Trip Reports, December-February 2015

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  1. Mt Richmond > Mt Richmond FP
  2. Torrent Bay Walk & Sail > Abel Tasman NP
  3. Mt Mantell > Murchison
  4. Mt Duppa > Bryant Range, Nelson
  5. Mt Cawte > Marlborough Sounds

6 December 2014 – Mt Richmond Summit – Mt Richmond Forest Park
Leader: Dan McGuire

Seven ambitious trampers showed up early on 6 December for an assault on Mt. Richmond. A late start meant a very fast pace, led by Leigh Marshall. With her cracking pace we were at the hut in record time. After a short rest, we were off to the summit, but not before Kelvin and Dan stopped to photograph some of the many penwiper plants that were in full bloom.

After lunch on the summit, we sped down the mountain. It was a perfect day.

Participants: Nichola Harwood, Don Morrissey and son, Bruce Alley, Leigh Marshall, Kelvin Drew, & Dan McGuire (leader).

21 December 2014 – Torrent Bay Walk & Sail – Abel Tasman NP
Leader: Brian Renwick

The weather gods dictated that our trip took place on Sunday rather than Saturday, and we set off in beautiful sunshine, which we basked in for the whole day. Brian, our trusty skipper, set off from Nelson Marina bright and early with Andrea and Kathryn onboard to learn the ropes.

The plan was to meet us walkers at Anchorage at 12.30. We kept a steady walking pace from Marahau to Anchorage, stopping only to admire the stunning views down to the bays, posing for a few pics and a spot of morning tea at the quaintly named Apple Tree Bay. The peace there was only momentarily shattered by a Wilson’s ferry loaded to the gills, dropping off a few more enthusiastic hikers.

Onwards to Anchorage Hut, and buoyed along by some entertaining chat, we arrived there in good time. Kathy and Ken were brave enough to take a quick dip in the brisk water. A picnic lunch by the sea was enhanced with some shared gingerbread men from Kathy – yum!


Our gallant captain Brian then rowed us across (individually) to his lovely catamaran. We motored for a while before setting sail to Adele Island. We all had a go at steering and winching, with a small tear in the main sail being the only casualty. At Adele Island, Kathy and Brian availed of the chance for another dip in the sea, while the rest of us basked in the sun like sleepy seals. We motored away to Coquille Bay, where we departed the glamorous vessel and walked for an hour back to the cars at Marahau. A great trip had by all, on a pristine day in paradise. Thanks for the sailing adventure, Brian!

Sailing party: Brian Renwick, Andrea Cockerton, Kathryn Grieg. Walking Party: Clare Wade (scribe), Ken Ridley, Kathy Smith, Marie O’Sullivan & Jacqui Bozoky.

10 January 2015 – Mt Mantell – Murchison
Leader & Scribe: Andrea Cockerton

Mount Mantell : a new destination for all who travelled, though set among familiar ridges and peaks viewed now from a different perspective. At 1606m she stands between the Matakitaki and Maruia river valleys 35 or 55km from Murchison, depending on the access route taken.

According to research, medium numbers of deer and large number of feral goats were to be expected. In reality, one very dead goat and one more recently dead goat were RIP, a tuneful kaka was heard and a few smaller birds to complete the wildlife count.

The Homeo Sapien count was seven. We rendezvoused at the Riverside, some camping the night prior. Thank you to the group guitarists Simon and Pat who beautifully serenaded the sand-flies and one chess player and nemesis who evidently has far too much time on his hands to study the game.

The access to the track is via Maruia Saddle Road, very close to marked Culvert 17. (Look up the washed-out bank to spot the first marker around 20m up.) A fun scramble up the bank and its straight into the climb, initially through podcast and beech forest. (It appears that Andrea also listens to an iPod while tramping? – Ed.)

The track was surprisingly well marked and routed, with no windfalls it made for a cruisy travelling terrain. With a few tantalizing glimpses en route, we broke out the bushline around 1300m heading for point 1472. The weather did us justice. Privileged with fine views and a cooling breeze, we bounced along the delightful ridge, around 2km to the summit with some scrambling in places. 

Lou and Ralph were contented with their “Mini Mantell” and rested easy while us others rocked on up. In fact it was pretty handy they did so, as we spotted their frantic waving on our return (as we were merrily bobbing our way down the wrong ridge!) All’s well that ends well, and you never feel you have truly summited until you have done battle with a few Spaniards along the way!

Arriving back at the cars around seven or so hours later a cooling and invigorating dip in the Matak was called for. Lou sensibly, and not without humorous prompts, removed his glasses (reference Mole Tops trip, 2014).

What a blissful day, thank you to everyone for your great company. Let’s travel again, Simon, Pat, Lou, Ian, Chris and Ralph.

January 18th, 2015 – Mt. Duppa – Bryant Range, Nelson
Leader: Kate Krawczyk

The weather had been so hot and humid and sunny for weeks, so when the Sunday came around and showers were forecast it was a matter of just going for it and seeing what the weather brought. Our intentions were to drive to Mt.Duppa and climb to the summit, return the same way, then drive to Pelorus and swim in the river, go for another walk, or relax at the cafe.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate as planned and, as we drove east into the Whangamoas, the cloud thickened. We were clagged in. It didn’t rain much and it was a pleasant trip up through the clouds to the summit – where there was no view to be had (maybe third time will be the charm for me – the first time I climbed it was the same).

As I had cell phone signal from the summit,
I checked the weather report for Pelorus (rain and cloud) and Nelson (fine). And so, upon reaching the cars after a lovely walk, we decided to call it a day and head back to sunny Nelson for the afternoon, going our separate ways – some heading for a swim at the beach and a few of us checking out the kite festival on the way back.

Participants were: Kate Krawczyk, John Whibley, Chris Tilly, Sophie Barclay, Annette LeCren, Sue Henley, Ken Ridley, Bruce Gully, Ian Doohoo, Graeme Ferrier & Brenda Rogers.

​1 February 2015 – Mount Cawte (474m) Marlborough Sounds
Leader: David Blunt

This joint trip with WTC went ahead despite a weather forecast which was not too good. It was raining when we left Nelson at 8am and were relieved that upon reaching Havelock it was still dry, albeit with some threatening clouds.

From there we proceeded to the Mount Cawte Scenic Reserve in Moetapu Bay, Pelorus Sound, and the start of an unmarked track up the ridge line. This had been put in about four years ago by parties from the nearby Outward Bound school to assist the local community with pest control.

The track is well-graded with numerous steps and passes largely through regenerating bush. Unfortunately, as we got higher, the cloud came in and we were denied the lovely views from the lookout points. After a 1.5-hour climb, the summit was reached and lunch was held there in misty drizzle.

The return journey was made with an afternoon tea stopover at the Slip Inn in Havelock.

There were 15 people on the trip who found it to be very worthwhile and enjoyable. The biggest disappointment was that only three NTC members were on it – Ian Morris, Chris Louth, and myself.



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