A foray into the top of Taits Stream
29 April, 2015
Taits Stream has a big catchment for a stream relatively little known, its watershed extending from Rocky Knob to Mt Reeves and around almost to Mt Tauherenikau. Other parts of the stream are not unknown to Colin, our leader, but this outing was to explore some of its north-eastern headwaters. So up the more than a hundred year-old Southern Crossing track we went as far as the top of Reeves, where we abandoned ourselves to ‘the burn’. I hadn’t realized how extensive that fire had been. The western side of Reeves was described as being already burnt in 1918, and presumably the rest of the burn dates from before then too. How slowly scrub cover has returned! In our descent down the spur south of Reeves to about the 650m contour, it was never difficult to see out over the top of the scrub, nor was it difficult to make our way through it. On the way we passed a rock pillar1 – a ‘gendarme’ – very like the one on the track up to .712 from Abbot Creek.
The plan was to drop off the east side of that spur just short of the forks, cross over and make for what the map indicated to Colin was a saddle, down again and across the larger branch draining the north-eastern part of the catchment and so gain the spur running from .468 back up to Rocky Knob. The going had been reasonably gentle until we neared the end of the spur but the creeks in those parts cut deeply into the landscape, and the plan had to be adapted a little to cope with the local tendency towards verticality. But once on Colin’s saddle, he found an unbelievably gentle sidle into the next stream over, and we were on our way home. Most of the Reeves track has been recently cleared. More puzzling was the light secateuring – I wondered if Wayne Griffen had been there! – on the long spur which took us NE back to Rocky Knob: it’s not a spur which leads you anywhere. Unless you’re an off-track enthusiast, of course.
The days are closing in. As we sped back along SH2 and darkness fell, we realised we hadn’t left too much time to come and go on.
- Party members
- Joan Basher, Robin Chesterfield, Colin Cook (leader), Bob Stephens, John Thomson (scribe), Bill Wheeler, Lynne White and Warwick Wright