McGregor Spur - Waiohine River - Jacs Biv - Shingle Slip Knob F
Labour Weekend 2016
On a fine Labour Weekend Saturday Paul and I tramped up to Jumbo and over to McGregor Biv, where we settled in for the evening - enjoying the great views. The Biv is in great condition but the logbook is falling apart - maybe someone with bookbinding skills could be persuaded to pay a visit.
Next morning we headed down McGregor Spur to the Waiohine River; the route is better marked than a few years ago.
When we reached the Waiohine at the Dorset Creek confluence it looked a bit daunting. The water was cold and the river looked a bit higher than we were expecting. It didnít look easy to cross below the confluence. Was it really a good idea to do a river trip at Labour Weekend? We had decided we didnít want to swim and had left our wetsuits in the car.
But the sun was out and it got a bit higher and warmer while we sat there pondering, and we decided to give it a go. If it was too difficult we could initially just retreat, or else climb out onto McGregor Spur, or Shingle Slip Spur further down.
It turned out to be not too bad, reasonable boulder-hopping. Whenever the bank ran out into steep rocks or bluffs, the river was usually crossable, though often crossings were waist-deep, so we could get to better travel on the other side. Our confidence grew. We had to do a couple of reasonable sidles, including one that ended a little way up the true right of Angle Knob Creek. The two short gorge sections marked on the map werenít actually any problem.
It wasnít quick travel though, taking us about 5 hours to descend about 3.5km to Jacs Biv. Being willing to swim would have saved time.
I had never heard of Jacs Biv until a few months ago but it is now shown on the Doc 1080 notices in nearby huts, as well as appearing in the new edition of the Tararua Tramps map. It is on the true left, shortly upstream of the large slip on the map, underneath point 736m. Itís about 15 metres up the bank in the bush, above a small grassy flat, but you could easily miss it.
Itís slightly mouldy but in reasonable condition, with 2 mattresses and 2 thinner ones, and sleeps 2 with a bit of spare room. There is a frame extending out to the front and a tarp that could be slung over it to keep the rain off the small outside table, and even a couple of folding chairs. In the morning we headed up to point 736m behind the hut through steepish but open bush, then on up to Shingle Slip Knob, often on a light footpad. There was little scrub at the bushline and soon we were at the plane crash site. The tops were all still visible despite high overcast cloud. It was then still a reasonable distance through some taller tussock and another 250m climb from a saddle up onto Angle Knob. The last 100 metres are steep and rocky, which adds interest. Back onto a track, we then returned to Jumbo Hut and tiredly descended into the Atiwhakatu and homewards.
It had been an interesting trip and some new country for us.
- Party members
- Franz Hubmann (leader and scribe), Paul McCredie .