Totara Creek spur–Mountain House shelter–Atiwhakatu M
7 Feb 2018
The hot temperatures this summer have made tramping a dripfest, so it was pleasant to arrive at the Mt Holdsworth car park to cool, grey conditions. Polar fleece was cosy and comforting as seven of us headed up the Gentle Annie to Rocky Lookout for morning tea and a view of the mist.
Over the saddle and heading on down to Totara Creek, we had to pick our way carefully through the maze of tree roots, which were newly damp and slippery after overnight rain. The creek was low and it was easy to cross over to the base of our spur.
This route does not appear to be used much nowadays – young trees are flourishing right on the footpad, which is now faint and best not relied on. Perhaps it is all the windfalls, of which there are now many new ones, and the foliage is super-thick. It was quite wet, so we were also quite wet after pushing our way up through it all; woolly hats came out at lunch time. But the greenery on this jumble of a spur is utterly outstanding and the mass of undergrowth thick with young miro was just lovely to behold.
The last hundred metres up to the Holdsworth Track is very steep, with more damp, lush foliage and windfalls, so it was good to finally step out on to the track at about 820m and to get a bit of shelter from the cold in Mountain House.
Dave took us on a side-trip to the site of the old Mountain House Hut before we headed down to the Atiwhakatu via the River Ridge Track, thus avoiding DOC’s foot-wrecking gravel trail down the Gentle Annie. This took us just short of an hour, then a similar stretch along the Atiwhakatu Track had us back to the cars by 4 p.m. – a 7-hour day.
- Party members
- Celia Wade-Brown, Doreen Launder, Jane-Pyar Mautner, Jan Nye, Anne Opie,
Marg Pearce (leader, scribe and photo), Dave Reynolds.