West Mangaone EM
Wednesday 4 October 2017
We have been lucky that Diane has been agreeable to continue leading EM trips for us since moving to the coast. And joining us for the trip was Kapiti resident Julian, carrying his GPS in his hand all day, helping keep the party on course.
On this lovely fine Wednesday we met at the car park at the end of the South Mangaone Rd in the Reikorangi Valley, starting on the Mangaone Walkway, which initially follows the headwaters of the Waikanae River through the Kaitawa Scenic Reserve. This reserve protects previously milled podocarp forest and is regenerating really well, with tall emerging rewarewa trees near the walkway which will eventually be replaced by the original conifer canopy.
A short distance after crossing the swing bridge we left the walkway at the west end of a small grassy clearing. From here a short traverse through a flat swampy area, looking out for old markers, led us to the base of our first grunt, up to bump 540m. Short parts of the route were on the remains of an old benched forestry track, other parts had little clues. Next, it was more short climbs and descents on to bumps 546 and 466, some of these reasonably steep. Not much in the way of views were on offer, but lush vegetation made for attractive scenery with the size of the kidney ferns and tawa leaves appearing to be typically larger than those close to home. A tiny clearing big enough for a flat lunch spot was found soon after bump 546.
In places throughout the ups and downs a foot pad could be followed, but in other spots recent growth and windfalls made the travel more like off-track. On one of the numerous knobs after lunch we came to a metal plate sign wedged in between two trees, with the etched wording ‘Brown Knob’ and ‘Ruscoe Track’. Our final descent from 466 was quite steep, calling for a pause for a second round of Rocky Road mallow puffs from our leader. Veering a little too much to the SE took us into a side stream bash just a few metres from the walkway, and then it was about 20 minutes back to the cars.
A prior estimate of the trip time was 4.5 hours but our group, travelling at a more leisurely pace, took at least an hour more overall. Thanks Diane for a most enjoyable trip. We hope to repeat this trip soon. Thanks to Mike Crozier for the gpx file.
- Party members
- Mike Crozier, Michele Dickson (scribe), Diane Head (leader), Jeanette Martin, Rosemary Wilson, Christina Van Dam, and Julian Harris (from Kapiti Weekday Walkers)