Boring into BP33 - adventures in mapland
15th March 2014
In recent times some club members have explored the slopes above the Waitatapia section of the Waitewaewae Track, seeking an alternative to the present route. DoC is concerned that the two large slips are continuing to eat their way up the hillside, forcing the track higher and higher. A sidle to the head of Saddle Creek has been marked but doubts remain as to the best route, so this February Ken Fraser and Colin Cook returned to the area between Papa and Saddle Creeks.
From a camp at the foot of Papa Creek they moved along the Waitewaewae Track passing the boiler then, near where the track drops to the TR of Saddle Creek they stayed on the TL and executed (in a clockwise sense) the small loop shown: They crossed one side stream then turned up a spur, veered off it in a NE direction then looped back S and SW to cross a stream and climb out on its southern side. At the location annotated stream heard just below here they did just that, then turned around and headed off down a well-defined spur soon reaching the point labelled mystery forks where the minor branch entered on the TR!
On 5th March in foul Wellington weather four Wednesday trampers headed off to Otaki Forks hoping both for fairer weather and to make sense of the above findings. While black clouds threatened to both north and south they ambled along the Waitewaewae Track under patches of blue sky while witnessing a rainbow display to the south. They crossed Papa Creek and immediately turned east up the spur on the Creek’s northern side. At about 400 m altitude they sidled north and east and dropped into a stream which they then followed all the way down to its confluence with Saddle Creek. The GPS bearer, at some cost to his ease of travel, made sure to stay preferably in the stream bed but at most never more than one or two metres away from it.
The GPS trace of this movement clearly demonstrates that things are not as described on BP33, whilst the accompanying image from Google Earth perhaps shows the difficulties map makers face.
- Party members
- Colin Cook (scribe with thanks to DO), David Ogilvie, Bill Wheeler, Warwick Wright, Ken Fraser