Tararua Tramping Club

Te rōpū hikoi o te pae maunga o Tararua   -   Celebrating 100 years of tramping

Trip Reports 2021-04-07-Square Knob

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SquareKnob1.jpg: 772x1178, 551k (2021 Oct 13 01:00)
Waiti forks, start of the climb up the spur
to Square Knob Photo David McNabb
SquareKnob2.jpg: 814x606, 300k (2021 Oct 13 01:01)

This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 93, no 9 , October 2021

Square Knob Variation M/F

Wednesday 7 April

There was one more route onto Square Knob that needed ticking off and that was travelling up the right-hand branch of Waiti Stream to the main forks and then up the spur onto the ridge just northeast of Square Knob.

Before the trip, Chris and I drove to Waiti Stream to check the access off Gladstone Road. It was a bit of a scramble but would present no problems. On the other side of the bridge, a group of people were cutting up a tree that had been cut down and was currently blocking the road. I wandered over to see if any of them were landowners so I could seek permission to be on their land.

One of the men was a neighbour of the relevant landowner and said he thought the owner would be okay with us being on his land, but we should give him a call. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a contact number on him but said we should call in at the outdoor education centre back down the road as they could help out.

You may be wondering why so many words have been used on a simple recce. Well, the trip plan was about to change. There was no one home at the centre until, just as we were about to leave, the boss turned up. He was somewhat alarmed that the horse was in the barn munching on hay instead of being securely down in the paddock. However, once he ascertained that the horse wasn’t interested in going anywhere else, he became a source of valuable information. He gave me the required contact number but then said there was another private block of land further upstream that belonged to a trust. They had denied the outdoor centre access to their land as they liked to hunt on it. We were advised to stay clear and, as it was the roar, this seemed to be a sensible idea.

So what to do? The new plan was to go through the Radcliffe forestry block as we usually do on trips to Square Knob, drop down into the left branch of Waiti stream, head upstream and find the route up onto the parallel spur as on a previous trip. Then at about 440 m drop off down to the right-hand Waiti branch forks. The attached trace (thanks David) shows this better than I can describe it. This route had us skirting around the trust’s block of land.

We picked up David and Lois at Harrison’s Garden Centre and drove through to the forestry block. Peter Radcliffe was there and promised us a cup of tea on our return. It was straightforward travel right through to the parallel spur and our dropping-off point at 440 m turned out to be a wee knob indicating the side spur. It was a pleasant 200 m drop down to the forks. Although the vegetation looked dense we could always find a way around and in no time we were at the forks.

Getting off the toe of the forks spur was hard work, slithering through kiekie up a very steep slope, and a rest on reaching the easier gradient of the spur was well deserved. There was a remnant of the old track which suggested that this spur was seldom used compared to the others we had explored. We stopped for lunch partway up and apart from windfall and confusion between track and game trails, we made steady progress up to the Square Knob ridge. It was an interesting route, including our detour.

After a pause at the intersection with the usual track back down, we cruised off, looking forward to a cup of tea at the shack. All went well until we missed the rock cairn indicating the shortcut across to the forestry road, so we had to go the long way round. Pounding along the road, we then missed the quick route back to the cup of tea, and Peter would be leaving for a meeting any minute. Just as we reached the nice patch of bush on his land, we heard his car start. Oh no…. but then it stopped. A final rush to the shack and there he was. A lovely cup of hot tea was enjoyed sitting outside in the sun.

All up a good day out exploring new country.


Waiti forks, start of the climb up the spur to Square Knob Photo David McNabb

Party members
Lois Buckrell, David McNabb, Peggy Munn (leader and scribe), Chris Munn

Page last modified on 2022 May 14 02:51

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