Climie Creek Cruise
Saturday 21st June 2008
Map Lake Wairarapa
This trip into the Pakuratahi Forest on the shortest day of the year aimed to descend the complex spur which leaves the eastern watershed ridge of Collins Stream at Bump 857 and runs down to the confluence of Climie Creek and Pakuratahi River. The return was to be via Bump 631, looping around over Climie #2; the last hour and one half of travel would then be along familiar open tops and down the road, not desperate should darkness swoop.
From the upper Plateau car park we back-tracked 200m and went a short distance along Tane’s track before abandoning it for a good footpad up the spur that reaches the ridge just north of Bump 614. Emerging into a clear patch, viewing the ridgeline to the west and consulting altimeters told us that the first navigational blunder had already occurred. We were clearly just north of Bump 792 and so had joined the ridge and passed over Bump 614 without noticing. Not a good omen for the challenges ahead!
A few metres north of Bump 857 high-point a reasonable trail led east-ish along the spur top. The first bifurcation was easily picked up and the route swung south-east to a second bifurcation. At this point, about 740 m in altitude, it was necessary to trust the compass and plunge down a face at an average bearing of about 140 degrees. A spur line slowly became apparent and led to what might perhaps be called the crux of the route: a small dip or hollow or saddle at about 550 m. From there the spur rises two or three metres and immediately turns to the south, passing over a number of small bumps. We stayed with it to its termination in a face above Climie Creek. A steep drop leftwards took us through a saddle then up to Bump 524 from where we sidled down, making a beeline for the Climie/Pakuratahi confluence. Navigators could now relax a little.
We lunched in the sun in the Pakuratahi river bed then climbed steeply to un-numbered Bump 580. Here the spur swings west and descends a few metres before continuing its rise southwest over Bump 631 to the astelia fields of the Climie uplands. On the open tops the light nor-easter was cold; we donned warm gear, admired the views out to the Wairarapa, of Deraa and of our route off 857, then headed for the cars, which were reached half an hour before sunset:
- Party members
- Jane Boydon, Michael Brown, Neil Challands, Colin Cook (leader/scribe),
David Grainger, Diane McAllen, Sieny Pollard.