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«Winter Wonderland Quarterly Journal of the Wanganui Tramping Club (Inc) Tramper has a new Editor Our gratitude and ...»

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Aug 18: It‟s on the Gold Card for a free bus ride to Castlecliff then back along the Riverbank Walkway to our vehicles by Trafalgar Square. Wow – A record number of 37!!! On a lovely sunny day.

Sep 1: Linda Norton led a group of 32 from Pauri Road into Harakeke Forest out to South Beach and back through the forest. Cloudy, and two bikes as well.

Sep 15: Fine sunny morning when Carolyn took 14 walkers up and around Bastia Hill and Ikitara Road zig-zag. Going in reverse this time and including Dublin and City bridges.

Sep 29: A fine day, with 17 out for a walk over the Railway Bridge, through parts of Wanganui East to Kowhai Park for a comfort stop.

Returning to the club rooms over Dublin Street Bridge. Thanks to Carolyn for leading again.

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Keep those trip reports and photos coming in We‟ve taken a look at trip reports and have come up with some


 Include date of tramp, destination, leader and any information you think may be useful  Be concise and avoid longwinded detail  Include a highlight or two (maybe an item of interest for  Longdrop??)  No need to include names of participants if more than one vanload  Keep reports short: a quarter-page for one day tramp is ideal  Please remember to send along photos you think would go well No email? Handwritten contributions are perfectly acceptable. We‟d like to see more general items too, snippets you think would be amusing and interesting.

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BY UNCLE HAL Pam's lunchtime supplement Fruit salad in a sealed container topped with a little cream or yoghurt. The cream will mix itself in nicely with the fruit and makes a super supplement to the usual tramper's lunch. Borrowed from Pam Tarrant in club cook book

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Threatening weather, but 24 trampers enjoyed a great day with just some brief light drizzle. Basil, with his back-country Waitotara knowledge, encouraged me to lead this trip after visiting the lake just after the devastating storm of June 2015 which lowered Mangawhio Lake dramatically and destroyed its former serenity. We had been advised the way through was passable, and – not really knowing what to expect - decided on a cross over.

A good decision and we had the numbers.

The first group parked at Kaimanuka and walked a short distance on a „paper road‟ not requiring landowner permission. The Kaimanuka track leaves Waitotara valley about 4km from Kakaho Junction. The second group went to the other end of the track on Lakes Road, from Ngutuwera. At our end, it was gradually upwards all the way to the lake, a bit muddy in places but not too bad. We met the other group on the way, had a bit of a yarn and continued to our respective destinations. We had lunch at the lake, still very different from the serenity it once displayed. Obviously over time we might expect it to re-establish its uniqueness and continue to be a special place to visit. An interesting pause, and the lake, I‟m sure, will continue to change for a good while.

On we toddled, downhill now, coming to the site of the great ‟blowout‟ / collapse that caused the lake to drain to the lower level one sees today.

Having visited this part of the track before the 2015 storm, I noticed the landscape has become vast and bare looking. No pine forest – trees all cleared now. The huge new culvert and earthworks have created what looks like a four line highway - newly completed for access to properties we had passed earlier.

So, yes! We had a good day, finishing at the Waitotara Store with the usual ice cream treat.

Six Disks Wed 20 Jul 2016 Scribe: Esther Williams Forecast for 20 July: south west gales, avalanches likely in National Parks.

43 43 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 Therefore, Guide George advised the sheltered Six Disks Track in the forest east of Levin.

The Horowhenua basked in midweek sunlight, remote peaks dusted with snow. After trudging over a sun soaked soggy river flat we paused for a bite then entered the still forest of the Tararua foothills. The DoC sign indicated the junction to Gable End, Waiopehu and South Ohau Huts with one indication only for Six Disks. An arrow pointing the other way would improve the information, since this track is circular.

A pied tit appeared to challenge and welcome us; occasional bird song:

bellbird, grey warbler and robin. Strands of giant trees rimu and tawa overhead while sometimes we glimpsed pale blue fungi, like homes for miniscule gnomes appearing from the soil. As we ascended and descended, lots of human talk. Still warm and windless.

"It was quite taxing with the climbing. I enjoyed it immensely with lunch by the river."

The writer's once muddy Keen boots are scrubbed, awaiting Inspector George.

Trampers; Esther, Andrew, Barry H, Bruce, Cherry, David and Juliet, Royce, Margret, George, Margaret C.

Rangiwahia Hut, Ruahine Range Wed 27 Jul 2016 Scribe: Graham Sutcliffe

The weather report was not good but 23 turned out for a 7.30am start. The track to the hut is well formed and the gradient is good which makes it a popular track for families and school parties in both summer and winter. Leaving the vans at 9.30am we were all at the hut by 11.30am.

On the way up we experienced rain which had stopped by the time we had finished lunch. The track goes through a range of vegetation types from red beech forest through kaikawaka and leatherwood to tussock. On clear days there are views to Mt Ruapehu.

Those out on this day were Andra and Andy Beck, Brenda Collins, Sue Haden, Diane Harries, Tracey Hooper, Barry Hopper, Ken Howie, Royce Johnson, Juliet Kojis, Sue McBride, Margret McKinnon, George Neil, Suzanne Roberts, Sandra Rogers, Kevin Ross, David Scoullar, Bryan Shaw, Cherry Channon, Bruce Thomas, Esther Williams, and leaders Dorothy Symes and Graham Sutcliffe.

44 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 Mangamahu Meander Sun 31 Jul 2016 Scribe: Frances Gibbons With Brenda Collins and Frances Gibbons as leaders, we were sixteen in total. Although we departed Wanganui under gloomy and threatening skies, the optimists among us pointed out that the horizon to the east was noticeably lighter - and indeed conditions did improve as we travelled 45km to Mangamahu.

Welcomed by Brenda at the local hall, we then walked back along the road adjoining the Whangaehu River - fast-flowing, high and muddy after recent rain - then through pine forest on a road leading up to an airstrip and fertiliser store. From our vantage point we could view a patchwork of light and shade across the landscape immediately below us and on the distant hills.

Descending via a 45 degree ridge proved tricky – mud, mud and more mud – but all made it safely down to the road. We visited the local church (built in 1907), admiring the beautiful native-timbered interior and noticing two boards honouring men and women of the district who had made the supreme sacrifice in two world wars.

After lunch at the hall (with the luxury of hot water on tap for coffee, and flush toilets!) we wandered north, through another plantation and across country, making our way back along the road to the vans. My thanks to our drivers Dorothy and Earle, and to fellow trampers for their company on a day when, in spite of the Mangamahu mud, our meander was enhanced by reasonable weather.

Gourmet Meal tripSat-Sun 6-7 August 2016Scribe: Dave Scoullar

Our annual gourmet meal trip to Egmont National Park coincided with a southerly blast and snow dump that blocked roads to the huts, so we turned our backs on the mountain and ended up at the New Plymouth Top 10.

A brisk walk was taken along the Coastal Walkway before settling down to the main event - the meal. We celebrated with an Olympic theme as a succession of delicious dishes were consumed.

On Sunday the team walked further along the Coastal Walkway, climbed Paritutu or explored the nearby beach, and then drove to Lucy's Gully in the

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Harrex Forest, Rangitatau West Rd, Maxwell Thur 11 Aug Scribe: Don Gordon Twenty-one happy trampers and a fine day. We‟d been here before – pine forest on fairly steep country and muddy under foot. After an hour and a half, opens out on to paddocks grazing some quality bully beef. Then back in to forest, heading down to a known good spot for lunch. Maybe we were a bit slow and did not quite make it. Fed and watered, we set off re-tracing our steps.

Shortly we were to be reduced to twenty happy trampers: Katy went over and suffered what appeared to be a sprained ankle. She put on a brave face and made it back to the open ground. At this point it was clear she would need 46 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 assistance to get out. Our leader Earle convened a council of chiefs and the decision was made to set off the PLB.

So far so good. An hour passed and then Jan said she had weak cell phone reception. Another meeting of chiefs – decision, phone Police. Great decision, and Jan became our communications centre. Out of left field (really!) came Sandy Henare on his tractor. Yes he could help. Now Jan was tasked with sorting all this info out with the Police. The day was saved no helicopter.

The party had split - one half returning to their van, remainder to wait for Sandy‟s ute. At this point situation saved - drama over. Not quite. The return-to-van party „lost‟ a member, this communicated to us while waiting at Pukerimu Road. Our intrepid leader at this point was shuttled by Sandy.

Another meeting of chiefs plus Sandy: Walter and Ray to retrace the steps of our van one party. Meantime van one party returned to Rangitautau West Road and located our man. Phew!

The heroes in this exercise: Sandy (suitably acknowledged), Jan, Ray, Walter and Earle – for stress! The patient is recovering – fracture of the fibula. Thanks to you all for your support.

Wharite PeakWed 17 Aug 2016Scribe: Dave Scoullar

Oh dear, another DS trip that was meant to go over there but finished up over here. It's true. The promo said Egmont National Park but the reality was Wharite Peak. DS pleaded not guilty to wilful deception, explaining that snow levels ruled out the original plan.

As it happened the day was perfect for a wander up to Wharite Peak from Coppermine Creek, an enjoyable six hour there and back trip.

On trip: Dave Scoullar (leader), Cherry Channon, Margret McKinnon, Esther Williams, Tracey Hooper, Sue Haden, Royce Johnson, Ross McBeth, Ridgway Lythgoe, Mike Cole, Maura Skilton, George Neil, Graham Sutcliffe and Katharina Scheff (German visitor).

Ruapehu Summit in the Snow Sun 21 Aug 2016 Scribe: Diane Harries After a successful snowcraft course the week before, Royce and I headed out again with Mike Cole to the snowy slopes of Ruapehu. A Sunday with 47 47 The Wanganui Tramper November 2016 - January 2017 beautiful sunshine on the mountain meant that the skiers and snow boards were out in force, and we had to park down at car park number 9 on the Bruce Road. This meant we had to walk even further to get past the chalets before fitting crampons to our boots. Shane and his friend Niranjan, Tracey and Mike made up our group of six for the tramp up the snow to the summit.

Sometimes we followed trails and other times we worked our way straight up the gentler slopes, grateful for our ice axes and crampons to get traction on the slippery icy gradients. With the sunshine making the temperature pleasant, the melting ice formations resulted in many stunning photo stops.

One huge block of ice next to a metal track marker pole had melted unevenly, forming a window through which we could see the snow-capped summit of Ngauruhoe way below us across the valley.

On reaching the rim of the crater, we faced a bitterly cold wind coming across the summit, soon avoided by dropping back down below the rim, where three of us soaked up the view, while the others worked around the rim to the highest point. Returning with tales of slippery, icy, scary conditions, Shane reassured us that we would not have enjoyed their escapade around the rim. Our climb had taken four and a half hours to the rim, and had been worth every tiring step of the way, but going down was all play, stepping and sliding in the soft snow, and only taking half the time.

Definitely the tramp of the year for us!

Ruatiti Sat 20 Aug 2016 Scribe: Bruce Thomas

Roadworks on the Parapara meant a detour up Field‟s Track, then back to Raetihi to meet the Taumarunui group at Ohura Road corner. From there it was a slow, interesting trip to the beginning of the Mangapurua Road where the lone toilet attracted an instant queue.

Track conditions were good, with just the odd muddy puddle. After half an hour we stopped for morning tea with a perfect view of Ruapehu to the east, arriving at the McIntyre place right on lunch time. Going further to the trig and the new memorial was too far for this day (next time), so after lunch we retraced our steps back to the van.

As the trip was originally going to be based around Winston and Heather Oliver‟s place, we called there on our way home for a quick look around their garden and a very welcome cuppa from Winston. The day finished with an interesting return journey via the River Road.

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Dawson Falls, Wilkies Pools Plateau Wed 24 Aug 2016 Scribe: Graeme Ellett Another early pick up at Waitotara with Bruce organising the vans and Cherry the second van driver. The mountain was mostly clear, a lovely fine day to start with, and was a challenging sight/site for the 13 on the trip.

With a 9:00am, start up through the Goblin Forest of old kamahi trees till we reached the elevated board walk leading us to Wilkies Pools, named after a local farmer and mountain climber - the pools formed with water gouging out channels in 20000 year old lava formation.

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