Newsletter, February 2010


Welcome to new member: Kelvin Drew

Download the printed version of the newsletter (8 pages, more photos) as a 0.6-megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)

EDITORIAL COMMENT > Technology vs Experience

Recently I was reading a back issue of New Zealand Wilderness Magazine, and came upon a very good piece about risk management. Rob Dunn was musing over personal responsibility in the hills:

"EPIRBs can be a handy thing. When all other forms of self-rescue have been exhausted, etc. ...but I think it's more concerning that more and more people are using their EPIRBs as 'get out of jail free' cards - heading into the hills with their EPIRBs, but without the skills, experience and equipment appropriate to the environment they're exploring." (That's why I joined a club, to draw on your experience - Ed).

Rob continues: "In today's culture of instant gratification, technology is replacing experience and self reliance. It takes time - years to build the skills and experience necessary to safely travel around our back country. EPIRBs can't replace that, however handy they may be." (NZ Wilderness, Oct 2008)

So, let's keep taking our club's EPIRBs on trips, but with the awareness that they're just the 'ambulance at the bottom of the proverbial cliff'.

Raymond John Salisbury


1. Place of birth: Nelson (yes, a REAL Nelsonian!)
2. Occupation: Collision Repair Technician.
3. Been a member for: 8 years.
4. How I have benefitted (from being a member): Companionship, & going to some new places (ie huts!)
5. Best Trip: Too many to list. A favourite was Copland Pass on the West Coast side, with excellent views of Mt Cook on a perfect day.
6. Worst trip: On the return from Lake Thompson, at the head of the D’Urville valley, slipping 3 metres into a small but deep stream bed. I landed on my left leg, first, injuring my ankle, knee and hip. I then walked out for 1.5 days, but took years to come right.
7. Funniest moment: The late Grahame Harris and his jokes and stories.
8. Scariest moment: Climbing the North Twin via a harder route. We ended up crawling up a steep, narrow ridge with crumbly rock in strong winds. There was a drop of 150m on my right, & 80m on my left.
9. Favourite tramping hut: That’s a bit hard, having visited over 260 South Island backcountry huts!
Kakapo Hut, Kahurangi N.P; Nardoo Hut, Nelson Lakes N.P; French Ridge Hut, Mt Aspiring N.P.
10. What wild place would I put at the top of my ‘bucket list?’ Go to some more remote huts and tracks on the West Coast.


Some folk are leaving it to the last minute before phoning Trip Organisers. Please stick to your intentions, rather than pull out on a Friday night, especially if you are providing transport.

The leader will make a call regarding cancellations due to terrible weather forecasts, although we are trying to discourage this. Rough weather is part of experiencing the Great Outdoors!

Day Trips: by Wednesday / Thursday.
Weekend Trips: by Tuesday / Wednesday or earlier if possible.

NEWS + NOTICES > 2010 Clubnights

(put them in your diary)
7:30pm Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street. Gold Coin entry.
Monday 12 April
Monday 14 June
Monday 2 August
Monday 4 October
Monday 6 December

DOC UPDATES > Tracks & Huts

Nelson Lakes National Park:
The new Angelus Hut should be opened in May. A booking system will be put in place for the summer months, along with five camp sites.

Kahurangi National Park:
The proposed hydro electric scheme for Lake Matiri has been granted consent to NZ Energy Ltd. Apparently, the ‘natural character & wild, scenic values of the lake will be maintained.’

Sharlands Creek Area:
Part of Central Road in the Hira Forest has been permanently closed due to illegal camping and lighting fires, etc. 

Access to Saddle Hill, Zig Zag and Pukatea Track in Mt Richmond Forest Park off Central Road in Hira Forest are closed. Until the forestry company completes harvesting activities in 2013 these tracks will not be maintained.  Limited access will be retained in the lower reaches of Central Road around Sharlands Creek during weekends but vehicle access beyond the 3km mark will be closed for the foreseeable future.

Mountain Safety Council > NELSON COURSES

20 March > Bushcraft > River SafetyCost: $15 / Venue: Local river

27-28 March > Outdoor First Aid essentialsCost: $110 / Venue: Bethany Camp, Kaiteriteri.

15-16 May > Bushcraft > Intermediate Navigation

Mid-June > Risk Management essentials
Cost: TBA.

Evelyn O’Neill.
Mail: 23 Coleridge Place, Stoke, Nelson 7011.
Telephone: (03) 547 2426