This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in May 1998
Ohau Pipe Bridge - North Ohau - Square Knob - Waiti Stream
Saturday 14 February 1998
At the bridge, Glenys arranged car shuttling with Gordon, Bernard and Michael B, For Waiti Stream exit of the 10 of us later.
A hot, humid morning on the track to the battered Ohau Shelter.
The river was about 10cms above a summer low, so a few crossings gave wet shorts. Two shooters from Te Matawai confirmed rain in the last two days. Beyond Ohau Forks care was needed through the lower North Ohau gorge with greasy, wet rocks. At the first grassy clearing we had lunch, and a shower dampened the sandwiches.
Some of the next section of gorge was in waist-deep water, and three awkward sidles were best taken on the true left. These efforts provided excitement but slowness was inevitable. A few of us unwittingly got ahead on sharp gorge bends, not realising the others didn't see our route.
We regrouped at the next flat, where the old hut was. Then, Glenys, Michael B and I suggested a challenge new to all of us of climbing the spur opposite (west), which would be part of a different route towards Square Knob (one of our objectives).
This spur would gain about 350m/1150ft, and was very steep for half an hour. Michael B led all the way up. Luckily the going was mostly open, with some old windfalls to get round.
At the wet ridge top there was about one and a half kms of trackless going to Square Knob, mostly to the north (magnetic). Michael B, Bernard and I alternatively led and checked each other by compass. Soon, we identified bump 775m, then a descent NW noting some plastic markers. A swing back north, and the slow climb to bypass dracophyllum scrub and smelly pools up to Square Knob, for refreshments. Because of low mist, the Dundas - Arete Ridge could not been seen.
Then, I led off wrongly to the NW for a few minutes before realising, with new markers tending to confuse. Soon, back on the correct route to the west.
Just beyond the bush edge the absence of farm animals was evident by the growth of new saplings and long grass covering the old foot route. We were down to the road about 6.20pm.
Thanks Glenys For a most enjoyable trip, with a wide variety of terrain. The gorge travel and new spur will be remembered!!
- Members were
- Glenys Evans (leader), Michael Bartlett, Gordon McKenzie, Bernard Molloy, Sieny Pollard, Michael Hartley, Rhonda Billington, Teri Goh, Syd Moore and Peter Jagger (writer).