Fall Stream waterfall
Saturday 13 October 2007
Map: 260 series Carterton
Other than by name, the map does not indicate the presence of any waterfall in Fall Stream. However, experience having strongly reinforced belief in topographic eponymy, and supposing the confluence with the Waingawa River as a waterfall’s most likely location, we set out to visit the lowest reaches of Fall Stream. In fact a waterfall perhaps four metres in height (and therefore certainly not mappable in the 260 series) was sighted, but in the process another mystery was unwittingly created!
We took the Atiwhakatu River Track to its junction with the more northerly of the two tracks up to Jumbo, just upstream from a large slip on the Atiwhakatu true left. We crossed the river and climbed to Pinnacle Ridge, turned left or north and located a scrubby sharp-sided prominence at the head of the long spur descending slightly north of east towards the Waingawa River. Careful navigation with some wavering between competing likely-looking leads took us down to about 480 m where we turned southeast and dropped steeply. Soon we sighted the Waingawa far below and after a brief sidle gained a sharp spur leading due south and terminating in a waterfall on Fall Stream. (On the way we passed the remains of a camp, a large blue tarpaulin lying crumpled on the forest floor.) We dropped into the streambed and paused briefly at the top of the waterfall, prompting Neil belatedly to inform us he had been there on two previous occasions!
Downstream looked a mess, a kiekie mess, so, crossing over we headed upstream, toward a lower minor forks (the leader thought), but we were puzzled soon to be forced into a rather steep sidle. Neil was quick to realize that we must already be above the forks and thus to set the parameters of the mystery: is the minor forks, clearly indicated on the map, above or below the waterfall (the map seems to suggest the former), or does the true right branch dissipate in swamp with no single point of entry into Fall Stream?
We began to climb and at 400m our location conformed with what could be read on the map: we were on the spur rising south between the two branches of Fall Stream. There was good travel with a few blue marker ties and a bow of red ribbon at about 650m where two sub spurs merge. Continuing south we joined the Pinnacle Ridge Track at Bump 862 but left it again south of Pinnacle to return to Holdsworth via the saddle and low ridge to Bump 535. From there, travel due south avoided scrub to the east and finally dropped us rather steeply on to the flat perhaps two minutes from the Atiwhakatu bridge.
Gotowo nine hours.
- Party members
- Neil Challands, Colin Cook (leader/scribe), Sieny Pollard