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Trip Reports 2014-11-19-Smith Creek Waterfalls

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This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 87, no 1, February 2015

Smith Creek from the top MF

19 Nov. 2014

Many people have made their way up Smith Creek from the far side of the Puffer to see the waterfall. Its a good fall no one can be unsure of it when they reach it. A few people know there is another fall higher up. To find out what else there might be up there, we dropped off the pylon access road below .805 into the very top of Smith Creek.

Well, not quite into it. At first the stream ran, not at all steeply, through tangled scrub and low bush, and the better bush on the slopes of its TL bank provided reasonable progress. The first major obstacle, were you in the stream, is a steep flow down a rock face just before the first major side stream, draining .756. Now the stream bed became rockier, though for lack of shingle little more useable, and the valley sides began to close in. A couple of serious log jams showed us how slow the trip would have been had there been more! Just after the stream turns almost east we came to the top of the upper fall. Both sides are steep: we chose the scrubby high TR sidle rather than the equally steep mature beech forest on the opposite side. At least the scrub was too thick to fall through, but it was slow getting up, along and down to the stream below. Only two of us still had the enthusiasm to backtrack upstream to the foot of the fall, which drops in two leaps, perhaps 12m in all. It is then only some ten minutes to the next fall, the big one many people have seen from below. From its lip at the top it seemed an awfully long way down. No one was keen for another sidle, so we climbed the 240m through good bush up to the track above that took us back to the Puffer saddle.

A year ago I climbed up and around the big fall on its TR through very similar scrubby conditions: safe but unpleasant. It looked to us on the 19th as though sidles around both waterfalls on the TL through the steep beech forest would be much easier though you would have to be careful descending to be on a spur.

Should you want to pinpoint the waterfalls, the lower one, if I may improperly introduce decimals, is at BP33 894.5/499.5 and the upper one is at 893.5/499. JT

Party members
Ian Cairns, Colin Cook, Ken Fraser, Tricia French, David Ogilvie, Anne Opie, Wayne Perkins, Marilyn Richards, Bob Stephens, John Thomson (leader and scribe), Bill Wheeler and Warwick Wright

Page last modified on 2015 Apr 07 02:16

Edit - History - Recent changes - Wiki help - Search     About TTC     Contact us     About the website     Site map     email page as link -> mailto:?Subject=TTC: 2014-11-19-Smith Creek Waterfalls&Body=From the TTC website: 2014-11-19-Smith Creek Waterfalls (https://www [period] ttc [period] org [period] nz/pmwiki/pmwiki [period] php/TripReports/2014-11-19-SmithCreekWaterfalls) A day trip through difficult terrain to the waterfalls of Smith Creek..