Clem Creek Spurs (M)
16 July 2011
After a week of widespread storms it seemed unlikely that a medium off track trip would get off the ground, or, if it did, that it would be in any way enjoyable. But the storms lessened, giving way to a southerly from which we were well sheltered, and downpours must have been confined to western slopes since we found the bush in Clem Creek basin to be quite dry. Only once, pushing through a patch of kiekie, was there significant moisture transfer.
We began by ascending the track from Walls Whare to the Cone Hut turn-off. A few minutes beyond there we turned eastward, heading off-track for Clem Creek forks. Imagery had suggested reaching the forks would be difficult with tricky manoeuvring at around 480 m to get on to the correct spur branch. However options were decided with relatively little dissent and an eighty minute descent got us there without mishap. Lunch, sunless but windless too and no rain. Then across the true right branch and south up to Bump 572. A few minutes eastward on the track and then off again on the spur that descends over Bump 480 to the Clem Creek-Waiohine confluence.
A glance at the map shows this to be a going-nowhere spur that would be traversed only in quite unusual circumstances or, as in our case, when intentionally targeted. Broad, straight, steep-sided so it should be difficult to err. But the leader did, at one point striking off to the east; quickly corrected however by always alert Neil. Very good travel, apart from an extensive but easily avoided patch of toetoe near the top and steep terrain at the bottom followed by patches of kiekie and supplejack that have to be worked around before the track is reached.
Then back to Walls Whare, the gorge track at first rougher than any of the day's off-track until the boardwalks, steps and bridges are reached some 15 minutes from the road end. Seven enjoyable hours GOTOWO.
Bill Allcock, Neil Challands, Nicolas Cogan, Colin Cook (leader), David McNabb, Bernard Molloy, Sieny Pollard, Dave Reynolds, Tim Stone, Cathy Wylie
- Party members
- Bill Allcock, Neil Challands, Nicolas Cogan, Colin Cook (leader and scribe), David McNabb, Bernard Molloy, Sieny
Pollard, Dave Reynolds, Tim Stone, Cathy Wylie.