Smith Creek - Point 805
29 June 2022
The early winter chill of the DoC car park at the end of Kiwi Ranch Road quickly dissipated as we made our way up 'Barry's track' to DoC’s Tuaherenikau Track. A layer off, and we easily made our way along the reasonably clear ridge route from Puffer Saddle, through native regrowth and mature gorse to point 529.
Travelling south of east from that point, following the remnants of a long disused route, we easily reached stream forks and had a warm drink and nibble before travelling on a bearing slightly north of east, emerging onto the Tauherenikau Track, and continuing along it to the next significant stream flowing off the Dobson Loop Track ridge.
We followed that stream the short distance to its confluence with Smith Creek, crossed to the true right of the creek, and clambered up a steepish bank onto the toe of the spur that rises in a southerly direction to spot 805.
The topo maps inform us that there are two types of vegetation on that spur. Travel up the spur to near point 575 is through scrappy regrowth, with views across to the Marchant Ridge. Thereafter, the vegetation up-spur can best be described by removing the letter 's' from the word ‘scrappy’. However, on the east side of the spur there are easily-followed animal trails through mature forest. The final section of the spur has a reasonably defined crest, with mature trees and significant moss reflecting the dampness we encountered. The hydro service road offered a welcome increased pace as we made our way to point 756.
Travel down the spur from point 756 to the Puffer Saddle was not straightforward, as significant sections of slipperiness and sunstrike from the low winter sun required us to move cautiously. From the Saddle we easily made our way back to the car to complete an adventurous mid-winter trip through much new territory.
- Party members
- Bill Allcock (scribe), Tricia French