Tararua Tramping Club

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Trip Reports 2021-02-23-Mathews

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Climbing out of the stream Photo: Paul McCredie
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Paul heads up the ‘causeway’ Photo: Colin Cook
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On the ‘causeway' Photo: Paul McCredie

This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 93, no 3, April 2020

Matthews’ Northeast Face

23 February 2021

The aim of this trip was to explore the northeast face of Matthews, seeking viable ways to the top. The outcome was a pretty solid fail.

The area of interest, some 10 km in from the Catchpool, lies above the upper forks true left branch of Matthews Stream. An earlier visit to this branch, a trip descending the Shingle Slide1, had left a false impression of easy travel. Far from it, the stream bed was choked with dense scrub, including tauhinu (also known as tawhini); higher up it became a steep causeway of stones and gravel with only a tinkling sound under foot to tell us we were in a watercourse. (Luckily, higher again we found water - a waterfall of sorts as well - so water bottles could be replenished.)

We climbed out on the true right of the stream bed just below the waterfall, struggling up steep, partly open terrain before finally gaining what could reasonably be called a spur crest. Moving higher we had on occasion to dodge leatherwood clumps and scale steep rocky steps. Too late we consulted the navigation oracle to find our mini spur merged with the northeast ridge at about the 800 m contour. Attempts to traverse right and back to untracked country were invariably foiled by either groves of leatherwood or rugged terrain. At about the 880 m contour we gave up and moved onto the northeast ridge2. Game over!

Party members
Colin Cook (leader and scribe), Paul McCredie.

Page last modified on 2022 May 14 02:51

Edit - History - Recent changes - Wiki help - Search     About TTC     Contact us     About the website     Site map     email page as link -> mailto:?Subject=TTC: 2021-02-23-Mathews&Body=From the TTC website: 2021-02-23-Mathews (https://ttc [period] org [period] nz/pmwiki/pmwiki [period] php/TripReports/2021-02-23-Mathews) A rugged ascent to the NE Ridge.