Taits Stream Wednesday
19 January, 2011
The idea was to ascend from the Waiohine Valley to Rocky Knob, traverse ridges to bump 468, then descend to unravel the mysteries of the Taits Stream valley. Then up by a choice of ridges to Mt Reeves, to return along the track to the Waiohine.
But the Taits Stream valley is more like a large basin, blessed with a maze of streams, weaving about in all directions from various sub-catchments.
Bump 468 duly arrived and shortly afterwards, Taits Stream. Where along the stream had we landed? The air pressure was rising with the weather improvement, throwing into question the altimeter reading.
We could never get into a decent rhythm going up Taits Stream. It was untrustworthy underfoot. Delightful as the surrounds were, overhung by kiekie, it had a narrow, “closed-in” feel, with spurs always rising steeply to block the view. Tributaries appeared - were they tributaries or the main stream? Compass consultations happened. A good motto is: “If in doubt - eat”. A streamside sunny patch beckoned for lunch, but proved to be a bog, so we moved upstream a bit.
With time moving on, there was nothing for it but to ascend the spur above us. “All will then be revealed”, we thought. The spur turned into a beech-clothed ridge which seemed endless. The coprosma shrub undergrowth, with some emerging totara made one wish to be a contortionist of low stature. It was good to see patches of young maire. At the top, Colin climbed a tree with branches of dubious integrity, to discover Mt Reeves, half an hour away.
The high traverse of Mt Reeves on the track, with superb views to the north and west and in the late afternoon sun and fresh breeze, was just reward for our struggles.
A post-mortem, conducted by Colin, revealed that our route was as per the longer planned alternative – but with minor diversions in Taits’ nether regions.
- Party members
- Colin Cook, David Ogilvie, Bob Stephens, Peter Reimann(leader and scribe).