Newsletter, April 2010


Welcome to new members: Graham Davey, Lenore Jansen & Marie Lenting

Download the printed version of the newsletter (8 pages, more photos) as a 0.5-megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)


Here I lie, on a mattress, dunking gingernuts into into my fifth cuppa tea like a man possessed. Outside John Reid Hut, the wind is a crazed lunatic, buffetting the small six-bunker which has sat defiantly on its tussock perch since 1963. A kea cries, reminding me that I am still inside theGreat Outdoors.
Earlier today I had scaled Mt Patriarch, a 1.5-hour detour off the main ridgeline route from Kiwi Saddle. Puffing up the final tussock slope to the summit cairn, I met Don Bogie, the fella who winched Mark Inglis off Cook many years ago. Amazing who you meet in the middle of nowhere.
I scan the Visitors Book, started a decade ago. Hmmm ...not used much. The Mt Luna route seems more popular than this one. And there, in 2003, was a club entry – I recognise the names: Mark, Uta, Andy, Grahame. Last night I recognised more NTC members: Jocelyn, Paul ...even Marguerite from only two weeks ago on her solo trip doing the classic Karamea-Leslie route. (Incidentally, my party ran into Marguerite on her penultimate day, at the top of the Tablelands. Amazing who you meet in the middle of nowhere.)
I plunge down Chummies Track, ford the Wangapeka, then hitch to my car at Rolling River. On the dusty drive home I stop to open a farm gate. Who’s that bloke behind me about to close the gate? Rene from NTC!
Amazing who you meet in the middle of nowhere.
Raymond Salisbury > EDITOR

MEMBER PROFILE > Marguerite Verheul

1. Place of birth:
New Zealand
2.  Job: Customer Co-ordinator
3.  Been a member for: 5 years
4. How I have benefited: People. It’s good to know I’m not the only one silly enough to enjoy carrying a heavy pack, dragging my sorry ‘...’ up hills and playing in the mud.
5. My best trip: Up the Wilkin, over Newland Pass, across a frozen Lake Axius, camping high above the Te Naihi before dropping down via a disintegrating Dispute Glacier into the Mueller River & through to Quail Flat. Camping on Round Hill with its very peculiar water holes and finally on our last day in the Turnball Valley, the kaka were so numerous and noisy – such an awesome experience.
6. My worst trip: An attempt to climb Mt Aspiring. We spent a day travelling up the Upper Matukituki Valley, over Bevan Col to Colin Todd Hut  in beautiful conditions, we were confronted by a rude and grumpy guide. The next two days were spent listening to heavy rain and howling winds, then the next day it snowed.
7. My funniest moment: On the Five Passes trip, travelling the Beans Burn, I slipped on a log, found myself upside down unable to move because of the weight of my pack.
8. My scariest moment: Watching a friend develop hypothermia. We were bivvied on a high ridge in the Tararua’s in the depths of winter.
9. My favourite tramping hut: Joes Hut in the Wairarapa (officially known as Wharekauahau Hut) – not much of a hut by most people’s standards, but it was my second home for a few years.
10. What wild place would I put at the top of my ‘bucket list?’ A full year in the Arctic, where I could see all four seasons and watch the northern lights.

TAKE ACTION > Mining in our National Parks

Make a submission - Read more


The tramping club’s annual ‘pickers come social’ day, to help harvest the 2010 Frog’s End olive crop. If wet, this will be postponed till June 12.

Harvesting from 9.00am with lunch at 12.30. Homemade soup and bread will be provided, plus a spot of wine to celebrate the harvest. If you require more sustenance, feel free to bring a plate. You will receive a litre can of the good oil for your troubles.

Bring clothes for all seasons and sunglasses for eye protection.

Frog’s End is at 160 Westdale Road (near the Playhouse) off the Coastal Highway. Car pooling is suggested. Please ring either Ruth on 544 0870, or Rae (her sister) on 544 0570, to confirm. This will help dictate the size of the soup pot.


The club owns 4 of the latest 406 MHz PLBs which include GPS for more rapid and precise location by SAR after activation. (This means you get rescued quicker!)

We are very fortunate that Gillian and Hec Arbuthnott, through their BaseCamp shop, have been prepared to manage the distribution and maintenance of these beacons for the benefit of club members and other outdoor types.

We require ALL club trips to take a PLB and strongly recommend that private trips also carry one. Over the summer months there have been periods of high demand for the PLBs and some irritants have crept in, especially for BaseCamp.

The following rules spell out some basic courtesies that we expect all users of the club’s beacons to follow:

  • Club trips have priority. A PLB will be held by BaseCamp for each scheduled trip.
  • Beacons for private trips, whether club members or otherwise, are on a first-come basis – you can ask BaseCamp to make a booking.
  • BaseCamp endeavours to assist but cannot guarantee a beacon will be available.
  • Beacons must be returned the first business day after finishing a trip.
  • If a trip, whether club or private, is cancelled or dates changed, BaseCamp needs to be told immediately so the beacon can be reallocated. Phone: 548 1710.
  • Report damage or activation of the beacon to BaseCamp upon return. A no blame policy operates – we just need to know, otherwise a defective beacon may go out, which raises risks.
  • BaseCamp maintains a list of local renters of PLBs, if no club PLBs are available.

Commonsense courtesies and communications will enable the club and BaseCamp to efficiently run this operation which is a key element to trip safety.

2010 CLUB NITES > Put them on your calendar.

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

Monday 14 June
Ruth Hesselyn & Mike Drake - FMC Climbing course at Mt Cook

Monday 2 August
AGM & Guest speaker: Craig Potton

Monday 4 October
Mark Stevens - Mt Belvedere climb

Monday 6 December
Club Photo Competition


The Club is missing many back numbers of New Zealand Wilderness Magazine. This magazine is a good source of information. Others may want to borrow them, too. Therefore, please return them now to David Blunt, 11 Bisley Ave, Nelson, who will keep them for 2 years. After that they go to Wises Picture Framing,  by Buxton Carpark. You may still hand them in at Basecamp.

DOC UPDATES > Tracks & Huts

Mt Richmond Forest Park:
Right Branch Wairoa Hut will be relocated to replace Porters Hut on the Red Hills (Te Araroa) route.

Abel Tasman National Park:
New Holyoake Clearing Shelter now completed. (2-bunk basic hut.)

Nelson Lakes National Park:
See last article in Trip Reports regarding the facilities at the brand new Angelus Hut.

Branch/Leatham area:
Bottom Misery Hut on the Branch River had maintenance recently.New bunks, heater, porch and paint-job.

Mt Curtis Hut > Brunner Range:
Depending on community support, DoC may rebuild an old hunting hut on the Brunner Range. Contact Jonathon Edmondson, DoC Greymouth. (03) 768 0428.


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

15-16 May 2010 > Cost $50
Bushcraft: Intermediate Navigation

This course is aimed at those with moderate experience. It will suit those who are looking for entry-level instruction to the Outdoor Leader course.

Participants must:

  • Be fit enough to travel for 6+ hours across hill country with a full pack.
  • Be 18 years of age (or 14 if their attendance is agreed to by a guardian).
  • Have a moderate level of navigation knowledge.

Learning outcomes:

  • Navigate on-track and off-track using only a map and location awareness.
  • Navigate off-track with the assistance of a map and compass.
  • Use a compass to verify their position/location
  • Plan a route using topo-maps. 

Mid-June > Cost T.B.A.
Risk Management: Essentials course
Contact Evelyn if interested!

Risk management is a foundation skill for all outdoor leaders and those managing outdoor programmes.

The MSC Risk Management Essentials course provides training on:

  • Risk management theory & principles
  • Identifying, understanding and assessing risks and how to manage them
  • Crisis management
  • The practical application of the theory and principles of managing risk.

14 August > Cost $75
Outdoor 1st Aid: Revalidation course
Venue: Paretai Lodge, Brightwater.

The course is skill-based, ‘hands on’, involving scenarios and practicals, aimed at updating the holder of a current OFA certificate with the recent changes in protocol and to refresh their skills.
Skill erosion is a recognised factor that develops if a first aider is not exposed to actual first aid incidents. All participants must have an OFA certificate which is dated no less than two years previous.

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