Reeves, the hard way - slow-fit trip
Wednesday 8th January
Eight members started from Waiohine Valley Road end and headed up the Reeves track to Rocky Knob (620 m). We then proceeded south down the spur for about 1.5 km, to just before pt. 468 where the intention was to sidle across and down into Taits Stream near where it joins the main branch draining the Reeves area.
From there we were to walk up the main branch to the first forks and take the spur directly to Reeves’ summit (899 m). With great difficulty (75 minutes to drop about 185 metres) we reached Taits Stream a little upstream of the main branch we were aiming for. Where we reached the eastern branch of Taits Stream it was quite small and my first reaction was that we’d dropped into a minor tributary. That helped explain an old mystery.
In January 2011 Colin Cook, Peter Reimann, Bob Stephens and I had attempted the same trip. We dropped off just beyond pt. 468 and arrived at Taits Stream below the main branch. Without GPS we concluded when we reached the eastern branch that because it seemed so small it must have been a minor tributary – there was a hint of a small stream shown on the map. So, in 2011 we had an adventure, still discussed amongst friends! Our presumed route is shown on the upper map.
This year, although it looked as though it shouldn’t take long to go down to the main branch and up to our intended spur, my recollection was of quite difficult stream travel back in 2011. So, this time we climbed straight up to the main ridge, hitting the track at 820 metres, about 400 metres east of the top of Reeves. Luckily, we had found an animal trail, in places almost a 'human route', which got us to the top in less than two hours. Google maps suggest that had we used the intended spur we may have encountered scratchy scrub, and we’d already had enough of that for one day. Those who hadn’t previously summitted Reeves did so while others rested or wandered on slowly. The trip took 8 hours 40 minutes.
- Party members
- Tricia French, Susan Guscott, David McNabb, Peggy Munn, David Ogilvie (leader and scribe),Donald O’Neil, Anne Opie, Mike Wespel-Rose