Newsletter, November 2011


Welcome to new members:
Roger & Maureen Cotton   ... & ... Mary & Henry Hsu 

Download the printed version of the newsletter (6 pages colour), as a 0.5-megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)


You can often tell when you’re nearing a back-country hut. A tell-tale pillar of white woodsmoke might betray the hut’s location, wafting above the forest canopy. You might hear human voices nearby. The track gets remarkably easier, with clearings for camping, felled trees for firewood, a network of access tracks to the longdrop or river.

Sometimes you will see the ubiquitous dunny poking through the shrubbery, or perhaps, a few dog kennels scattered about.

If you’re the first to arrive at a hut, you have the privelege of bagging a bunk, or boiling a billy for late arrivals. Firewood may need gathering, and water collected from a nearby stream. And, in timeless tradition, the hut’s logbook, usually green, will be read, laughed at, and added to. Candles lit, card games played, or books read.

Dinner must be concocted according to individual taste, be it one-minute noodles or a three-course banquet incorporating fresh produce, wine and dessert. As the interior darkens, shadowy silhouettes are seen manoevering around the cooking bench, competing for space, headlights beaming into pots like surgeons conducting an operation.

By 9 o’clock it is usual for folk to hit the pit...
...and then it starts. Sometimes like a freight train,
the snoring stranger has you disappearing into your sack, cursing silently, hoping against hope. Sometimes it’s just a humble rumble and you drift off into blessed oblivion, listening to heavy rain hammer the anorexic tin ceiling above you – glad to have a roof over your head.

Raymond Salisbury, HUT-BRAGGER


1. Occupation: Conservation Worker.

2. Where were you born? Born in Bandung Java, Indonesia. Home town is Benhar, South Otago.

3. How long have you been a member? Approximately ten years.

4. What benefits have you found being a member? Good company & shared outdoor experience.

5. Best tramp: None are above the rest, they have all been special in their own way.

6. Worst tramp: Lake Manapouri area, we got flooded out, almost washed-out actually.
7. Funniest moment: Our party were running late and ran out of daylight.
We decided to take a short-cut down a ridge. I suspected that there was a bluff coming up and ended up walking over the edge of it, landing in a boggy swamp! (My friends thought it was hilarious.)
8. Favourite hut: One of my favourites would be Vigins Rock Shelter, hidden in the Mt Arthur Range (Lesley River area).
9. What future trips would you put on your ‘bucket list’? A return to the Milford Track area, e.g. Neal Burn.

2011 : FINAL CLUB NIGHT > Put this date in your diary.

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

  • Monday 5 December 2011 > Annual Photo Competition

PHOTO COMPETITION > Rules (same as for 2010)

Dig through those shots from the past year. Get those pics printed out & ready for judgement. Come along to enjoy the fun, wine, cheese and nibbles, and social atmosphere of this last club night of the year.

Date: Monday 5 December.
Place: Nelson Intermediate School staffroom, Titipahi Street, Nelson.
Time: 7.30pm. Guest Judge: Barry Doig

National Competition:

The club competition is aligned with the national competition. The winners from our club will have their photos sent off to Wellington. National winners will have their photos printed in the FMC Bulletin, and receive prizes.

Rolling Slideshow:

A rolling slideshow will also be held at the club night of pics people submit to Ray Salisbury by e-mail before 4 December. Images should be no larger than 1024 x 728 pixels. Mainly entries, but could include other favourite images. Email:


All photos need to meet the following criteria for judging by Barry Doig:

• Prints must be 6 x 4 inches in size.

• Photos are to have been taken within the past 12 months.

• No manipulated photos (except for cropping, colour correcting, sharpening.)
Exception is category 7 below.

• Person submitting the photo must be person who has set up the photo.

• Entries are limited to three prints / per category / per person

• First Place-getters from each category will receive a voucher. 1st, 2nd & 3rd get a certificate.

• On the back of the print put the category and the title of the picture.

• Do not include the name of the entrant.


1. Landscape (no people)

This includes wide angle shots (which may even be predominantly sea or sky) or an ‘in your face’ close-up (a rock in a stream or part of a tree). What’s important is that the feel of the landscape which is being captured comes through in the image. It’s acceptable to include man-made structures (huts, power lines, sign posts, etc.) providing they add to the scene.

2. Hut or Camp Life (including portraits)

3. Above the bushline (people allowed)

4. Below the bushline (people allowed)

5. Nature flora & fauna (no people)

Informative, artistic images showing non-domestic flora and fauna (so no garden roses, cats or dogs). Geological or meteorological phenomena, (e.g. dramatic clouds, formations or details of rock strata are also acceptable if they are accurately titled). Ensure that the shot is as sharp as you can make it, that the subject is large in the picture and that the background is not intrusive. The ‘hand of man’ should be avoided – no fences, power lines, buildings, etc. Try to give an accepted common name, or a formal Latin name for the title.

6. Historic

Pre-1980, featuring an aspect of club life. Black & white encouraged but not essential.

7. Anything Goes (Not an FMC category – just NTC.)

Includes humour and manipulated images. Also, larger format prints, panoramics, and shots older than 12 months can be submitted here.

8. People’s Choice (Not an FMC category – just NTC.)

Attendees vote on their favourite amongst all the pictures on offer.

Winning photos from previous year’s competitions can be viewed on the Photo Galleries webpage.

Contact Pat Holland > Phone: 539 1340. E-mail:


2011–2012 PROGRAMME :

  • River Crossing & Safety
    3 Dec 2011 > COST: $30
  • Intermediate Navigation
    25–26 Feb 2012 > COST: $50
  • Outdoor First Aid
    17/18 March 2012, & 8–9 Sept 2012 > COST: $180
  • Outdoor First Aid Revalidation
    18 Aug 2012
  • Advanced Alpine
    25–26 Aug 2012 > COST: $175



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

BIG BEACH CLEAN-UP > we need you!

Date: Saturday 19 November
Bob Janssen 548 6118,  Pat Holland 539 1340.
Location: Boulder Bank: sewage ponds up to baches
Start at 8am.

The Big Beach Clean-up is a chance for us to come together as a community to clear rubbish from our beaches to make them safer, more attractive and enjoyable for ourselves, our visitors and our wildlife.

>>>The brief for our club: pick up and carry out rubbish on the Boulder Bank from oxidation ponds at Wakapuaka to cottages (inner and outer coastlines). It is on the trip list and but we need a big turnout to enable a good result without too much strain on the participants.

It should be a nice day out, or perhaps only the morning. We will include some social events. We are planning an 8am start from the sewage ponds (turnoff left from main road before the Glenduan road). Also pickups from Cathedral steps 7:45am.

Big plastic bags are supplied but bring good gloves & wear boots.


The Scouting movement in NZ has seen a record increase of about 5% in membership.

They need YOU to volunteer. If you are an ex-Scout member, you could become a leader, donate money, or join the Youth Foundation which works tirelessly in the background to help fund events.



NEW MACPAC STORE > Members get 20% discounts

Instead of the normal 10% on showing your FMC membership card, also sign up to join the Macpac Wilderness Club, and get a whopping 20% off.

Note that the Nelson store has now moved to Trafalgar Street.

PIPELINE RECONSTRUCTION > Maitai Valley road closure

Your Sunday drives to the Maitai Dam will need to be curbed this summer. Work is starting on a new 7km secondary water pipeline. The current pipeline is 47 years old and is showing its age

The road will be closed to traffic for the duration of Stage One until May 2012. Hikers and bikers will still be able to use walking & biking tracks which will extend to Smith’s Ford Bridge.


A light-weight KANNAD personal locator beacon has now been purchased, bringing our club's total tally to FIVE. 

Book a beacon for your next trip at:
Basecamp store, top end of Trafalgar St beside 1903 Square.
(Thanks to shop owners Hec & Gillian!)


DOC UPDATES > Huts, Tracks & Roads damaged

For latest track conditions, go to:

For recent track or road washouts & warnings, go to the FMC link: