Newsletter, February 2008

Welcome to new member: Donata Setyoutomo
UPCOMING CLUBNIGHT: (Put it in your diary!)

7 April 2008
Uta Purcell, ‘Jeep Trekking' in Pakistan .

In briefly describing her trip Uta said “ In June 2006 I joined an adventure trip to Hunza in the north of Pakistan , where the great ranges of Hindu Kush , Karakoram, and the main Himalayan range come together. The trip featured two treks with the purpose of botanizing. Jeeps took us up side valleys, where we had close encounters with the local people, observed the life of women, and experienced the Islamic culture. We also followed old silk routes, now the Karakoram Highway , to the Khunjerab Pass on the Chinese border. These days there are few foreign tourists in Pakistan and the welcome received was tremendous.”

Come along to our meeting to find out more, and to view some of the pictorial record of her trip.

Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street, 7.30 pm, gold coin admission. Pat Holland Ph 5391340

Club Night 11 February 2008 Walking the Heaphy Track in 1887 .

Wow! What a fascinating evening Mark Graesser put on for us. Standing room only for the 48 members and guests at this meeting indicated the interest that the pre-publicity and topic had generated and our expectations were wonderfully exceeded. Thanks to the daily diaries of Frederick Gibbs, Mark's additional research, use of current technology, and Mark's presentation skills we were taken back 120 years to a remarkable crossing roughly following the Heaphy Track. The brief summary of the contribution “FG” made to this region was in itself immensely interesting, but what followed had our full attention. We also have Arthur Jonas to thank for his ongoing exercise of transposing “FG”s diaries (held at the Nelson Provincial Museum ) on to disc so they will be more accessible in the future.


From DoC:

Go to for any online information and/or contacts in need.

For information on pesticides, areas being treated and when, go to where regional specific maps identify current operational areas.

Warning Notices.

Possum Control , Upper Wangapeka River catchment area.

An aerial 1080 operation is planned for the following area during April/May 2008: Stone Creek to Kiwi saddle in the north, to the Robson Stream in the south, and with Mt Patriarch and the Wangapeka River (from the North and South Branch confluence) as its eastern boundary. The western side of the operational area is Nugget Knob Ridge.

Signs warning of the poisons will be placed at points of public access and maintained until the area is considered safe.

Upper Takaka South (Barren Flat to Upper Takaka ) area.

A cyanide poison operation during February means that caution is required for a period of at least four months in the following area: From Upper Takaka Village - Eureka Bend (following SH60) in the north, to Waitui Stream in the south. The Cobb River forms the western boundary whilst the Arthur Range forms the eastern boundary. Almost all of the operational area is on private land, however also includes small areas of public conservation estate at the operational margins on the Arthur Range .

Abel Tasman National Park

DoC are planning a mid winter 2008 operation in the northern and western regions of the Park, involving a range of control methods. Once the details are finalized DoC will issue Public Notices, as well as contacting interested parties, such as ourselves. NTC has responded to the initial advice.

Hints on Safety

(From NZ Mountain Safety Council “Going Bush” and “Survival” pamphlets) 

Survival kit: important items to help in a survival situation.

Lighter/candles/matches Survival blanket Fishhooks & line Bandage/plasters
Mini compass Cord Plastic bags Aluminium foil
Solid fuel primer (firelighters) Rubber inner tube Pad & pencil Whistle


While it is not desirable to go without food, you can survive for days without it, so long as you stay warm, rest and drink plenty of water.

Useful Websites – Federated Mountain Clubs of NZ – NZ Land Search and Rescue – NZ Outdoor Instructors' Association – NZ Search and Rescue Council – Water Safety NZ

Contributions from Club Members

Tony H & Gretchen W  are claiming a 2008 camping altitude record
by tenting at 1920 metres at MR N30 142142 on 3rd February 08. Any challengers?

Private Trip Reports

4-6 January 2008 St Arnaud Range Traverse

Party: Margot and Peter Syms, Grahame Harris.

At short notice, with three days' fine weather promised, we set out to attempt this trip, which offered several escape routes if things did not work out. On Friday we gathered at the DoC office in St Arnaud and leaving one car there we took the other to the top of the Alpine Meadows subdivision off the Blenheim Highway. From there it was uphill through bush on an old trap line, then turn right along the ridge, through stunted bush at first, then open tussock climbing steadily to St Arnaud Peak, along the ridge past the Parachute Rock Track and drop down to camp by a tarn at the head of the Merry Stream. Next day, back up to the ridge and along the top except for a dip down into the only basin on the Western side, before climbing again through to the ski field for lunch. Then along the ridge again over Mt McRae, and on sidling uncomfortably around the top of the nasty peak at the start of the Arnst Basin . Amazingly there was a line of stoat traps all the way along to here, some in very awkward parts of a narrow jagged ridge; congratulations to DoC trappers on their courageous efforts. We continued along the ridge and dropped down to the second Arnst Basin to camp. Next day up Peanter Peak and on to the end of the open ridge, then due West down through steep bush to strike the Travers River just a few hundred metres below the Arnst River junction, crossed the river and followed the track out. On top of the ridge most of the way, demanding but wonderful, with good weather.

22-30 January 2008 Garden of Eden

Pat Holland joined a team of six led by Terry Crippen of Palmerston North Tramping Club (PNTC) with Barry & Alasdair also from Palmerston North and Conway & Rod from Dunedin . The standard route from the West Coast into this Northern end of the Adams Wilderness area is up the Wanganui River to Hunters Hut and then another heavy day slogging up Lambert Spur to the Lambert Tops. We avoided this penance with 25kg packs by choppering to the tops from Whataroa but then had to sit in tents for two days as a cyclonic low went through. With fine weather the work began as we undertook the notorious route that sidles up under Mt Lambert to reach the Lambert Glacier where we camped. The huge neve forms part of a series of magnificent linked snow plateaus. Through Satan's Col led us to the Garden of Allah and then up to Adams Col on the Garden of Eden (all named by John Pascoe from his explorations in the 30's and 40's). Two nights camping there allowed an easy climb of Baker Peak with grand views of peaks on the Pascoe Range and Mt Cook in the distant south, and into Canterbury to the east. A long day then took us south several km along the full Garden – wonderful undulating snow fields, and then a plunge down bluffs to reach Adverse Creek dropping to the Perth River (very rough travel). The next day was an amazing adventure as we took ten hours to travel the 6km down the Perth to Scone Hut – combination of wading, bouldering (over, around, under) and bush bashing. Bunks and a track at last! Another long day saw us out to Whataroa with welcome beers and steaks at the pub. A grand but arduous trip with heavy packs.

Tararua BiscuitS - Terry Crippen's Recipe

570 grams rolled oats (half fine and half coarse)
340 grams flour
230 grams sugar
230 grams butter
½ heaped teaspoon of salt
1 to 2 heaped Tablespoon of Golden Syrup or similar.

Melt butter and rub into rolled oats, flour, sugar and salt. Add warmed Golden Syrup and mix. Add enough water to make softish dough. Roll out until about 6mm thick. Cut into rounds using an upside down glass. Bake in oven (180 to 200 degree C) 30 to 40 mins or until lightly brown and firmish.

This will make about 45 biscuits. Double up the quantities since you will find yourself testing them day by day before your trip(s) starts. They are excellent to take on extended trips, as they are very robust and keep well. Eat them on their own or with spreads. Three or four biscuits are a good quantity for lunch (together with salami, cheese).

p.s. Don't over-cook them since they will become too hard on cooling and you may end up with a sprained jaw.


A combined Tramping Clubs and DoC meeting is in the process of being organised for DoC to outline their current and planned activities and to receive comment from interested parties. New DoC Motueka Area Manager, Martin Rodd, has suggested this initiative, which we are all invited to support. At this stage it looks like being held at the Waimea Room at the Richmond Racecourse on Wednesday 26 March 2008.

So pencil it in your diary and let's make this an NTC trip, complete with shared transport. If you want to share transport contact me as below by Thursday 20 March 2008.

REMINDER: Club members receive a 10% discount from Basecamp and Rollo’s.