. A well worn foot pad sidled Waiohine and we soon located the spur we intended to follow to Sayers Stream and then on to Sayers Hut for lunch.
The route off Waiohine travels initially west or a little north of west, then west of north, then west to a large flattish area at about 640m. The spur we wanted was north off the flat area. Another route is marked on a 1950 Lands and Survey map which follows the spur to the Waiohine River and to the lower Waiohine Track. The route then follows a spur up onto Cone Ridge. Part of this spur is well known to TTC trampers travelling to Cone Ridge via Makaka Creek spur. The same 1950 Lands and Survey map also shows the original Sayers Track starting in the head of the Kaipaitangata Valley and making it’s way over bump 810m and then heading north along to join the present track up to the ridge from Sayers Hut.
I digress, so back to the spur to Sayers Stream which is good travel and ended in a small side stream a few metres from Sayers Stream.
Sayers Stream is slow travel over slippery boulders and offers steep bluffs on the true right but some more accessible terraces on the true left. Finally we were able to climb out onto a terrace on the true right and gain access to the track and so onto Sayers Hut for a late lunch. After lunch we followed the new Sayers Track back to the cars in the Mangatarere Valley.
- Party members
- Sieny Pollard, Dave Castle, Colin Cook, Bernard Molloy, Tim Stone and Dave Reynolds.