Filling A Gap MF
20 January 2021
In October 2020 a TTC party climbed Matthews via the East Ridge,1,2 joining it at about 700 m asl just south of Bump 738. Our aim for this trip was to tramp the lower part of the ridge, from sea level up.
We began at the DOC Corner Creek campsite, walking southwest along the coast road and then up a farm road which rises northward through pastureland belonging to Wharekauhau Station3.
The road enters scrub at about the 350 m contour. Shortly before its termination at Bump 524 we left it and moved slowly but without difficulty through tall manuka, sometimes finding good ground trails or an area of forest. Approaching the saddle (450 m) the vegetation was scrubbier with some dracophyllum and there was damage from the huge Hinakitaka Creek slip which, reaching to the ridgeline, allows good views to the west. Beyond the saddle there is forest cover and the going is reasonable.
Lunching just south of Bump 738 and with time to burn we opted for change, eschewing the route back to our car familiar from the October trip4, choosing instead to descend a neighbouring spur to the northeast. It was a surprise how different the two spurs were. Apart from a view of the Knife Edge there was nothing to recommend our choice: scrubby, steep, crooked, riven with gullies. Getting back down to the campsite took about as long as the climb up had taken in October.
1 Matthews’ East Ridge, The Tramper, December 2020.
2 The ridge runs east only at the summit pyramid; below there it follows a variety of directions before terminating, almost due south of the summit, in a gable-end above the lower Mukamuka.
3 Permission to cross station land had been obtained.
4 The October route is indicated by the thin black line on the topo map.
- Party members
- Colin Cook (leader and scribe), Tricia French, Franz Hubmann, David McNabb