Two MF winter trips in the Orongorongos
27th June and 18th July 2018
A June 27 trip continued a series that Wednesday MFs have been doing on and off for some time now: exploring Whakanui headwater creeks. The most remote of these rises under Bump 800 (on the East Whakanui Track) and drops south west to join what might reasonably be called the TL branch of Whakanui Creek. We entered the forest via the Pack Track in the Wainuiomata Water Catchment. On reaching the ridge we left the track and trudged back south-west through the previous day’s light fall of snow to 800, then down the headwater creek. Travel was easy with a few sidles around gorgier sections and the sighting of one moderate waterfall - perhaps a 3m drop. Unaware, we joined the main TL branch, noticing only that as the creek grew so did passage down it become more difficult. When GPSs were finally consulted we found ourselves far below the headwater branch we had intended to ascend so instead climbed a spur up to the East Whakanui Track. Then east along it before turning north with the intention of 'riding' a spur down to about 500m before rejoining the Pack Track. And so the second navigational botch-up: a rapidly forming steep gully of which the topo map gave not a hint forced us to our right and we dropped steeply back on to the Pack Track at about 720m.
- Party members
- Tony Black, Colin Cook (leader and scribe), Tricia French, Peggy Munn A July 18 trip was more specifically conceived with winter in mind: exploring less frequently travelled spurs emanating from Cattle Ridge in the Orongorongos. We set out up a spur just east of the Butcher Track, a shortcut of sorts for those wanting to access lower parts of the Orongorongo valley from the Catchpool road end. And so it will be - in 50 years when the forest is properly re-established. Although more than a km shorter the spur took about 15 min longer than if we had stayed on track. We descended the well known, marked ‘Jagger Track’, to the river, walked 500 m up-river then climbed a second spur back to Cattle Ridge - on the way passing a small sunny, cleared and partly fenced plot of land (marked * on the map). Then down to the Orongorongo Track, along to Browns Track and back to the cars via Cattle Ridge Track.
- Party members
- Helen Beaglehole, Tony Black, Colin Cook (leader and scribe), David McNabb, Warwick Wright.