Newsletter, March 2019


Off the Radar | Editorial Comment 


I’ve recently returned from a month in the Hills.
I have darkened the door of a couple of iconic huts built in 1970 by the M.O.W. One was at Ivory Lake; the other was the lonely hut on Mackay Downs. Both were reached by bashing for many hours through tussock, scrub and wild spaniard.

At Larrikins Creek Hut, well off the tourist radar in southern Kahurangi, a seasoned local pleaded with me not to promote this piece of paradise. “Don’t tell everyone!” the veteran admonished. His precious, parochial views got me thinking…

There’s a delicate balance between over-promoting our wild places, and leaving them alone with no human footprint. As a landscape photographer, I wish to record and share the beauty of our wild places. I want others to enjoy the alpine ambience and spectacular scenery, in the hope that they too will become respectful caretakers of, and ambassadors for, our conservation estate.

But if photographers and writers stop publishing articles and images of our backcountry, eventually there would be a significant drop in visitor numbers, as the next generation become ignorant of the huts, tracks and natural features we hold so dear.

I believe that the more Kiwis who experience our wilderness - on foot - will equate to more folks who may adopt a sense of ownership and responsibility for our mountainous regions. It’s simple math:

A)  More trampers = more hut useage = more DOC funding … or

B)  More trampers = more lovers of NZ birds & bush = more conservationists

So, go ahead, share those photos, write those trip reports. Inspire other trampers to follow your boot prints and adopt your values. Maybe they will also fall in love with our wild places, take their children there, and help influence the next generation.

Ray Salisbury, Editor

Kate's Korner | Praying For Rain...


Hello fellow trampers!

I hope this newsletter finds you all well. Happy new year!

As we roll on into autumn all I am doing at the moment is praying for rain! We are all on edge after the recent fires and the risk isn’t over until we get a few decent downpours.

What a contrast to the past few summers where many a trip was cancelled due to the rainy weather, this long fine spell has now causes the closure of many of our favourite local tracks causing us to look further afield for our weekend jaunts. It’s a bit of feast or famine for us trampers!

As always we are looking for you lovely folks to put up great trips to keep the ball rolling. Please keep an eye on the programme and contribute where you can.

I hope to see you soon at a club or pub night or up in the Hills!

Kate Krawczyk, President

Obituary | David Blunt (1938-2019)

David was born and grew up in Christchurch. He moved to Nelson in 1963 as assistant engineer for the Waimea County Council followed by deputy engineer in 1970 and then consultant engineer to the Tasman District Council.

He was always active in the outdoors with memberships of the NZ Alpine Club, Waimea Tramping Club and Nelson Tramping Club. His early exploits in Nelson included many trips into Nelson Lakes National Park and what was to become Kahurangi National Park (opened in 1995 with David present).

He was very familiar with many mountains in these parks. His last ascent of Mt Arthur was in December 2017. He was a very competent climber with highlights of his ascents in the 1960’s being Mt Aspiring, The Minarets and Mt Cook.

David formally joined Nelson Tramping Club (NTC) in 2003 and immediately became very active, joining or leading many trips. This continued until recently when his health began to deteriorate. One of his more notable trips for NTC was in January 2005 when he took 23 participants up the Travers to John Tait Hut and guided 19 members to the summit of Mt Travers. His day trips were often to less common destinations, many requiring special permission from the landowner e.g. Pepin Island and Harris Farm. His trips were characterised by meticulous planning and a pep talk before starting so that little was left to chance.

Although his natural pace was rather brisk, he was always considerate of those of lesser fitness or ability. He willingly shared his considerable experience in the outdoors. This was generally on a 1:1 basis as he was uncomfortable addressing large groups. However, he did contribute to the success of the celebrations held for the 70th, 75th  and 80th anniversaries of NTC.

His forthrightness on issues he felt strongly about sometimes overshadowed his kind and generous nature. The latter aspect is illustrated by his many large donations to clubs and public bodies whose work he approved of in the areas of outdoor recreation and conservation. He paid for the purchase of one of the first PLBs owned by NTC.

Although his tramping kit was rather standard, he had a strong interest in technology. His enthusiasms included personal computers and photography. He was always snapping pics on trips with his little point-and-shoot camera and he was a keen participant in the NTC photography competition. He was an early acolyte of Photoshop and he could seamlessly add himself into group shots. Some NTC members were the butts of his humorous alterations to photographs.

Overall David will be missed by NTC for his steadfast and reliable support of club members and events. In particular his contributions to the club’s all-important trip programme have seldom been equalled in quantity or quality.

Pat Holland

HUTS & TRACKS | DOC Alerts as of early March 2019

Cable Bay Walkway is closed due to extreme fire danger.

Abel Tasman National Park

The Coast Track is open, but the following tracks & campsites are closed due to fire risk:

  1.   Inland Track & All Huts

  2.   Gibbs Hill Track

  3.   Falls River Track

  4.   Taupo Point & access track

  5.   Tinline Campsite

  6.   Anapai Campsite

  7.   Mutton Cove Campsite

Mt Richmond Forest Park

Due to fire danger, all access to tracks in Mt Richmond Forest Park through forestry land are closed until further notice.

It is only possible to enter/exit the Pelorus Track from SH6 at Pelorus Bridge via the Maungatapu Rd end, or through the Red Hills near St Arnaud.

Pelorus Track users must either be prepared to do an out and back tramp or follow the Te Araroa Trail and do the full trip of at least nine days between these two points of entry/exit.

Kahurangi National Park

Initial construction on the Matiri Hydro Electricity Scheme is being undertaken over the next 3 months. The 4WD road is being upgraded into a 2WD road all the way to the Matiri West Branch. More detailed access info is available here: Pioneer Energy website

Mt Arthur Hut: Due to the current dry conditions there is no

water supply here. Visitors are advised to carry their own water.

Queen Charlotte Track campsites

Due to a lack of rainfall, the water tanks at Black Rock and Bay of Many Coves campsite are either empty or very low.

Molesworth - Acheron Road

Due to extreme fire danger, the Acheron Road through Molesworth is closed until further notice. This includes the Severn to Sedgemere 4WD Road.

Sawcut Gorge/Isolated Hill

The Sawcut Gorge/Isolated Hill Route is closed due to earthquake damage. This is a long-term alert until at least November 2018.

Paparoa National Park

The country’s 10th Great Walk, the Paparoa Track is now scheduled to open in September. We tried to get a club booking for Easter, but due to the Pike Mine body recovery, DOC were not in a position to give us an early passage through the track.

Both  the Moonlight Tops Hut and Pororari Hut are closed to the public as they are being used by track construction crews.

The Croesus Track and Croesus-Moonlight Route are currently open.


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...

From your friendly Web & Newsletter Editor

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