Spur exploration, Maunganui area MF
Wednesday 21 September 2022
The trip started from the Maungakotukutuku Valley road. It was an adventure with considerable challenging off-track travel and included an overabundance of kiekie, a very steep descent and ascent, a birthday morning tea, an aircraft crash site, plenty of mud and a heavy shower of rain.
We went up the main route and raincoats came on for all in the clearing before Maunganui (708 m). By morning tea we were all wet from rain or bushes but cheerfully celebrated Janette's birthday with cake and a candle.
Travelling down the spur towards point 550, we dropped east off the crown of the spur just past the second marked water course for an early lunch by the aircraft crash. There remains considerable visible scattered wreckage from the 1941 Oxford aircraft.
Returning up to the crown of the spur we met two trampers, somewhat surprised to see us, on their way down to the crash site. We continued down the spur (bearing slightly west of north) to the stream forks that would provide access to the adjacent spur to the west that leads up to point 620. It was a fabulous route along the crown for quite a while and then turned into a kiekie nightmare. The general consensus was it probably took an extra hour to push/grovel through, whereupon we found ourselves at the edge of a significantly steep descent immediately above the stream bed, upstream of the target forks. Most of us chose to use a rope around a tree trunk to assist our descent; a few took on an alternative steep gully descent.
During afternoon tea at the edge of the watercourse, with careful analysis of the contour lines on devices, we decided that going downstream offered the best ascent options. It turned out to be a good choice. On arriving on the crown after a straightforward scramble, we easily made our way up the long spur to point 620.
It was after 5 p.m. at this stage and no time was wasted going down the route known as the Game Farm Track (with remnants of fence wire still visible) before coming out at the last carpark on Maungakotukutuku Rd. So, after just over 10 hours, we got back to our cars in the gathering dusk, our bodies letting us know it had been the first long tramp since autumn. A warm shower, hot food and rest were foremost in our minds.
- Party members
- Bill Allcock, Karen Baker, Tricia French (scribe), Peter Law (non-member), Jenny Mason, Chris Munn, Peggy Munn, Janette Roberts, Mike Wespel-Rose, Lynne White.