Cone Hut and Block XIX Track MF
17 May 2017
This trip was programmed as Cone via Block XIX Track, but given the limited daylight hours and poor weather forecast, it was clear that the trip plan would need to be adapted to exclude the upper part of the Cone Track. There was also some uncertainty about the state of the Block XIX Track, and Barry Durrant had rung the leader to advise that he and Grant Timlin had encountered numerous wasps on their last trip up there.
After driving through steady rain, 14 members met at the temporary car park on the Waiohine Gorge Road, walked in past the washout to the road end, crossed the swing bridge and climbed up and along to the Cone Hut/Cone Saddle junction.
A brief halt in the rain allowed for a comfortable morning tea before the group headed down to Cone Hut. An early lunch was taken at the hut as the rain had become steady. This gave the group a chance to admire the improvements to the hut, and to eat under shelter. We then dropped down the bank behind the hut, crossed the small creek and followed the true left of the Tauherenikau River for about 100 metres to reach a side stream. To everyone's surprise, orange triangle markers were spotted across the stream, and these were present all the way up the Block XIX ridge to the Cone Track.
The climb up Block XIX Track was much better than expected, with a good foot pad, plenty of OT's to follow and no wasps! The only challenges were a few windfalls and the need in parts to push through wet mingimingi and dracophyllum. A steep climb was followed by a long gradual climb that brought us back onto the Cone Track. After a drink and photo stop we headed down to Cone Saddle, where a suggestion by Tricia resulted in a decision to go the "long way home" by heading northeast on the track towards Totara Creek and then south along the Waiohine River.
After stopping for afternoon tea near Pt 572, we carried on down to the river, arriving at 3.30 pm. As many members will know, the track along the true right of the Waiohine climbs up and down in many places and so although the rain cleared towards the end of the trip, many parts of the track remained wet and boggy. We reached the swingbridge in gathering darkness at 5.00 pm and 15 minutes later were back at the cars. 17.9km, over 1,000m height gain, 8 hours 25 mins. WW
Bill Allcock, Joan Basher, Tony Black, Robin Chesterfield, Colin Cook, Tricia French, David McNabb, Bernard Molloy, Peggy Munn, Wayne Perkins, Janette Roberts, Bob Stephens, Lynne White, Warwick Wright (Leader)
- Party members
- Bill Allcock, Joan Basher, Tony Black, Robin Chesterfield, Colin Cook, Tricia French, David McNabb,
Bernard Molloy, Peggy Munn, Wayne Perkins, Janette Roberts, Bob Stephens, Lynne White, Warwick Wright (Leader & scribe)