Other ways in the Waitohu
29 October 2008
Parties visiting the Waitohu need the farmer’s permission for the first couple of kilometres; thereafter they usually follow the roads on either side of the valley to Tangata or Thompson, or go on up the valley to take a central spur, past a plane wreck, to .860. I thought we might investigate the bits in between. Wayne Griffen knew how to start up the TL branch: go to the point where that central track begins and take it up onto the first terrace. You can then follow the old logging road. It crosses the stream, crosses back, and leads to an open flat clearing which has been used for camping (about 993435). We then followed a road – there may be others – ESE which after crossing a distinct side stream sidled steeply around and up on to the spur that joins the main ridge some 250m south of Mick. The logging road climbs surprisingly high and an old blazed track, kept fresh by animals, leads to the top.
Now for the other side, the TR branch. The 1:50,000 maps have shown a 4WD down a long spur from .730 to the creek below. In fact, it drops only 100m or so (and is not marked at all on the latest version available on the net). The spur then becomes very steep, and, missing its crest, we were soon in the creek at about 500m. I expected any moment to come upon an old logging road, and indeed we soon found a bit of steel cable, but no such luck. The stream was never difficult, and although it was running full, only those who slipped in got wet. But it took three hours. The narrow end of the valley explains the lack of road (there may well be one along the top of the spur to the south).
We had a ten hour day, and found a useful alternative way up to Mick.