Newsletter, November 2012

Norm Lovelock


Download the printed version of the newsletter (8 pages colour), as a small 1-megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)

MEMBER PROFILE > Silvano Lorandi

1. Occupation: Builder and so far happy to be.

2. Where was I born? In Sovere; a village in northern Italy. Probably because it is located in a valley floor with mountains all around I developed the curiosity of climbing mountains so I could see what there is on the other side.

3. How long have I been a member? 2 years.

4. What benefits have I found being a member? What benefits have you found being a member? Being part of an active group of people that enjoy being in the mountains.

5. Best tramp: The GR20 on the mediterranean island of Corsica. Great scenery, wild places, beautiful weather and I shared the experience with some great friends.

6. Worst tramp/scariest moment: On the top of Piz Bernina (Italy/Switzerland), we climbed the northern ridge and reached the top together with a summer storm coming from the south, sending bolts of lightning onto the mountains.

With nowhere to hide, we started running down the steep rocky ridge with waves of electricity passing over our heads.

7. Funniest moment: After walking the Sentiero Roma in Val Masino, Italy, one of us hitchhiked to retrieve the car, a few km away. We waited for an hour, then saw our car coming. We smiled and we waved, but to our amazement,
he drove past us! Daydreaming, he kept driving for quite a while before he realised his mistake.

8. Bucket List: Probably Mount Aspiring or anywhere that there is a mountain to climb, just to see what there is on the other side.


There are a number of items of interest on our club calendar; stuff I need to bring to the fore.

I have previously written about the driven, fast-paced society we now live in, with it’s instant coffee and instant messaging. Where taste is sacrificed for speed, and meaningful, unambiguous communication is traded for trivia.

Have you ever mused over the difference between information, knowledge and wisdom? Today we consume information in bite-sized snippets via our smartphones which are deluged by status updates. Or we are bombarded with easily-digestible bits of info that scrolls along the bottom of our TV screens. Or tweets, or short, abbreviated TXTs. (Ever wondered why ‘abbreviated’ is such a long word?)

I believe the missing ingredient is TIME. Time to process information, and turn it into knowledge. Time to analyse, test and put that ‘deep knowledge’ into practise - it may lead down the path toward wisdom.

It has been suggested that in this Net-Generation, we are more aware of the world around us, but we actually know less.

This has got me comparing myself, a professed hut-bagger, who will darken the door of a dwelling, ‘bag’ it with his camera, and run off ... with the average Kiwi hunter - a very different species indeed. Many of the blokes with guns I run into go time after time to ‘their’ patch of terra firma. Returning to the same piece of mountain real estate, in different seasons, can slowly develop in you a real affinity with the land.

So, next time you go bush, why not make it more than a passing visit? Slow down. Listen. Smell. Touch. A bunch of pixels cannot replace your God-given senses. You might feel what Robin Morrison called ‘a sense of place’.

Do less, better...

Ray Salisbury, EDITOR

FLORA HUT – the journey begins...

A decision has been formalised by the NTC at its September Committee meeting to enter into an agreement with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to provide unskilled labour to assist in the maintenance of Flora Hut, by the Arthur Range in Kahurangi National Park.

The idea first came about after the tragic loss of Ruth Hesselyn in March this year, when various club members were searching for ways to pay tribute to the memory, and at the same time recognise her outstanding contribution to the club and to the mountain lands that she, like us all, loved with a passion. Ruth was also a member of Friends of Flora, a group dedicated to eradicating predators of birdlife, so the Flora Stream area seemed like a great place for the Club to zero in on.

The consultation process between the Club and DOC has not been rushed and has involved several emails, two face-to-face meetings and a special club night meeting in September (25 members attended) where there was very strong support for the proposal with some even asking “when do we get started?”.

While a formal agreement has not yet been entered into with DOC, the intention is to have an exchange of letters, with the understanding being that, over the next two years, NTC will assist DOC with three weekend working bees to carry out maintenance work on Flora Hut.

Obviously, there is no rush to consummate this agreement as Mt. Arthur Tableland lovers continue to be frustrated by the closure of the Graham Valley Road, through a massive slip that has shut off access to the Mt. Arthur carpark. DOC are hoping to have the road opened just before Christmas, but cutting a safe path through the slip is proving challenging, as more debris from above keeps compounding what is a very difficult and dangerous road clearance exercise.

In talking with Sherp Tucker at the September club night – a man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of our mountain lands and their history – he mentioned that NTC has, on previous occasions, had association with the building and /or maintenance of five huts, so ‘taking on’ Flora Hut is nothing new to the club.

DOC also mentioned that within the next two years plan they to rebuild Mount Arthur Hut. Part of their motivation is to inspire Intermediate-age children back into the mountains. The hut will be designed to have plenty of living and teaching space, so by working through the schools DOC aims to get younger people venturing into what we all know to be a most magical area.

Why do I mention these DOC plans? Well, of course Flora Hut is just a little bit further beyond, a short trot down the hill from Mt. Arthur Hut, and so Flora Hut could possibly coat-tail off this greater level of activity.

Anything we can do as a club to re-invent ourselves has got to be good. The average age of our members is moving inexorably upwards, so unless we become lateral thinking as to how we might encourage younger members into our ranks we, like the Kokako, remain teetering on a very slippery slope!

In discussions with DOC the Club will be allowed to put up promotional material or interpretative panels that can inform interested members of the public what our club is about, what we do and how they might enrich their own lives by becoming a club member.

So, what began as a means to commemorate the life of Ruth, (and we will do so by putting a plaque in Flora Hut), has since taken on greater dimensions. Many club members see this as a way to fulfil their own needs as trampers and give something back to a place that has given them so much enjoyment.

In absolute terms, the commitment we as Club are making is not at all large, but it is a fantastic way for those that are able to take part in the working bees to give something back. Even those that can’t weld a hammer or a paintbrush will be encouraged to attend, to keep the ‘billy on the boil’ and participate in what could very likely become ‘festive picnic weekends’.

And all the while, we will be able to say we played our part in preserving a little bit of mountain heritage by ensuring the preservation of Flora – a hut that evokes memories for many of us, of the way huts used to be when we as youngsters first began our tramping careers.

For me, the decision by the NTC to take on Flora Hut is a small investment, but one that will provide a many-fold payback for us all.

I look forward to your support with this project,

Lawrie Halkett

PS. DOC have provided the Club with some very useful background information on Flora Hut. This will very soon be posted to the NTC website.

PHOTO COMPETITION > Rules (same as for 2011)

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 3 December.
Place: Nelson Intermediate School staffroom, Titipahi Street, Nelson.
Time: 7.30pm. Guest Judge: Peter Wise

National FMC 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 FMC's The Bulletin, and receive great prizes.
(e.g. Craig Potton books, headlamps, etc.)

A brand new trophy in memorium to Ruth Hesselyn will be awarded to the People's Choice winner.

Rolling Slideshow:

A rolling slideshow will also be held at the club night of pics people submit to Ray Salisbury by e-mail before 1st 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 Peter Wise:

• 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.
>>> A brand new trophy in memorium to Ruth Hesselyn will be awarded to the People's Choice winner.

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

Contact Ray Salisbury > Ph: 546 8060. Email:

CLUBNITES > Put on your calendar!
7:30pm Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street. Gold coin donation.

Monday 3 December > Annual Photo Competition
Guest Speaker: Peter Wise

Our annual social get-together around the table, and a chance to show us where you've been this year with your camera.

Monday 11 February > Show 'n' Tell
Guest Speaker: YOU!

Show us your photos of your summer adventures in The Hills.
Max. time = 10 mins per person.
Contact Ray Salisbury > Ph: 546 8060 for techie info.

DISCOUNT AVAILABLE AT > Makarora Tourist Centre, Haast highway

  • $25 per night accommodation.
  • $12 per person in a tent.
  • Use of our Top Lodge. This includes kitchen, log burner, T& V.

Deal applies to groups of TEN or more Tramping Club members.


BIG BEACH CLEAN-UP > Sat 10 November

Wanna get fit and give something back to the Community?

We need about 6 members to pick up garbage along the foreshore below Cable Bay walkway.

We’ll leave The Glen at 9am, climbing up and along the walkway, then drop down from the saddle to Horoirangi Marine Reserve, walking out along the coastline back to Glenduan.

Low-tide is at 2.25pm, which is perfect.

Because we’re also running a promotional stall at the Outdoor Rec. Expo the same weekend, we need extra person-power!

Interested volunteers please contact the secretary by phone: 539 1340 or email Pat Holland.


Tahunanui Rec. Reserve > 10am–4pm

We need about six members to man a promotional stall at Nelson’s inaugural Outdoor Recreation Expo funded by Sport Tasman. Clubs were given free registration!

Interested volunteers can contact Ray Salisbury: Ph: 546 8060.
Website information:

WATER TAXI > Lake Rotoiti transport

The Lake Rotoiti water taxi is back in action, with a new vessel, the Korimako, a 5.8mtr (19 foot) five-year-old Naiad water taxi.

  • Load: 7 passengers & packs.
  • Trip time to lakehead: 15 mins.
  • Cost: $100 for up to 4 people.
  • $25 per additional person.

During the peak season there’s a back loading fare of $30 per person.

Hamish Simpson - Owner
Lake Rotoiti Water Taxi

FOR SALE > 2nd hand stuff

  1. Women’s Tramping Boots: La Sportiva, Vibram soles, seude upper. Size: UK 6, US 8. Good condition, not used much. $200.
    Lynette Salisbury > Phone 546 8060.
  2. 3-person tunnel tent:
    Great Outdoors Discovery - $150
    Good condition, although bag needs replacing.
    Similar but wider to Macpac Olympus)
    Ray Salisbury > Phone 546 8060.

GRAHAM VALLEY > Mt Arthur access & THE slip...

Above is a photo sent to me by Mark Townsend showing the big slip at the top of the Graham Valley gorge. It is quite a dangerous place to be working on with the material being a mixture or rock and mud. The road which is down below out of the picture is covered by the slip and they are slowly working their way down from a temporary access track above and clearing the slip material as they go.

I have had a word with the geotech engineer who tells me that after getting down to the road they propose to put in a bund wall on the inside to collect any rocks that come down afterwards. Apparently the top part of the slip is steeper than the lower part and will have to be drilled and blasted so that it all ends up on a uniform grade.

It is quite a challenging exercise in which the weather will play an important part as to when the job will be finished. (Probably before Christmas, according to DOC. - Ed.)

David Blunt