Mt Matthews MF Sunday
April 14 2013
This day trip up Mt Matthews was ordinary in every way. Except for the matter of the ascent being mostly off-track, following a very physical route supplied by Colin Cook.
Passing the prominent orange triangle marking the normal track, we continued up an Orongorongo side stream. Actually, we travelled in the side stream, every dry square metre of stream-bed being colonised by Buddleia squatters. We thought we'd reached the forks where the bush climb started but it was hard to gauge the distance we'd covered in slowish stream travel. There was nothing we could see or take a bearing off to confirm where we were. We resorted to a GPS - a first for me…I bet Colin didn't have to do that. Anyway location awareness restored, we had to go another 10 minutes upstream.
Then the climb began up a spur that was always steep and in places covered by very dense scrub indeed. It lasted long enough that pretty much everyone had a go at leading and route-finding. The views back down the spur to the valley were surprisingly dramatic for such a non-alpine setting.
After gaining the normal track in the goblin forest near the top of Mt Matthews, the rest of the day was pretty standard stuff. On our way out we stopped by Waerenga Hut to see the Michael Taylor memorial wall which is an excellent piece of stonemasonry. We spent a while contemplating where so many angular, flat-sided stones had been found for this wall before continuing out.
After nearly a 10 hour day, we couldn't wait for Wainui fish and chips! Thanks to Daniel for organising and to Colin for the route info!
:Party members Patrick Arnold, Jane Boydon, Dave Grainger (scribe), Jeff McPhail, Daniel Rogerson (leader)