Fourteen First Ascents S/F
Wednesday 12 January 2022
It’s 5:30 a.m., time to rise, bring in the paper, enjoy the dawn chorus, eat breakfast and head north. From a range of meeting places, four cars with sixteen slow fit trampers headed to the Waiti Bridge (160 m asl) on Gladstone Rd. Kimberley Rd was closed and the detour sign didn’t cater for people heading into the Tararua Forest Park, causing some temporary confusion, hence the late start at 9:30.
Our goal was Pyramid Knob, 836 m asl, which lies between Scrub Dome and Camelback. Peter Radcliffe had suggested walking up a farm road on the true right bank of Waiti Stream. Once this dropped down to a bridge, we walked up the stream, then took the spur leading up from the first fork.
The route passed up through regenerating forest to bump 632. The path was rather indistinct but helped by occasional markers. We lunched on the undulating section before bump 629. Brent was not feeling great, so Paul returned with him to the cars. After lunch, we began the 220 m, fairly steep climb to the summit. The route in this section was not marked, but was reasonably easy to follow. We reached the summit at 2 p.m., passing two saws tied to a tree a few minutes from the top.
The summit was not particularly noteworthy. It was tightly packed with tussock, dracophyllum, leatherwood, and other scratchy scrub, leaving insufficient room for a group photo. Any thoughts about wandering north along the ridge to Camelback soon disappeared!
The cloud had just lifted from Pyramid Knob but apart from Lake Horowhenua and Levin, there was not much to see. It was still cool and damp. Was it a long way to go for little reward? NO! Something remarkable had happened. Although most of the participants had been tramping for many years, not one of us had ever climbed Pyramid Knob!
The descent was approached slowly to ensure the large party stayed together without losing the route. We reached the cars at about 5:45.
- Party members
- David Ogilvie (leader and scribe), Peter Barber, Robin Chesterfield, Colin Cook, Tricia French, Brent Harrison, Marie Henderson, Mary Kane, Paul McCredie, David McNabb, Peggy Munn, Wayne Perkins, Janette Roberts, Tony Simmers, Mike Wespel-Rose, Cathy Wylie.