Whakatikei Gorge - (M/F)
Wednesday 22 February 2012
It was some years since TTC had a trip through the upper Whakatikei gorge. Past experience was a waist high wet entry across a river pool near Dopers stream and the rest of the gorge, knee depth easy travel with a couple of simple to bypass pools. This time we walked to Dopers on 4wd tracks in 1½ hours. Rain was threatening but fortunately the air was warm with no wind. We stopped for morning tea before a knee depth crossing at the Whakatikei River entry point. It looked like it was going to be easy going. The 2004 Paekakariki deluge had however, moved the rocks and gravel to create many deep pools. The first pools in the gorge were wet shorts travel, but chest deep further in.
We sidled the swimming-depth-only pools although at one point the leader took an involuntary swim off an underwater ledge.
Four members who were in the gorge for a first time commented on the varied scenery with sections of rocky gorge and mature bush. There is over 10km of river travel from Dopers Creek to the exit point at Drapers Flat. The rain had now set in and we had had enough of the river travel. The shortest route out of the river back to the cars was up a steep track which was open in May 2011. The 2011 winter snow had, however, pushed over the vegetation onto the track and turned travel into a wet gorse grovel to the ridge top. This was followed by a wet down hill walk out through pine forest. An 8 hour trip. RC
- Party members
- Robin Chesterfield (leader and scribe), Sally Chesterfield, Sue Chesterfield, Colin Cook, David Ogilvie, Peter Reimann.