Gorge Stream Spur
August 24-25 2007
Map 260-S26 Carterton
The allure of settled weather accompanying an intense late winter high pressure system was too good to deny – so at 3:30 Friday afternoon we were away from the cars at Kiwi Ranch in glorious, windless conditions. After a couple of hours walk, we were setting up the fly in the trees at the Bushcraft/Asado site in the Tauherenikau River valley.
The billy was expeditiously put on and a cuppa was soon warming chilled hands as well as maintaining body warmth and fluids. When we began eating the billy stew the winter chill was well established in the valley and we were treated to a pair of moreporks sending out their plaintive calls.
After almost twelve hours in the sac we awoke to a solid white frost on the grass area and no time was wasted getting the billy going and consuming a hot drink and a hot breakfast. It was cold! The walk up the valley to the Block XVI track was one of those special mornings in the Tauherenikau valley – no wind, clear sky and sun glinting off the river. The spur on the true left of Gorge Stream is not easily accessed – one of the reasons we had not previously explored the spur as a day trip. We chose to go to the Allaway–Dixon hut site and then headed east of north towards Gorge Stream. The former track is still marked on the current map but it is barely recognisable and there are only a few faded orange tin lids and a few Venetian blind markers to assist route finding. We picked up the first of the markers at the top of the prominent slip on the true right of the stream. Once we were across Gorge Stream there were no issues with navigation.
Going up the spur was straightforward travel. Between 600 metres and 700 metres there was a grunty section of travel but that was off-set by a long tongue of easy travel between 850 metres and 950 metres. Once on the top of the Marchant Ridge and on the track, we found a comfortable mossy spot in the sun for lunch. There was still no wind of significance. As we headed home along the Marchant Ridge track the afternoon breeze intensified but we remained under unclouded skies. This trip was rewarding for two main reasons – the opportunity to have a fly camp in winter and to explore a new bit of territory in an area of the Tararua Range that was familiar to both of us.
- Party members
- Bill Allcock & Dave Reynolds.