Newsletter, August 2014

David & Clare Quested, Annette LeCren, and Simon Garton.


Download the printed version of the newsletter (10 pages colour), as a small 2 megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)

EDITORIAL COMMENT > Remember the Good Times

By the time you read this, our illustrious club will have celebrated our 80th anniversary at St Arnaud. Full reports to follow in the next newsletter! Thanks must go to Pat and Lawrie for all the extra work involved in the organisation of this event.

A week ago I was Tail-End Charlie on a club trip, where I followed 14 folks trudge up the tussocky ridgeline of Mount Arthur onto the snowy summit. Could this possibly be a club record, at least for winter?

There was not a breath of wind up there, with a 360-degree panorama of Kahurangi visible beneath our cramponed feet – magic!

To feel the steel of our ice-axes bite into the white stuff; to remember techniques learned so long ago; to play with the quintet of kea on our descent... this is what makes winter tramping so alluring. Yes, the temperature was struggling to stay above zero. But there was hardly another soul on the mountain – it was ours for the day.

Limited daylight hours meant meeting in the dark, and, after a leisurely eight hours tramping, returning to Nelson in the dark, with not much energy left in the tank. But it’s the shared suffering of privation that bonds people together. Long after my aching thighs have healed, memories of the good times spent in the Hills will stay with me for a lifetime.

I am mightily encouraged with the enthusiasm  of fresh members joining our ranks, including new blood on our Committee, which is now better balanced between the sexes. Also, welcome to Ian Morris, our new Treasurer.

Don’t forget to frequent our monthly club & pub nights, as well as the events advertised within the pages of this newsletter, especially Dr Nick Smith’s talk about conservation on August 4th.

It’s winter ... It’s cold ... It’s wet ... It’s dark ... Let’s get out there!

Ray Salisbury,
Newsletter Editor

PRESIDENT's PIECE > Annual Report 

2013–14 has been another busy year. There have been some seamless transitions in the club Committee roles, which has enabled the tramping programme to, weekend by weekend, be offered to the membership.

The first change in Committee was Chris Louth taking over the role of Programme Editor. Without any fuss and bother, Chris courageously stepped up on the retirement of Jim Maxwell, and has continued to deliver throughout the year. Thanks.

Supporting Chris, and critical to any programme delivery, are the trip leaders. They carry the responsibility for suggesting and organising tramps: a big ‘thank you’ to one and all.

A plea to members from your President: Your trip leaders are a relatively small group carrying a huge load, so I ask all active club members to step up and lead one trip every six months.

The more recent change to the Committee has been the addition of Ian Morris, who has joined the Committee and taken on the role of club Treasurer: Welcome Ian! The departing Treasurer, Brenda Griffin, shifted to Queensland. We wish her all the best and thank her for her contribution to the club.

Thanks to Pat Holland for his steady hand on the tiller as club Secretary. Pat also commits a lot of his energy in representing all outdoor groups in the ‘Top of the South’, on FMC’s Executive Council.

Then there is Ray Salisbury, our club Newsletter Editor. Ray continues to produce a high quality club newsletter that rivals ‘for a read’ that of NZ Wilderness magazine. Of course, he is ably assisted in this endeavour by the trip Scribes, who colourfully recount the weekend’s happenings.

Thanks to Kate Krawczyk in her role as club Minutes Secretary. Kate also continues to to drive the now regular ‘pub nights’, which have been a successful addition to our club calendar. Make an effort – it’s a great opportunity for a social catch-up and yarn about trips you dream of doing.

Thank you to Dion Pont (club night supper duties) and Bob Janssen (beach clean-up co-ordinator) for your assistance with club activities. Thanks also to Mike Drake and Mark Graesser for oversight and maintenance of our excellent website.

The club has continued dialogue with DOC in supporting the continued maintenance of Flora Hut. Watch out for an announcement soon on another club working bee over this coming summer.

Best wishes to all members for another enjoyable year of tramping in our mountain and forest lands.

Lawrie Halkett, Club President

FMC – AN OVERVIEW > by Pat Holland, Club Secretary

FMC was established in 1932 and currently represents 100 tramping, mountaineering and skiing clubs with 15,000 club and individual members. FMC’s main role is to advocate on matters that affect our members’ enjoyment of the big outdoors, either directly (e.g. huts and tracks), or indirectly through a wide range of environmental and conservation issues.

This involves liaison with other such national organisations like NZ Forest & Bird and NZ Deerstalkers Association, working with DOC and lobbying the government. Your club membership fee includes a $10 FMC levy.

In addition to the advocacy, you get the excellent quarterly FMC Bulletin edited by Shaun Barnett, plus the FMC discount card that enables a large discount on the DOC Annual Hut Pass, as well as other goods and services.

I am on the executive committee of FMC. The current President is Robin McNeil who, with the Vice-President and the Treasurer, gets a small Honorariam. Otherwise, the Executive is all voluntary. Jamie Stewart, the recently-appointed Administrator (half-time position) comes with a wealth of outdoor experience. He is based in Wellington along with Gail Abel who handles membership, bulk mailings etc.

As well as the Bulletin, FMC has a website that is being upgraded: and a Facebook page:

Two current FMC advocacy campaigns are:

Forgotten Lands Campaign – our National Parks have a high degree of protection from development and mining. However, there are very large areas of conservation land that have poor protection as currently classified under the Conservation Act.

FMC has identified eight outstanding areas that need to be incorporated into National Parks, or at the very least be formally made Conservation Parks. These include the Mokihinui valley, St James station, the Remarkables and several iconic areas in South Westland such as the Landsborough valley. Check out the FMC website and see what you can do personally to assist this campaign. There are some lovely posters suitable for schools, etc.

Bring Back our Birds – We all lament the silent state of our back country. Predators such as rats, stoats and possums continue to ravage the native bird life and forests. FMC has carefully considered the options, including the recommendations of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. We strongly support DOC’s ‘Battle for the Birds’ campaign based on increasing the areas of back-country treated with air drops of 1080 poison. This includes new operations, currently underway, in areas of Kahurangi National Park. Our proviso is that these DOC operations include a good level of monitoring to assess any side-effects, but especially to prove their effectiveness in protecting and increasing our bird populations.

CLUBNITES > Put on your calendar!

Monday 4 August > Club Night & AGM
7.30pm, Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi St, Nelson South
Gold Coin donation

Guest Speaker : The Hon Dr Nick Smith, MP
Hear the Minister of Conservation. speak on recent victories but also some ongoing issues for DoC.

Monday 1 September > Pub Night Social

7.30pm, Speight’s Ale House, (near Mitre 10 Mega, Stoke
Kate Krawczyk
: Phone: 544 7764

Committee meet @ 6.30pm. ALL welcome from 7.30pm.

Monday 6 October > Show ‘n’ Tell / Quiz Night

7.30pm, Nelson Intermediate School,Tipahi St, Nelson South
Gold Coin donation

Saturday 1 November > Big Beach Clean-Up

Time: 10 am–1 pm
Where: Location T.B.A., probably Cable Bay & foreshore

PATRON's PIECE > Message from Robyn Walsh

For Nelson Tramping Club’s 80th Anniversary

This weekend is a very special occasion and marks the next great milestone for the Nelson Tramping Club.

Congratulations to N.T.C. and all members, on achieving 80 wonderful years of dedicated enthusiastic tramping. From its formation in 1934, to come through all these decades to the present day.  To still be a very strong club and in very good heart to this present day has all been made possible by the very dedicated, keen members that we have and the willingness and enthusiasm of you all to accept positions on our Committee, to carry on the traditions, all through these years, for the good of the Nelson Tramping Club, its objects, values, our members and our incredible outdoors.

May you all have an enjoyable celebration together for this the 80th, including a very delicious dinner; the quiz hope you have lots of laughs and much head scratching. (No cheating, listening to your neighbour or lip reading their answers. May the best brains win)... If other games are held, I hope you all have as much fun as we did in 2009 at the 75th; on the Sunday some very good tramps in great weather and of course the good company of each other over the whole Celebration.

I just wish I could be there with you all to help you celebrate this occasion and wish to apologise for this.  Due to other commitments with two music groups, which would just happen to fall on both days of the same weekend.

But I am thankful to have attended the earlier milestones of the Club: I was there at the 50th in October 1984, held at the Maitai Baptist Camp where a large group photo was taken. A catered dinner, dance and series of tramps up beyond the Maitai area was held.

The 60th in 1994 was a dinner at Tasman Bay Cruising Club followed by Sunday tramps at Lake Rotoiti. The 70th in 2004 included a very well-patronised walk to Whispering Falls and cutting of the cake on the grassfield above the falls. 

On to the 75th in March 2009 at Rotoiti Lodge for a wonderful pot luck dinner, crazy fun games and a series of walks both Saturday and Sunday. Plus the excellent photo display boards by Ruth.

Congratulations for the 80th and best wishes for a great weekend as we look forward to more interesting Programmes and much good tramping to come in the years ahead as we grow old (or older), towards the 90th and onwards to the 100th in twenty years’ time.

Robyn Walsh
Club Patron

Nelson Tramping Club Inc.


Immediately after the Wanaka festival ends in July, the 2014 national tour takes award-winning films to audiences around NZ. A selection of the films are available for screenings in Nelson.

When: Friday 5 September, 7:30pm–10:30pm
: The Suter Theatre

Tickets: $15.00

1) From Paradiso Backpackers (cash only).
Phone: 0800 BUY TIX (289 849) or
3) On-line at:


Ray Salisbury is trialling a tour to Golden Bay in August, and a 3-day tour down the West Coast in September. He will be teaching the basics of composition, camera craft and landscape photography.

While tuition is FREE, you will have to pay for petrol, accommodation, and your own food. Get in quick, as space is very limited.

Email Ray:

WANTED TO BUY > Topomaps 260 Series 1:50 000
Older projection & datum.

Maps wanted:

J32  K32  K31  K30  L30  N30  K29  L29  M29
N29  O29  O28  N25  N26  N27  L28  L27/26

Please call Rod Lewis if you have any of these superseded
Topomaps that you no longer use or want.
Phone 539 1004 or 022 099 8126 or email

NEW FREEZE-DRI MEALS > Absolute Wilderness

We’re a Stoke-based company producing freeze dried meals that taste amazing, are super simple to use and are packed full of the nutrients you need in the outdoors. We’re exclusively available in Rollos, Nelson and online.

Food should taste good wherever you are


Don Schwass, who has worked for search and rescue in Nelson for decades, kindly spoke at a recent club night.

Don also provides the only FREE monitored tramping intentions service. Check out Adventure Buddy on-line:

If you need to hire tramping boots, tents, beacons, or even clothing...
Phone: 547 4817 > Cellphone: 021 111 1177

PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACONS > Notice for Trip Leaders

Our beacons have been busy, including one recent rescue, where the helicopter could not easily locate the party. 

Please remember to:

1) Fill out the entire form. The finer details are what SAR need to find you. Explain your intended route & possible alternative routes.

2) Before activating the beacon, get into a clearing. Satellites can’t pick up signals in thick bush. Keep the PLB upright. Do not move it once activated.

3) Hold up bright clothing or pack liners to assist the helicopter in sighting your position.

4) Consider using a cellphone first - this can provide two-way communication & save money.

Our 5 beacons can still be borrowed / hired from either location:

Rollo's Outdoor Centre
12 Bridge Street, Nelson. Ph 548 1975

Stirling Sports
213 Queen Street, Richmond. Ph 544 8290

Also, please be prompt in returning the PLBs and report any damage too.






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