Newsletter, September 2013


Download the printed version of the newsletter (10 pages colour), as a small 1.2 megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)

MEMBER PROFILE > Chris Louth > Programme Co-ordinator

1. Country of origin: Hertfordshire, England

2. Occupation: very retired Graphic Artist.

3. Been a member of NTC for: 2 years.

4. How has being a member benefitted you?

It gets you to places you haven’t known about and probably would never go to. Then there’s the good company with a few laughs along the way. Also keeps my impatience and impetuosity in check a bit.

5. Best trip: Can’t go past one I did many times while living near Cairns, Australia:

4–5 easy days down the seaward coast of Hinchinbrook, a mountainous island off the coast of Far North Queensland. Magnificent beaches, warm weather, warm water and loads of wildlife. Even a saltwater croc or two.

6. Worst trip: Coming down from Rintoul Hut, over Bishop’s Cap and into the Lee Valley - a very erroneously DOC-designated bad weather escape route. Halfway down, the track was obliterated by windfalls and I spent the best part of two hours to the valley floor pushing through gorse and bush lawyer.

Fell over countless times and got ripped to shreds. Had to stop at a creek on the way out to clean all the blood off before my wife Carole, who was meeting me, saw it and banned me from ever leaving the house again!

7. Funniest moment: A long night with a nutter (it’s one of those “it wasn’t funny at the time” events).

I was spending the night before New Year’s at Roebuck Hut. Thought I had the hut to myself until at about 9.30pm there was a thud, thud, thud up the steps and the door banged open. It was a big, fat, hairy bikie-type and his two ugly pig dogs. No gun though, thank God.

He introduced himself without a word by puking in the middle of the floor.

So began a very long night.

He lit the wood burner to cook on and ramped it up to blast furnace intensity (in an already hot hut) and alternated between baby-talking to his dogs and abusing and kicking them. At one time he was chasing one of them around outside with the hut axe! He had no food for them and said that when they got hungry enough they’d kill something.

All the while he was banging around he kept up a continuous conversation. Not to me though – it was like he vocalised every thought that went through his head.

When he finally went to bed at about 2am, typically of the inconsiderate ones, he fell asleep instantly and started snoring like a farting camel.

Shortly after, there was a huge bang in the hut and we both jumped up thinking someone was shooting through it. A firebrick had exploded.

Back to bed for a while till he started screaming like a banshee. He’d got cramp in his legs and was tangled up in his sleeping bag and couldn’t get out.

At first light I packed in record time, edged past the mangy mutts in the doorway and was out of there.

8. Scariest moment: The answer could be the same as to the last question!

I’ve had a few, usually caused by making bad decisions or not stopping to think for a minute. Afterwards I always think “You silly sod, that could have ended badly. Be careful”.

9. Favourite hut: I like to be comfortable after a hard day so any one that is warm and not too crowded.

10. Bucket list: I’ve seen a fair bit of the top of the South but there’s still a lot of country left to visit further afield.

CLUBNITES > Put on your calendar!

Monday 16 September > Club Pub Nite
Social Night @ Rob Roy's pub - Queen Street, Richmond
Bring Park Maps and meet new people!

7pm > Committee Mtg earlier at 6pm

Monday 7 October > Guest Speaker: Phil Rossiter

Phil Rossiter is the Chairman of the Mokihinui-Lyell Trust Board and will speak on the development of the Old Ghost Road.

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

Monday 2 December > Club Photo Competition

Our club’s annual, informal social get-together around the table...
a chance to show off your skills with a camera - and show us where you’ve been tramping all year.

Check out the Rules and Categories here

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

PHOTO COMPETITION > Information & Rules

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 2 December. Place: Nelson Intermediate School staffroom, Titipahi Street, Nelson. Time: 7.30pm. Guest Judge: Don Pittham

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 December. Images should be no larger than 2Mbytes. Email:


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

•   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 & 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 Camera Shop 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 mood 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 NTC Photo Galleries webpage.

TRACK & HUT UPDATES > DOC website alerts

Abel Tasman Coast Track:

Anchorage Hut is being removed from 6 May 2013 to make way for a new hut being built on the site. There will be no hut accommodation at Anchorage until the new hut opens around 5 November. Camping is available.

Wairau–Hanmer Hydro Road:

Rainbow Road between Hanmer Springs and St Arnaud: The gate on the road is now locked.

Contact the farm manager:
03 521 1838. For more info: visit Lone Star Farms website

“It is not a public area and any use is a revocable privilege granted by the Leaseholder.”

Mt Richmond Forest Park:

The bridge over Hacket Stream to Whispering Falls has been destroyed – this track is now closed.

Kahurangi National Park:

The Graham Valley Road is, once again, closed due to a giant slip in May which blocked access to Flora Saddle and Mt Arthur.

Late last year the old Chaffey Hut in the Cobb Valley was restored in a joint effort by NZDA members assisted by DOC. Built in 1953-1954; the dilapidated two-bunk hut is a favourite stopping point on trips to Fenella Hut, further up the Cobb Valley.

E-BOOK for KINDLE > Cape To Cape

Ray Salisbury has re-published his epic 80-day traverse of the North Island mountains, Cape To Cape.

His book, in easy-to-read journal format, is now available as a digital download for Kindle, iPod, tablets or your smart phone.

Click here to read a sample or buy:

The price is only $7.00 NZD. Great for a Xmas treat!

2-PERSON TENT > Club Tent available

Hidden away in Mark Steven’s Stoke garage is a range of tramping gear that’s available to club members, including ice axes & crampons.

On several tramps this year, I have carried the two-person tent pictured above, and can verify it is waterproof and lightweight.


Brand: The Great Outdoors
Model: Pioneer 2
Weight: 3.2 kg max
Height: 110cm
Construction: 2-hoop alloy frame, PVC-coated nylon floor, seam-sealed ripstop nylon fly.


  • Dome variety
  • 2 entry doors with foyers
  • 2 Insect-proof mesh doors
  • Interior pockets for items

Erecting the tent is a bit tricky, until you realise that one pole is longer than the other, and which way the fly goes.

Ray Salisbury, Editor

NEW FREEZE-DRI MEALS > Absolute Wilderness

We’re a Stoke-based company producing freeze dried meals that taste amazing, are super simple to use and are packed full of the nutrients you need in the outdoors. We’re exclusively available in Rollos, Nelson and online.

Food should taste good wherever you are


Don Schwass, who has worked for search and rescue in Nelson for decades, kindly spoke at a recent club night.

Don also provides the only FREE monitored tramping intentions service. Check out Adventure Buddy on-line:

If you need to hire tramping boots, tents, beacons, or even clothing...
Phone: 547 4817 > Cellphone: 021 111 1177







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