Newsletter, March 2011


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EDITORIAL COMMENT > A Chance to chat... 

Late summer seems to be the best season for bagging peaks and huts. (And for wasps bagging humans.) Indeed, a cursory read through our trip reports suggests that this is our busy season.

At least five peaks were climbed: Mt Travers, Mt Alex, Mt Patriarch, Mt Starveall and the Lodestone. Special thanks to our intrepid leaders, notably Ruth, who continually stick their necks out for us.

Regarding the bagging of backcountry huts: check out the March edition of NZ Wilderness magazine. Our very own Glover family have been profiled by the roving editor, Shaun Barnett – hang, even young Dion is mentioned. I added a glossy photo and poem to really make it a club feature.

Well done to Wade Glover, who has officially bagged more than 200 huts, an impressive feat at the tender age of only 15. He will, no doubt, beat Dion and my totals in the next few years.

Congrats also goes to Ray Caird, whose winning photo has been selected to adorn the FMC Discount Card for the next 12 months.

If you are a regular trip leader, or wish to be, please attend our Chew The Fat forum on 21 March. The committee have tried to disguise the event by supplying free pizza to attendees. But it’s really a timely chance to chat about what we’re doing, and ensure we’re all on the same page. And how we can ensure everyone on our trips enjoys themselves. (See the details > click here.)

A big thanks to Uta, David and Jim for the excellent work they do in producing the Programme every second month – this doesn’t happen automatically without effort and perseverance.

See you in the hills...(or huts!)

Raymond Salisbury, EDITOR

2011 CLUB NIGHTS > Put these dates in your diary.
7:30pm Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street. Gold Coin.

Monday 4 April > Guest speaker: Paul Kilgour

> Profiled in the FMC Bulletin last year, Paul has visited over 1,000 backcountry huts.

  • Monday 21 March > Trip Leaders TRAINING > See advert below
  • Monday 4 April > Paul Kilgour, Golden Bay Tramping Club, Hut-Bagger Extraordinaire
  • Monday 13 June > Martin Rodd, DOC officer & tramper
  • Monday 1 August > TBA
  • Monday 3 October > TBA
  • Monday 5 December 2011 > Annual Photo Competition



1. Place of birth: Richmond.

2. Job: Retired – but not as grandmother.

3. Been a member for: Nearly 8 years.

4. How I’ve benefited from NTC: I enjoy the company and have learnt heaps.

5. My best trip: Every trip is a ‘best trip’. However, as a child I remember looking up at the mountains and lake, then asking Dad “what was up there?” So, one day he took me up the St Arnaud Range. I decided then that I wanted to see more.

6. My worst trip: When my daughter twisted her knee behind the Dun. It was a long way for her over Little Twin and back to the Maitai.

7. My stupidest moment: Not having labelled my freezer bags, I mistakenly took frozen beans instead of dehy mince. They thawed and leaked on the matches.

8. My scariest moment: Taking the wrong route up Sunrise Peak – the gravel/rock chute got steeper ... I was too scared to go up, but managed to edge across the crumble onto snowgrass. As I hoisted myself up the last few steps on to the ridge, I resolved to find the cairns marking the route down.

9. My favourite tramping hut: Huts are always welcome, but I do like Kiwi Saddle Hut.

10. What wild place would I put at the top of my ‘bucket list?’ One day, I would like to go from Old Man to Rintoul. (Mt Richmond Forest Park.)

< I N V I T A T I O N >

CHEW THE FAT > NTC Trip Leaders Forum 

Monday 21 March

The club is hosting an evening for all our trip leaders (and aspiring leaders) to share experiences and discuss any problems that are likely to occur and how to deal with them.

The aim is increase your confidence and enjoyment on trips, and to help you reduce risks.

We will cover a brief overview on:

  • Pre-trip documentation
  • Pre-trip briefing
  • Risk management
  • Emergency strategy
  • Restriction to participation
  • People management
  • What to do if lost – from both lost and searchers’ perspective
  • Question time

> > > Bring along one experience from a trip that was a bit tricky/sticky to share with the group.

Come and Chew the Fat with your fellow trip leaders.

Pizza supper and drinks will be provided free.

Where: Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street, Nelson South.

When: 7pm Monday 21st March.

RSVP by: Wednesday 16th March to Jo Kay: Tel: 544 9666,

HELP WANTED < Brook Sanctuary >

There are jobs on the trap lines for trampers keen to help and also get some exercise at the same time.

A) It would be helpful to the project if trampers sighting banded robins could report the number of birds, the sex, if possible the colour of the band or bands and the location, to contact us:

   Phone: 546 9175,   ext. 683

B) As you are probably aware a trapping programme is underway to protect the Robin and other birds. The commitment for most trappers is one visit (of generally 2 – 4 hours depending on the location of the line you choose to work on) per month, but more often if you wish.

Anyone wishing to be involved contact Arthur Jonas: Phone: 545 1238, E-mail:

The boundary of the Sanctuary comprises the firebreak from the Brook Valley to Jenkins Hill, across to Third House, and down the Dun Line.  I am sure your members walk this route from time to time.

 A project currently undertaken within the Sanctuary involves the banding of Robins. There are communities of robins near the upper part of the firebreak and at several locations between Jenkins Hill and the Dun Line.

Save the Mokihinui River > CAMPAIGN

Meridian plans to drown one of our most pristine rivers, the West Coast’s Mokihinui, by building an 85-metre-high dam.

In February, Federated Mountain Clubs president, Richard Davies, along with Forest & Bird, White-water NZ and three members of parliament visited Meridian’s Wellington office to ask the state-owned electricity generator to save this wild river and the 16 threatened bird species that call it home. The Department of Conservation opposes this destruction of 330 hectares of rainforest and river-bed on public conservation land - Land that DoC administers on behalf of all New Zealanders. But Meridian won’t take no for an answer! YOU can help protect the Mokihinui River.

Please send Meridian an e-card asking the company to save this wild river via the following link: