Newsletter, June 2018


Download the printed version of the newsletter (12 pages colour), as a small 4 megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)

RAY's RANT | full circle

I have been browsing like a hungry possum through a big box of club archives. Reading faded copies of old newsletters dating back to before our president was born. In those heady days of the 1970s and 80s, things were a bit different. In 1983, this newsletter had FOUR editors and ONE typist. Our club committee included a Lady Captain and a Social Convenor.

Our illustrious club was very involved in building huts from the get-go. From our inception in 1934, we have either built, renovated or owned a grand total of 11 huts. (See ‘A Brief History’ in the article below.)

It seems like we’ve come full circle, having recently renovated Flora, Fell and John Reid Huts. However, it’s time for a rest, say Ian, Pat, Bob, Graeme and Silvano, the main men behind the building work.

Once NTC regularly cleared, cut and marked a number of local tracks. An example is the route up to Saddle Hill, colloquially known as ‘The Doubles’. And of course, the historic Dun Moutain Walkway.

Also of interest was the club’s involvement in politics, lobbying for protection of NW Nelson, and the West Coast. Under the umbrella of FMC, clubs rallied together to fight mining and logging projects that endangered our native flora and fauna. An example was the ill-fated Heaphy Road.

NTC was friendly with its sister clubs, notably the Waimea Tramping Club, with which we enjoyed many combined tramps, social events and training weekends together. Anyone remember the barn dance and tug-o-war back in 1987?

Don’t forget the annual photography competition,  which goes back eons. But, as change is as inevitable as rain on a West Coast tramp, our photo evening is trading the ol’ slides and prints for digital images, which will be pre-judged then projected for the people to enjoy. (See previous article for the new categories and new entry system.)

With both Nelson camera shops now closed, prizes will be vouchers for tramping gear from Rollos outdoor store, who have kindly hosted our PLBs for several years.

A similar technology shift is affecting the way we consume literature, (like this newsletter, which only gets photo-copied for about 15 people, not the entire club.) Members can download the full colour PDF here from our club website.

Likewise, members can opt to read Wilderness magazine on-line, or advertise their proposed trips on our web-based Programme. (Note the subtle hint to our trip leaders: Please visit the website and add a destination to your scheduled tramp at least a month in advance! If the trip must be cancelled, why not re-schedule it for the next fine weekend?)

Decades ago, our tramping club had some 40 members; we now number 90, each with their diverse personalities, backgrounds and unique giftings. You all have something significant to share with us ... your smile at a pub night; your wisdom on the Committee; your creativity in the photo competition and in scribing trip reports; your experiences in training others; your DIY skill in building projects; your eloquence in speaking at club nights; or merely your company in the mountains. You do make a difference.

I will finish with a quote from a 1983 editorial:

“We are very proud of our tramping club. It has a good name. So please keep it that way. Always remember:   
(and possums - Ed).

Ray Salisbury, Newsletter Editor

 Photo Competition | Revised Rules & New Format

DEADLINE: 20 July 2018

WHEN: Monday 6 August 2018

TIME: 7.30pm

WHERE: Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi St, Nelson South


JUDGE: Kathy Pantling – Nelson Camera Club

Come to our club’s Annual General Meeting, (which is very brief) then enjoy a projected display of all the photographic entries. Vote for your favourite!

Kathy will then show you the top three photos in each category, and share why these images deserve to win. Kathy is an experienced PSNZ judge.

New Categories for 2018:

These changes are to align with FMC’s national photography competition. In the past, about five club members have won really good prizes, including coffee table books valued at $80.

CLICK HERE to see full details of FMC competition

1. ABN Above Bushline with NO human element (nothing man-made)

2. ABW Above Bushline WITH human element (e.g. person,hut, etc.)

3. BBN Below Bushline with NO human element

4. BBW Below Bushline WITH human element

5. NFF NATIVE Flora & Fauna. NO human element

6. HIS HISTORIC – Pre 1990. Can be from club archives.

7. OPEN – Anything goes (overseas snaps, cloning, exposure blends, cloning, humour, out-of-date images, etc.) A club category only.

+ PEOPLE’s CHOICE –  Win a trophy. The judge has no say!

Revised Club Rules:

Each image must have:

  • been taken by yourself – within New Zealand
  • been shot during the past 18 months (i.e. since the last competition in December 2016).
  • only basic post processing applied (e.g. exposure & colour correction, lens correction, cropping, sharpening, etc.)
  • Panoramic stitching is allowed, and HDR blending.
    But no new elements can be added!

How Enter:

  1. Send JPEG files - (1000 pixels wide or more)
  2. Maximum of 3 images per category. (Max. 21.)
  3. File names should include:
    category entered / your name / a title
    ( e.g. ABL_rsalisbury_interesting title.jpg )
  4. Email images to Ray Salisbury:

Deadline: 20 July 2018

Ray needs time to sort the entries, and Kathy needs time to judge them before 6th August. If you have any issues, or difficulty, please contact Ray :-)


17–19 March | John Reid Hut Renovation | Kahurangi NP

This was a follow-up to the very successful working bee in February led by Silvano and Ian. They did extensive building work: some repiling, lined the ceiling, removed the old open fireplace & chimney, installed a wood burning stove plus flue and a new bench-top, and made a woodshed out of the old chimney.

Our task was to do a full paint job. The team of five assembled at Mike and Heather’s homestead on the Tadmor Hill at 7am. Our kit and painting gear were transferred to Mike’s 4WD Hilux – a very full load. However, as we topped Tadmor Hill on our way to the Wangapeka, a call came in from Reids Helicopters that the morning mist in the valleys was too high for the fly-in and we would have to wait until it burnt off.

So we went back to the homestead where we paid for coffee and cake by splitting wood until we got the call after lunch. A uneventful drive gave us the rendezvous with the helicopter at Wangapeka Base. After quickly loading up, a five-minute flight of 1000m delivered us to John Reid Hut.

The delay to our legendary early start meant we stayed over Saturday and Sunday nights to get the job done. We worked hard Saturday afternoon with the prepping with a little interruption from a woman and two young teenagers who had come up from the river in a meagre three hours. After wiping the sweat from their brows, they decided to return, rather than risk a night in a hut full of dodgy characters.

Next, Shaun Barnett (tramper, author and FMC’s Backcountry editor) arrived with a trio from Wellington, all sporting huge packs. They decided to camp on the ridge for the first night of a multi-day trip. (See Shaun's picture above).

We fired up the new stove with difficulty, as there’s not much dry wood about. We then settled down to St Patricks Day dinner prepared by Graeme, with Irish music from Pat’s smartphone, aided with a few noggins to ease the pain.

A very full schedule of work was completed on Sunday. We painted the hut interior, exterior, roof, windows and door. There were also some finishing touches to the build (e.g. joist hangers to the new piles, and bunk ladders). The new pile under the doorway and associated carpentry has greatly improved the entranceway, lobby and door alignment.

With their work all done by Monday morning, Kath and Pat went up to the ridge for a grandstand view. We all departed at 10:30am for the four-hour tramp down Chummie’s Track. There was a minor rebellion over the lunch spot when Pat’s promised ‘clearing with views’ did not eventuate. After an easy crossing of Wangapeka River in low flow, we tramped 30 minutes up the road to Wangapeka Base and our vehicle.

So the hut is now a real treat from what was an unattractive destination: dark, dank, drafty,  and smokey. The interior has brightened up with the ceiling lined, with a fresh paint job all round. My photo above shows the new bench, stove and one of the bunk ladders (other is behind the door; high quality items prefabricated by Bob Janssen). The exterior building work and paint job have ensured that this building will endure another 50 years+. The location is fantastic, being just above the bushline, with great views across the Wangapeka Valley to the Mt Owen massif and further west; east across the Waimea Valley to Tasman Bay; and the Richmond Ranges. This spot is well worth visiting as part of the Mt Patriarch—Kiwi Saddle circuit, or to Sodom and Gomorrah at the end of the Arthur Range. The club will file a report on this project with the Backcountry Trust. Otherwise, we believe the job is DONE.

Painters were: Patrick Holland, Graeme Ferrier, Kath Ballantine, Mike Drake & Ian Dohoo.

Pat Holland
Former President


1935: Kicking Horse Hut.

Leading ridge of Mt Starveall, Richmond Ranges. Built from split logs and malthoid roofing, it didn’t last too long.

1935: Rocks Hut Mk1.

Headwaters of Middy Creek, Richmond Ranges. Used during epic search for downed aircraft in 1942.

1948: John Tait Hut.

Travers Valley, Nelson Lakes. Named after club president.

1949: Trampers Retreat.

Harvey Bay, Tennyson Inlet, Pelorus Sound. Pre-built & barged in (before the road was developed).

1956: Rocks Hut Mk2.

NTC re-build. 1967–8. Re-located next to present site (remains can be found in the bush). Materials flown in by a Bell 47 helicopter.

1966: Water stations installled:

North Peak of Mount Fell, Richmond Ranges. Installed during Easter 1966, and still working in Feb 2018.

Summit of Old Man, (also in the Richmond Ranges.) Date unknown.

1970: Suttons Hut.

 Right branch, Wairoa Gorge. Purchased. Locked cabin used for instruction weekends, back in the day.

1982-3: Rocks Hut Mk3

Built by NZFS next to old club hut site; presently run by DOC. (We still claim it as ours.) Richmond Ranges.

Smith House in the Maitai Valley

This was used for club meetings, but vandalism caused us to leave.

Third House, Dun Line. NTC installed chimney.

2015-6: Flora Hut

 Kahurangi National Park (built in 1927). Painted, interior lining, alterations to fireplaces & ventilation. Outside water tap installed.

2016-8: Mt Fell Hut

(Built in 1964 by NZFS.) Relocated by airforce chopper. New woodstove, benches, watertank & woodshed. Hut painted.

2018: John Reid Hut

(Built in 1963 by NZFS.) Chimney replaced, door piling re-done, interior lined,  bunks made accessible & hut painted.

Sources: NTC Newsletters from 1983, 1997, 2017 & 2018. The Press, 1935.


Trip reports need not be extensive epistles, or feature award-winning writing. Just the facts, spiced with some memorable moments. Adding the total walking time may be helpful to future trip leaders searching our website database.

Following these guidelines will not only save the Newsletter Editor hours of extra work, but it will make it easier for others to read your trip report... they might actually READ your trip report!

1. Write the report in MS Word, not an email. Don’t be lazy! Because an email does not contain proper formatting, and copying from an email deletes all paragraph returns - this means lots more work for the editor.

2. One space between sentences. We have moved on from typewriters to computers! Get with the times. If you put a double-space between sentences, and the article is justified during pagination, horrid ‘rivers’ appear down the columns.

3. Title: Add Date / Name of Track / Name of Forest-National Park / Leader’s Name. Remember to record all participant’s names, IN FULL. This will save the Editor having to refer to the club website or Facebook, trying to fill in the gaps.

4. Use humour ... but avoid ‘in-jokes unless they are obvious to the general reader. Ha, ha, ha.

5. Keep sentences short for easier reading. Avoid joining different ideas together with an ‘and’. Use paragraphs too!

6. House Style: we write numerals 0–12 in full (e.g. zero, one, two, three).

Do not abbreviate (nth, sth, hrs,) Contractions are fine (such as don’t, didn’t, we’ve). Acronymns (such as DOC) are acceptable. Use past tense.

7. People like seeing themselves in photos, and images of people are much easier to take than landscapes, (and print better at a small size in the newsletter). So, try to get at least one decent group photo. Pose the group facing the light (unless you know what you’re doing shooting contré jour).

8. Photos: Email only the best 4–5 shots to the Editor. Don’t just post 21 images on Facebook, and expect the on-line viewers to sift through all the rubbish shots to find the good ones. Spend 5 minutes choosing them.

Note: Facebook compresses the images so the low-resolution isn’t really suitable for printing in a newsletter.

Thanks for all your contributions! Keep 'em coming in...

Ray Salisbury
Web & Newsletter Editor

CLUB EVENTS:add to your calendar

Social Night | Sprig & Fern Pub, Hardy Street

Monday 2 July - 7.30pm

Organiser: Kate Krawczyk |

Annual Photography Competition & AGM

Monday 6 August

Place: Nelson Intermediate School staffroom, Titipahi Street, Nelson. Time: 7.30pm. Guest Judge:TBA
Cost: Gold Coin Donation

See entry details in previous article (above) & in Newsletter.

Deadline for entries: 20 July 2018.

FACEBOOK PAGE | Have your say | Publish photos

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Remember, ‘sharing is caring’... so keep all your comments positive on this forum. Here’s the link:













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