Tapokopoko Stream F
19 March 2014
No country for old men, this, not for elderly day-trippers anyway. In a ten hour day, little more than three hours was spent exploring the Tapokopoko Stream catchment. You really have to be able to move quickly to get to the top of the Rimutaka Range and still have plenty of time to take a good look down the other side.
Colin chose an excellent route from Greens Stream, though climbing over Browns Track to get there saves less time than it expends energy. There is a good track up the TR bank of Greens Stream to the first side stream, then a less good one through Buddleia and along the TL bank till almost as far as the spur we wanted, the one which starts between the next two close together TR side streams. It proved to have an old, recently trimmed track up it, a rewarding find. Mist had almost cleared as we reached the top, leaving wet undergrowth but allowing us views. Then straight over and down the other side on a prominent spur, at first through a pure meadow-like stand of tall mountain grass, till at about the 600m contour we turned east and dropped into the Tapokopoko Stream. Above us on the other side and continuing to the head of the valley was what David, looking at it from Papatahi on an earlier trip, had christened Table Mountain. It proved, though reasonably flat to walk along, not to have the breadth of a table. It is joined to the Main Range by a saddle between the Tapokopoko and Mukamuka Streams, steep on the one side and vertically eroded on the other: a few moments of exposure, if not as scary as it was 25 years ago when a jump was required.
Despite this awkward moment, the Tapokopoko valley, both its north and west branches, provides easier streams and well-bushed spurs compared with typical terrain on the western side of the Rimutakas. A pity it is almost out of day-trip range for some of us.
- Party members
- Robin Chesterfield, Colin Cook (leader), David Ogilvie, John Thomson (scribe), Lynne White and