Newsletter, March 2012


WELCOME > New Members:
Andrea Cockerton, Marijke Boers & Marie Firth

Download the printed version of the newsletter (10 pages colour), as a small 0.8-megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)


In early summer, our sunny city was subjected to a serious deluge during mid-December. Numerous slips careered off the hills, blocking traffic and causing havoc. Even the Abel Tasman track was closed.

Now I am being subjected to a similar deluge, this time a flood of trip reports, enough to fill up four newsletters. It’s all good; we’ve spent time in the Hills together, been to new places, fed a few more sandflies, and hopefully got fitter.

So, keep sending those trip reports in – you might win the club Writing Competition. And don’t forget the Compass & Map Training event which promises to be a highlight of the club calendar.

While I am certainly not an advocate of Reality TV, I was intrigued by the latest series of I Shouldn’t Be Alive, screening on TVOne on Tuesday nights. This overly-dramatised show features folk in the outdoors who find themselves in a spot of bother. So far we have seen the rescue of two females on the Three Passes trip, and Mad Pom from his remote ledge below Mt Sefton. Mad Pom, aka Matt Briggs, has written up his sordid 10-day ordeal, complete with broken bones, on the NZ Tramper website:

The biggest lesson Matt learnt was to remember to bring his Locator Beacon, as well as to communicate his intended route and panic date more accurately with another person.

An innovative new way to do the latter has been launched in conjunction with the Mountain Safety Council. The website is called Adventure Smart, where you can download and print Intentions Forms, or complete the process entirely on-line:

See you (alive) in the Hills...

Raymond Salisbury,

MEMBER PROFILE > Brenda Griffen

1. Occupation: I work for Sealord Group Ltd.

2. Where were you born? Levin. My parents farmed next to the Tararuas.

3. How long have you been a member? 4 years.

4. What benefits have you found being a member?  Good company, humour, hearing the stories of past adventures.

5. Best tramp: Climbing up to Bushline Hut, July 2011. The day was perfect with no wind, clear skies, plus a light snow fall. Once you are home and showered, all tramps are great!

6. Worst tramp: I sprained an ankle on Ben Nevis. ‘Twas rather painful coming down.

7. Funniest moment: Seeing my pack roll slowly down a steep ridge, and over the edge.

8. What future trips would you put on your ‘bucket list’? The Nelson region has plenty of destinations for me to see over the next couple of years.

2012 : CLUB NIGHTS > Put these dates in your diary.
7:30pm Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street. Gold Coin.

  • Monday 2 April > Speaker: Mike Glover
    ALASKA :
    Sea Kayaking, Canoeing & Hiking...
  • Monday 11 June > To be advised

View the winning entries NOW on our club website:

COMPASS & MAP TRAINING > for beginners & experts ~ 1–2 day option

Date: 28–29 April > RSVP to Mike Glover Ph 544 7955

Location: Glover family bach, Glenhope

Cost: $17 fuel.

Times: Start 9.00am Saturday.

Finish: approx. 2:30pm Sunday.

Topo Maps: M28 / BR24

Accommodation: Hut bunk space for 6.

Morning session starts around the table with compass familiarization, map reading and grid references. Put this knowledge into practice with a navigational exercise outside.

In the afternoon, learn to navigate using a map and compass – the easy way. Then, a full outdoor navigational exercise. A BBQ potluck tea is followed by GPS instruction. There are bunk spaces for six people, (or bring your own mattress or tent). You could stay over Friday night too.

Sunday morning will be spent in the bush to find set way points.

This is meant for everyone – make time for it, join in, learn, share.

RIVERSTONE MONORAIL > Submissions close 19 March

Although FMC is preparing a submission opposing this project, they strenuously encourage clubs and individuals to prepare their own submissions if they have strong views on the matter. FMC executive member contact is Peter Wilson :

Proposal: Fiordland Link are planning a catamaran voyage across Lake Wakitipu, an all-terrain journey overland to Mavora Lakes, then a 41km monorail from Kiwi Burn through tussock land, Snowdon Forest, to the terminus at Te Anau Downs. < Click here for more info >

DART–HOLLYFORD TUNNEL > Submissions closed 

Submissions on this proposal were due on 20 February – about the time that the FMC Newsletter was being distributed. FMC has prepared a substantial submission (with considerable effort from our Otago and Southland executive members) and this will be made available on our website in due course.

WRITING COMPETITION >The newsletter needs you!

To spice up our bi-monthly rag, and to motivate aspiring wordsmiths, the Editor has launched a club-wide competition.

Deadline: End of 2012. Prize: Voucher (to be advised)

Dust off your typewriter, and get writing. This could be your next trip report, or a proactive piece on the pleasure (or pain) of tramping. There’s no word limit, but a decent effort will probably score higher than just a few lines. Poetry and prose, (especially humour) are welcome.

Entries limited to members only.

Raymond Salisbury, EDITOR

POOR PETE'S HUT > Bigger & Better

A new two-bunk biv has been constructed at the site of the old Poor Pete’s Hut on the Matiri Plateau. (Kahurangi National Park.)

The old hut was virtually derelict, no longer suitable for habitation. It had been identified for removal, however it did provide an important stopover point for exploring the plataeu.

Thanks to some creative thinking by the Nelson Lakes staff, an old hunting biv became surplus to needs – a perfect opportunity to replace the old hut with a cheap and functional alternative.

Work commenced in July to refurbish the biv and over the winter months it was relined, insulated and painted. In January the old hut was removed and a new deck constructed with a small annex extending from the new biv. With extra inflating mattresses up to five people could bunk down in the biv and annex quite comfortably.

The old hut was flown out intact and is now located in Murchison. If anyone has any interest in the old hut please contact me.

Greg Carter
DOC Programme Manager,
Visitor & Historic Assets


Auckland University is conducting a poll regarding the use of back-country huts in NZ.

To do the on-line survey, go to: USERS



brendagriffen.jpg51.19 KB
poorpeteshut.jpg57.64 KB
ntc_nl_march_2012.pdf850.21 KB
flora_hut.jpg45.51 KB
boothshut.jpg53.24 KB
lodestone.jpg35.78 KB
luna_hut_party.jpg54.16 KB
slaty_hut.jpg49.84 KB