Camp Wainui – Round Ridge – Upper Graces Stream – Top Ledge – McKerrow – 680m – BB signpost – Bruces Track
Saturday 16 December 2006
The Camp Wainui area offers much scope if a leader uses initiative to include some off-track travel. Our party of 12 had a few of us recovering from injuries and illness, notably Glenys whom we were pleased to welcome back.
We left the lake about 8.30am on a fine morning. Our route was off the Scholl Track past the new hut to begin the steep climb towards the Round Ridge Track. Later on the ridge we passed the well-known track at 354m which leads to Graces Stream. Today we continued to Round Ridge gradually climbing to about 380m, to recognise the top of a feasible route which Michael B and I sorted out some months ago. That was after sidling on 80 degree faces! Now, our party trod carefully as there was greasiness underfoot after recent rain. The route reaches Upper Graces Stream (310m) only three minutes below the Top Forks. The party stopped here for photographs and refuelling.
Now for the ascent mostly south-east on an untracked route to the Top Ledge which Michael and I had previously checked out. Travel is good if one can latch onto an old deer trail which avoids denser parts of the forest by not always staying in a straight line. We reached the Top Ledge (520m) about 11.40am, which is joined by the other track. We turned to the south-east for easy climbing towards Mt. McKerrow. As we gained height we felt the cool north-westerly more because our spur became clearly defined. At Mt. McKerrow (706m) we found a sheltered lunch spot, made more comfortable by wearing wind-proofs.
The clouds rolled in after lunch, but no rain. The cold wind was unpleasant at the few clearings. Swampy sections caused amusement as heavier members sank in. We noticed that trappers’ routes had new designations. We passed 680m and continued to the BB signpost. Then west across to the firebreak from Sunny Grove finding the air warmer now. We used the Bruces Track to put us back into the Camp Wainui area. This track was in good order, and perhaps we were lucky that mossy pitches were dry. The old rope near the track bottom was rotting away, but there was thin vegetation to clutch so we descended safely to the small creek. Up the lip and on an old jeep track and footbridge back to the lake by 3.30pm. A very pleasant day for us, with Glenys feeling fine, which was important.
- Party members were
- Michael Bartlett, Edwin Bode, Michele Dickson, Dave Dyett, Glenys Evans, Masaki Kojima, Don McMaster, Lynne Pomare, Bruce Popplewell, Kerry Popplewell, Cathy Wylie, and Peter Jagger (leader and scribe).