Newsletter October 2009


Welcome to new members:
Chris Olds, Nicky Everton & Julie Marriott.

To print the web version this newsletter (6 pages), Click here.

Download the printed version of the newsletter (10 pages, more photos) as a 1.8-megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)


Warning: this issue could prove dangerous to your normal urban existence. Some of the trip reports exude passion for wild places and remote adventures ... they might be the catalyst to addict you to this odd sport we call tramping.

A few of the ‘hard trips’ were led by Mike Drake, our featured member, intrepid guide, and not a bad photographer. Check out his photo album on the Picasa website (hyperlink below), and you’ll be sorry you missed out on some classic climbs. Mike's Photos

I’m on the lookout for an interesting name for our newsletter. The TTC have their famous ‘Tararua’, a DoC conservancy have ‘Footnotes’, and the ATC have their ‘Wanderlust’. Please email me some innovative, creative ideas, or I might have to resort to my worst: i-PLOD. Perhaps we could add a silent ‘h’, just to be trendy.

Shaun Barnett, the FMC Bulletin editor, is asking us for ideas to freshen up his magazine – a larger page size, more glossy photos, a more modern name, etc. Hmmm... seems change is here to stay.

You may have noted a number of tragedies this past winter; some skiers, snowboarders and alpine trampers have perished in the mountains. I guess it’s a reminder for us to be well-prepared. To practise good risk management. And to carry one of the four personal locator beacons our club has purchased.

In the earlier years of our nation, drowning was called ‘the NZ death’, it was so common. My grandfather, uncle and brother drowned in recent decades – perhaps things haven’t changed so much? Which brings me to the advert lower down this page ...

I reckon I’ve done every MSC course under the sun: from firearm safety to first aid; from abseiling to avalanche awareness. So, I can testify to their excellent value for money, fun, and professionalism. I mean, really, how much is your life worth? One Sunday in November learning how to cross rivers safely?

They say that experience is life’s harshest teacher – you get the exam first, and the lesson later.

Raymond John Salisbury

Mike Drake, Angelus Peak

  1. Place of birth: Leeds, Yorkshire, UK.
  2. Occupation: Develop software applications for our company, Food Management (NZ) Ltd.
  3. Been a member for: 9 years.
  4. How you have benefitted (from being a member): Made lots of friends and visited many places. 
  5. Best trip: All trips are great, irrespective of the weather or degree of difficulty. But the one freshest in my memory is Five-Passes in Aspiring National Park. A pleasant drive down to Glenorchy and back, lots of coffee stops, plus a bit of walking. The trip lasted several days, so gave a good opportunity to switch off and enjoy the outdoors.
  6. Worst trip: The worst (from a sandfly perspective) would be a three-day trip to Mt Snowdon, Kahurangi National Park. The sandflies were in good form. Each evening, after taking a dip, I was tingling 30 minutes after getting dressed (from the many sandfly bites).
  7. Funniest moment: On my first attempt at Faerie Queene, our campsite was on a slight slope. During the night, I slid to the tent bottom many times, but Ian Pavitt was rock solid – didn’t move. I lost count how many times I crawled back into position. I found out later that Ian had the ‘non-slip’ version of Thermorest. My Thermorest was the ‘shiny’ sliding version.
  8. Scariest moment: Descending Mt Paske, my crampons got balled so I slid a short distance.
  9. Favourite tramping hut:  Paske Hut.
  10. What wild place would you put at the top of your ‘bucket list?’
    Multi-day trip through remote parts of the South Island.


Dig through those shots from the past year. Get those pics printed out & ready for judgement. Come along to enjoy the fun, wine, cheese and nibbles, and social atmosphere of this last club night of the year.

Date: Monday 7 December.
Time: 7.30pm. 
Place: Nelson Intermediate School staffroom, Titipahi Street.
Guest Judge: Don Pittham

National Competition:
The committee have decided to align our club competition with the national competition. Some categories have changed to suit this. The winners from our club will have their photos sent off to Wellington. Winners will have their photos printed in the FMC Bulletin, and receive prizes.

Rolling Slideshow:
Photos must be printed for the judging, as usual. A rolling slideshow will also be held at the club night of pics people submit to Pat Holland by e-mail before 7 December. Images should be no larger than 1024 x 728 pixels. Judging will be from 6 x 4” prints, except for the Peoples Choice award.

New Format:
All photos need to meet the following criteria:
• Prints must be 6 x 4 inches in size.
• Photos are to have been taken within the past 12 months.
• No manipulated photos (except for cropping & sharpening.)
• Person submitting the photo must be person who has taken the photo.
• Entries are limited to three prints / per category / per person
• First Place-getters from each category will receive a prize.
• On the back of the print put the category and the title of the picture.
• Do not include the name of the entrant.

1. Landscape
(no people)
This includes wide angle shots (which may even be predominantly sea or sky) or an ‘in your face’ close-up (a rock in a stream or part of a tree). What’s important is that the  feel of the landscape which is being captured comes through in the image. It’s acceptable to include man-made structures (huts, power lines, sign posts, etc.) providing they add to the scene.

2. Hut or Camp Life 

3. Above the bushline (people allowed)

4. Below the bushline (people allowed)

5. Nature - flora & fauna (no people)
Informative, artistic images showing non-domestic flora and fauna (so no garden roses, cats or dogs). Geological or meteorological phenomena, (e.g. dramatic clouds, formations or details of rock strata are also acceptable if they are accurately titled). Ensure that the shot is as sharp as you can make it, that the subject is large in the picture and that the background is not intrusive. The ‘hand of man’ should be avoided – no fences, power lines, buildings, etc. Try to give an accepted common name, or a formal Latin name for the title.

6. Historic
Pre-1980, featuring aspect of club life. Black & white encouraged but not essential.

7. Humour (Not an FMC category - just NTC.)
Probably the most difficult area in which to succeed. Spontaneity usually works better than ‘set-ups’. But we’re often short of shots in this category!

8. People's Choice

Winning photos from previous years' competitions can be viewed on the Photo Galleries webpage.

SHEWEE – for women only

That title will ensure I have men’s attention, which I do not really want – but still...

After my accident which rendered me unable to crouch, I suddenly found myself heeding maxims I had always ridiculed, like ‘never go past a public toilet’ – at least in the outdoors.

Then, a female cousin tramper visited showed me this device she had bought called a ‘Shewee’. Suffice to say it allows a gal to pee standing up. “And it works,” my cousin informed me, without giving a demonstration.

This sounded like the answer to a compromised maiden’s prayer, so I added one to Peter’s shopping list.  (Not through a morbid sense of humour – I was not yet up to shopping.) The male shop assistant told Peter that they sell a lot of them to blokes – one must assume that, in the absence of a spate of nasty male accidents, men are seeing this as a way to get their girls out into the snow.

I tried it out at home – “and it worked”. So I felt able to tag along on the club’s Cable Bay Walkway trip. I did my own super-easy version, without having to fret about whether there was a toilet.

The only bad feature is the colour of the case it comes in – shocking pink hardly lends itself to discreet carrying.

I will admit that one has to learn the reality of expressions like ‘splashing one’s boots’ and ‘pissing into the wind’. But such little boys’ lessons are soon learnt.

Available in Nelson from: Altitude, Montgomery Square.
about $30 with case, less without.

See the website:

Margot Syms

TOPO50 > New NZ Topo Map Series

On 23 September 2009 the NZMS 260 Topographical maps were replaced by the Topo50 series.

  • The scale is still 1:50000 but the sheet size is a smaller A1. It will now take 452 x new maps to cover NZ, versus 297 x NZMS 260 maps.    
  • Geographic coordinates will change by approximately 200m, 190m in a north-south direction, and 10m in an east-west direction.
  • Grid coordinates will change by a significant figure, avoiding any confusion between the NZMS 260 & the Topo50 coordinates system.  
  • Search & Rescue will be using the new coordinates system from 23/9/2009.

FMC are offering a one-off deal for a bulk purchase. One order per club. FMC will not be reselling Topo50 after this order. If a clubs’ order exceeds 60 Topo50’s the price will be $5 each versa’s $7 for 6-20 maps.

Orders need to be in by the 29th October 2009.  Payment by the 5th November. (Final prices depend on the clubs final order.)

Please provide: Name, Contact Phone No. & Map Code. Flat maps can also be ordered at an additional $15 for postage. Incorrect orders cannot be returned. Refer to the LINZ website for the map index. The tramping club has not been provided with an index for map codes.

Recommended reading:,

> Email orders by end of October to: 
Telephone: (03) 548 5944 Marguerite (from NTC.)
(if you don’t get a response to your email within a week).

NEWS & NOTICES > Upcoming Clubnights

7:30pm Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street. Gold coin donation.

Monday 7 December: Annual Photo Competition & Supper.
Send your digital photos to Pat Holland by email.

Monday 8 February: Show & Tell evening. Book your slot now!
Contact: Lawrie Halkett by email.

RIVER SAFETY COURSE > NZ Mountain Safety Council

We have 6 places reserved and first 6 members to book with MSC get free registration courtesy of the club coffers.
> Contact Pat Holland. Email him. 

Participants will:

  • Understand basic river dynamics and hazards.
  • Assess whether it’s safe to cross a river or stream, and where.
  • Organise clothing and equipment for river crossing.
  • Learn an approved method for solo crossing.
  • Learn an approved mutual support method.
  • Be able to float and recover if swept away.
  • Be able to self-release from a trapped pack.
  • Be able to safely retreat during a crossing if necessary.

The course will be held at the Nelson/Marlborough Fish & Game rooms, 66 Champion Rd, Richmond, & at local river venue.


  • Tramping Pack (must have a waist belt), waterproof liner & some gear in it.
  • Two changes of clothes.
  • Boots.

There is no formal qualification You get a certificate of attendance.

COST: $15.00 includes theory & practical sessions
DATE: Sunday 8th November
TIME: 9.30am
FURTHER INFO: Nelson Admin Officer: Evelyn O’Neill, Tel: 03 546 3784

Nelson Bushcraft Co-ordinator:
Justin Morrison, Tel: 03 547 3306

DOC UPDATES > Track & Hut Info

Richmond Forest Park:

Right branch of the Wairoa:

Landowners have permanently withdrawn access. DoC cannot maintain the track or the Right Branch Wairoa Hut, and are considering options.

Loss of access has also meant the closure of the Bishops Cap access from Lee Valley (and therefore the Alpine Route). Also the Lee Valley-Starveall access.

Hackett-Starveall Huts route:

Wind damage is so bad the DoC are considering re-routing this track around the damaged area.

New Red Hills Hut built by Christmas.

Nelson Lakes National Park:

Angelus Hut will be closed this summer while a new hut is being built. Booking system being considered. Limited camping available.

Kahurangi National Park:

Tracks in the Wangapeka and Karamea catchments reopened. Lake Matiri valley track cleared. Salisbury Lodge has a new fire, while Flora Hut has a new longdrop designed to look old.


NZ Tramper:
This comprehensive internet site should be bookmarked and used by all keen trampers. Based on Web 2.0 technology, users can post route information, photos, or chat in forums about anything tramping-related. Advertise for walking partners, download GPS waypoints, search for 500+ huts – it’s all there under one virtual roof.

Peak Bagging NZ:
Modelled on the UK idea of ‘Munro-bagging’, an English couple have decided to introduce a similar concept to NZers.
On this web site, users can maintain their personal ‘tick-list’ of hills they’ve climbed, or debate in forums on the merits of mountains which could be included in the official list.

PRIVATE TRIP > Companion/s wanted

Travers-Sabine Anyone?

Club member Ross Price is planning a 7-day trip in Nelson Lakes NP in late Nov–early Dec. Sabine and Travers valleys, plus passes. Phone 538 0064 if interested.


Interested in the finer details of what our Federation are up to? View the monthly newsletter on-line below:

FMC Newsletter download page 

September FMC Newsletter
The FMC are involved in advocacy regarding mining, damming wild rivers, land tenure, public access. Plus promoting wilderness, preservation and conservation values.

WANTED > Lively Tramping Photos

FMC would like to have fresh photos of our member clubs to use as banner photos across on the FMC website. (see example above.) If your club has a photo that you think might be suitable please email it to:

Shots must have a very wide format (croppable to a ratio of 4.3:1). We are looking for lively shots in interesting locations with club groups with four or more people!