Taking it to Another Level: Level 2. Hooray! Time to head into the Camelbacks.
Sat 16th May 2020
Starting up Waiti Stream we followed a marked route up the leading spur to pt 632, then the track up to Pyramid Knob. There is no view at the very top but the track continues a couple minutes down the other side to an open tussock patch giving extensive views of the Camelbacks and down into Johnston Creek. After an early lunch in the sun we discovered that this track continues a short distance further, cutting down through the leatherwood belt onto an open gravel slope. At the foot of this slope we sidled to the right onto an open bush spur. Following this spur gave fairly straightforward travel right down to Johnston Creek. The Creek itself was quite attractive on a sunny afternoon. We first went 500 metres downstream to reach the headwater forks, where there is a small mossy terrace with room for a tent. Then we turned around and headed back upstream right up to the head of the creek. There were only a few small waterfalls to sidle; the rest of the creek gave delightful open travel.
We were aiming for the track between Tawirikohukohu and Square Knob, and though there is a lot of leatherwood in the Camelbacks, the map seemed to show taller bush quite a long way up the creek in that direction. So it proved. Following the creek up as far as we could, then a short section of open bush up a spur, we had only about 50 metres of thicker scrub to negotiate just before we popped out on the track at about 950 metres altitude, only about 100 metres below Tawirikohukohu.
We then followed the track down over Square Knob. Despite trying to keep a lookout, I missed the track junction further down, a little below 400 m, where the track off Square Knob divides. We continued down the track towards pt 332 until Paul realised my mistake, and then had to climb back uphill for 10-15 minutes, following an ill-advised suggestion by yours truly to try and sidle across to the correct spur through supplejack. Finally locating the track junction, we headed down the track to Waiti Stream, which was well-marked with permolat in its upper sections – helpfully to us, as it was getting a bit gloomy in the bush. It turned out I had been a bit blasé about daylight, and we needed to get out our torches once we were in Waiti Stream. Well, those of us who had remembered to bring a torch found the slippery rocks a bit easier. The torch-less one was rewarded by spotting some glow-worms. We returned to the car at 6.20 p.m. to complete a satisfying 9 ¼ hour day.
[Ed: This was not an official club trip].
- Party members
- (leader and scribe).Franz Hubmann (scribe), Paul McCredie, Sarah White.