Marlborough Tramping Club

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June 2018

PRESIDENT Mary Ph (03) 5728762

SECRETARY: Jane Ph (03) 5787441

CLUB CAPTAIN: Murray Ph (03) 5724812

TREASURER: Helen Ph (03) 5728762

E-mail address [email protected]



More details soon

Urgent request for leaders to step forward for the itinerary for September – October – November. Jane is going to be out of action from 16th August and wants to get the program well underway by then. Please contact her NOW on 5787441. Of course, this also means that Jane won’t be available to lead her usual 5 or 6 tramps either.

Intentions forms. Please email these to the club address from now on. Jane has taken over from Kerry recording names for the trophies. Remember to add any relevant details for future reference.

Tappy trip. Murray is leading this trip at the end of August. Bookings are starting to come in so don’t leave it too long to contact him. Great trip even if you decide to forgo the summit climb. Phone 5724812 and have a talk to Murray if you are keen.

Historical Documents and Photos. Helmut is well on with the planning for putting all our old newsletters etc in the “Cloud”. We will also draw on Marcelo’s IT expertise to help us as we plan to include an upgrade to our website at the same time. If you have anything you think could be of value to include in our digital records please contact us. It is best to have all the information in one place before we make a start on the physical scanning etc. Any items would be returned to you after scanning. Helmut’s phone number is 5796498. Or email [email protected] Or Phone Murray 5824812

Members. No new members this month but we would like to express our best wishes to Raffaela for her coming marriage and farewell to Jessica Biggs and Lukas Hermann who are off to Germany.

Also our commiserations to Gwenda and the Coward family. Graham was regular mid week trampers and leader who will be fondly remembered by Wednesday trampers. 

FOR SALE a very limited amount of ACR ResQLink+ personal locator beacons available for a special price of $539.00 and you will receive a $50 cash back voucher meaning these will only cost you $489.00. These are lifesaving and an essential item for anyone who loves the outdoors and it makes it a lot easier for us to save you.  If anyone is interested in purchasing a beacon please email [email protected]

The profits from the sale of these beacons keeps us up in the air saving lives.

Phone Paula at Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust

03 5477278 or 027 5477278

KELLY’S ENERGY BARS from Mary Lissaman by popular demand

½ c toasted wheat germ 1 c rolled oats ¼ c wholemeal flour or rice flour

½ c low fat dry milk powder ½ teasp ground cinnamon 2 eggs

1 banana mashed 1/3 c honey ½ c sunflower seeds

½ c chopped dry apricots ½ c raw almonds ½ c raisins

½ c dried cranberries

Oven 175 deg c. Grease a 21x31 baking tin and line the bottom with baking paper.

Toast the wheat germ by placing in a small frying pan (no oil) for 2 minutes. Keep an eye on it.

Whisk eggs and combine everything together. Bake for about 20 mins, cool and then cut into bars.(I cook much longer) Store in the fridge.

(Anything can be substituted for the ingredients. I like to omit the banana and add a couple of good tablespoons of yogurt. Choc buttons added are great and I have been putting in white choc ones that makes a change!!) To make it gluten free use rice flour and ground flaxseeds instead of wheat germ. I double the recipe and put in 22x32 cm(approx) glass dish lined with paper. If it appears a wee bit dry I just add some milk.) I keep mine in the freezer and just grab when off biking or tramping!!


Hodder Wadsworth Circuit

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Tramping days don’t come much better than this. The sky was a deep blue all day, with a light frost to start but warm enough in the sunny areas. The drive out along the Awatere was lovely, with a good amount of snow on the higher mountains and excellent visibility. Soon after we parked by the Hodder Bridge, landowner Allan Pitts came by and stopped for a chat. We set off along the farm road, going past the kennels and then gaining height steadily on the farm road. Bill took the more usual route, staying close to the Hodder River for longer and ending up well ahead of the rest of us, to no one’s surprise.

The view improved all the time, impressing those on their first visit to the area. Near the top of the rise, at an excellent view point, we stopped for smoko and Bill helped us identify the high snow covered peaks. It was a bit too cool at the top of the hill to hang about so we carried on down the road on the Wadsworth side, stopping for a leisurely lunch break when quite well down. After the recent rain there were some small streams to cross before reaching the Awatere road and walking back to the vehicles. All in all this was a very satisfying day in a beautiful area.

The lucky thirteen were: Geoff Butcher, Peter Buttle, Kath McIntyre, George Arnesen, Sue McKenzie, Paulette O’Sullivan, Alison Scobie, Trevor Easton, Bill Woollcombe, Ben Woollcombe, Sally, Jill Spooner and Jane Minto (Scribe)

Quaildale Wednesday 27 June 2018

We had a leisurely 9am start from Horton Park where the Wairau Tramping club members were also assembling. (We almost lost Peter to them as he arrived on his bike near departure time and was about to get into one of their vehicles.) It was a beautiful day for driving up the Waihopai Valley to Quaildale where we parked by a wool shed and signed the visitor book. Entries showed that a number of groups go there to enjoy a wide variety of activities, as well as tramping. We walked steadily up to the ridge, partly on a farm track. Then we enjoyed pleasant, easy walking along the top of the ridge. There were lots of steers taking a close interest in us, and a number of ponds. Before long we reached the 555 metre trig, which originally had four legs but now only has three. We carried on along the ridge, enjoying the views of hills, both near and far, some with snow on the tops. We dropped down off the top of the ridge to be out of the cool breeze for lunch, then continued on down to the valley floor and had an easy walk back along the valley floor to the vehicles.

Roy Phillips, Geoff Butcher, Bill Woollcombe, Alison Scobie, Jill Spooner, Paulette O’Sullivan, Graeme McKay, Peter Buttle, Gordon Stone, visitor Kelly and Jane Minto (Scribe)

Mid Winter Dinner at Nydia Bay


The forecast was pretty good and 9 people partook. Slight delay at the start as one member thought we were leaving on Wednesday! They subsequently caught us up at Nydia Bay but no major harm. This walk has been done recently but it is the overnight and dinner which is the thrust of this event. A break in the pine trees for lunch had us down on the water front at 3.30pm odd with the sun still just above the hills so a wee rest there and our straggler caught us up. Just 20 minutes on and we arrived at the DOC Lodge. This is nicely set out with all mod cons except heating which is why a couple of fan heaters were packed in and turned on as soon as we fired up the generator. Cups of tea etc taken and then the hot showers! No one else was there so we could spread out in the bunk rooms. The evening fired up with everyone wearing appropriate attire, some a glass of wine, nibbles, glowing balloons and coloured lights. Dinner, dessert and dessert wine! Just a good time to relax and yarn about this and that. Lights out at 9.30pm (I switched the generator off!)

Thru the night the sky was brilliantly clear but by morning the cloud was coming in. 6.30am generator on so those who had not switched lights off had a wakeup call!. No harm and a leisurely get up, breakfast, pack and we hit the trail at 8.45am with a hint of rain in the air. Paul shot off round the exercise track first to catch us up on the slopes. There were odd light showers trekking back but no problem as we are under forest cover most of the way. Another stop in the pine trees for brunch and we were back at the cars by 1pm ish. A stop in civilisation for coffee, change a tire due puncture for me! and we were home by 3pm.

The good company was Jill, Jane, Sue, Alison, Gordon, Paul, David, Geoff and myself, Alistair

Arnst antics 14/15 July 2018

The rain that had washed out Bill’s trip up Mt Fishtail had dumped a fair bit of snow along the St Arnaud range which was then rained on, significantly raising the avalanche risk. As luck would have it, some very good freezes during the week stabilised the snow pack with a few centimetres of fresh snow being the icing on the cake.

It was all shaping up so well until YR and the Met service threw a spanner in the works with our anticyclone decaying to the east and a dirty north east storm moving over us around mid day Sunday.

Being an optimist I thought that’s still OK cause well be out of the Arnst and into the Travers Valley by then, all plain sailing, a piece of cake??? Obviously others shared my optimism for I had six takers including myself prepared to indulge in a little body trashing.

There was just a hint of dawn breaking as Teleri Meacham, Nally Lee and I cruised into the eastern end of Kerr Bay to rendezvous with Carly Rudder who resides in Nelson and Dad Andy and 10 yr old Luke Petrie who were returning from a school holiday trek into the Tablelands. With Carly’s car left on the shore of Kerr Bay to act as our shuttle vehicle on our return tomorrow night we proceeded up the Rainbow Valley road to reach the frozen wasteland of the Six Mile Creek car park at the bottom of the Rainbow Ski field access road just as the first rays of the morning were striking the tops far above.

I could sense I was just a bit of an inconvenience as I rallied the troops for my obligatory Face book photo as on exiting the vehicles the temperature change was like a huge slap in the face and all they wanted to do was get moving. With protests from the team of me avoiding the camera again, a bystander grabbed my camera and I was thrust into the picture to the delight of all.

With that photo out of the way, packs that were way too heavy and adorned with crampons, ice axes and shovels were shouldered making us look like the seasoned pros we were not.

Being alpine tramping purists rides were politely refused as we marched the access road to the strong smell of diesel fumes. That purist mindset was wearing a little thin as the sun rose in the sky and the layers were peeled back. Well, that is except for Carly and Teleri who on previous occasions had put me to shame by regardless of the steepness of the incline, they didn’t miss a beat in their chatter while I was gasping for oxygen.

Our timely arrival of around ten at the ski field café for an Atomic coffee or in Luke’s case a BBQed sausage was definitely the highlight of the day thus far.

Whilst the team were getting there caffeine fix I nipped away to track down the mountain manager to explain that when they locked the gates this evening, the two vehicles in the car park at the bottom did not mean they had inadvertently left people up on the mountain for the night.

With our intentions all sorted it was time for the adventure to begin as crampons were strapped to boots and ice axes drawn to the ready to fend of any kamikaze skiers who were foolish enough to cross our path. The groomed snow was perfect for learning to swing the legs a little wide so as not to impale a calf muscle with a front point or catching a gaiter which would ultimately lead to a slide, something best avoided. By the time the manicured slopes of the ski field had passed the team were all feeling pretty confident in placing ten crampon points and positively planting the ice axe to be in balance.

As was expected our cloudless morning had deteriorated somewhat with cloud billowing up and a sharp north westerly breeze sneaking over the crest of the range causing us to seek shelter in the lee and anyway it was an opportune spot and time for lunch. By the time lunch was dispatched with the top of Mt McRae to the south was shrouded in cloud. That was our first destination of the afternoon before a longish traverse of around a k and a half that would lead us into the saddle to reveal Paraumu Tarn, our final destination for today.

Of course all was going swimmingly until atop Mt McRae it was pointed out I only had one crampon and instantly I’m hit with that sinking feeling. At our lunch spot I had taken off the crampons as my old clip ons didn’t have anti balling plates and with every couple of steps I was carrying half the mountain under each boot. Distracted by composing that award winning photo I had only attached one to the pack and foolishly left the other on the snow. It’s not as if I needed the extra exercise but I was just going to have to bite the bullet and nip on back down. I’m sure the rest just surmised it was a cunning ploy to get out of plugging steps.

Once the saddle was gained the afternoon snow showers were dissipating and the faint outline of Paraumu Tarn could be seen a mere one and a quarter ks to the south tucked in a bowl with Peanter Peak rearing up behind. A quick descent, followed by wallowing across the basin in softish snow to a desirable camp site on the south eastern shore had us frantically going to work packing down three tent sites while Luke took to the ice with youthful exuberance chipping a hole through with a shovel.

With the tents pitched and the skies now relatively clear the evening took on a distinctive chill as we rugged up in everything we had to cook the evening meal. It was about now I decided I was getting too old to be doing this sort of shit and maybe in future winter destinations with a hut and accompanying pot belly stove would be more fitting.

Six pm and we were all tucked up in the sleeping bags being entertained by Luke’s “Dad” questions from one tent while Carly and Teleri were still catching up on lost time in the other.

In our tent Nally was still feeling cold and upon closer inspection discovered she had only relied on the self inflation of her mat which hadn’t left much air between herself and the snow. Something that was quickly rectified with some huffing and puffing. It still didn’t quite match the six centimetres of air between me and the snow with mine but as I was no longer a Knight in shining armour or for that matter was I ever??? Anyway, I wasn’t giving it up.

Sleep did come relatively easy once the digits had warmed up, due to the rigours of the day. The problem with going to sleep at six pm is I am accustomed to around eight hours sleep and come two am I was going to be rearing to go with still five hours of darkness in front of me.

On waking and hoping it was six in the morning and not two I rummaged for the headlamp. It was not quite my worst nightmare but close, it wasn’t 2 am but 2-30. “ BUGGER”

As it turned out Andy was in the same boat as me as we both drifted in and out of sleep for the next four hours listening to the increasing wind gusts with a little trepidation as to what the dawn may bring. Hunger eventually got the better of me as I consumed breakfast from the sleeping bag while the wind tugged away at the tent, the frosted interior glistening under the headlamp. Nally was somewhat taken aback when I offered her some caramel square desert to go with her breakfast. She didn’t refuse so I presumed she was coming around to the Kiwi mountain diet.!!

The weather gods were again on our side as the wind miraculously died for the dismantling of the tents, the north easterly storm wasn’t yet showing on our radar with mainly blue sky to the north east.

Unbeknown to us at the time a full scale search was under way at this time on the other side of the valley from us, for a tramper a day overdue. Unfortunately he was found in a snow drift on Robert Ridge that morning having died, not totally unexpected given the wind during the night and the exposed nature of Robert ridge.

The descent from the tarn into the valley was slow as half a meter of soft snow was hiding small streams and holes but we did have the advantage of following the early morning tracks in the snow left by the locals who had a pretty intricate knowledge of the routes around all the bluffs and gorges. It very quickly became obvious that the Arnst river was best avoided for the terraces above.. Carly’s eagle eyes spotted a couple of these locals grazing on tussock protruding above the snow below us. They had obviously ascertained we didn’t have fire sticks as they carried about their business reasonably unperturbed.

We stuck to the true right side of the valley and once in the bush the trails were a godsend with the pace noticeably slowing whenever we lost them.

We were turning the corner in the Arnst when it was decided to drop down into the river for water and lunch. With only five or so ks under our belt for the morning it had been a little slower than anticipated but we were still happy with our progress.

It had darkened considerably in the bush revealing that possibly the weather was turning as we stuck roughly to the 900 meter contour to avoid what I believed to be a tight bit before the Travers Valley, noted from past observations looking up. Once on the easy slopes of the Travers Valley we angled back up to cross firstly the Arnst and then the Travers River just above, very light rain just beginning to fall.

Surprisingly the Travers River was running lower than anticipated and after finding a suitable braid the thought was entertained that I may just about get across with dry feet. With the laces tightened and the gaiters circulation cuttingly tight above the calves I had an attempt at walking on water. Whilst I failed to walk on water I did manage to come out the other side with dry feet.

Spirits were high as we scrambled onto the Travers Valley track eagerly looking forward to being able to just walk without worrying where to plant the feet, our first destination being the swing bridge around three clicks down the valley. With the swing bridge behind us we set our sights on Lake Head hut a further four to five ks downstream. With the hut finally in sight it was all becoming a little tedious as with all huts atop a terrace they just never seem to get any closer.

On arrival at the hut we were welcomed in by the occupants who had the fire roaring. It was too much to resist for Teleri and Carly who decided to have a cook up while the rest of us just made do with our dry rations. Nally refused to come in, happy with a seat on the porch because she was worried if she parked up by the fire she wouldn’t leave until tomorrow morning.

Rested and fuelled up we donned the headlamps and bade the hut occupants farewell, heading out into the drizzly night for the final ten or so ks back to Kerr Bay. I knew it had been a massive day for even Teleri and Carly had stopped talking as we slipped into our own little worlds to silently battle pain and fatigue.

As is always the case it takes so much longer in the dark, the two and a half hours turning into three and a half as we stepped onto the Honey Dew Walk. With only minutes to reach Carlys car Nally exclaimed she had “reached her limit”. Funnily enough I’m sure I heard her utter those same words on Mt Philips a few weeks ago so I’m sure there more in her yet.

Thanks to all for the stellar adventure and for gutsing out a massive 33.42 ks on Sunday.

Trip stats 51.17 kms with a total vertical ascent of 1426 meters.

Mt Fishtail.

Mt Fishtail 22 July 2018

Early Saturday morning Bill was on the blower “Not looking good for tomorrow, wind rain, flooding, slippery muddy track, definitely not enjoyable so I’m pulling the pin but you can take it if you want”

Hmmmm... now this left me in a bit of a quandary for Bills list of participants contained seven enthusiastic disciples of pain and discomfort who now had nowhere to go but were all desperate to feel the full fury of a gale force wind interspersed with the odd snow and sleet shower, not to forget a muddy root infested track followed by an iced up south west ridge.

 As appealing as just sitting in front of the fire was I could sense their disappointment so what choice was I left with.

With now a guilt free feeling, Sunday morning found me at the Pine Valley road end with Paul Shipley, Marcelo Tamanini, Jill Spooner, Nally Lee, Jessica Stone and Andy and Luke Petrie gearing up amongst a rather obese mob of sheep for a bit of body trashing.

After last weekend I was surprised that Nally, Andy and Luke were even entertaining the thought but on reflection I just surmised this was only going to be a stroll in the park for them!!

The sheep accompanied us as far as the swing bridge before they decided only mad dogs and Englishmen partook in this frivolous sort of caper so we were now on our own.

We duly arrived at the stream crossing in the true left branch of Pine Valley stream. All being disciples of dry feet we had lugged up spare shoes for the crossing to be neatly tucked in the bushes on the other side for our return. Surprisingly considering all the rain the stream was very manageable and heralded the beginning of the business end of the trip.

Jill was out in front and tasked with finding a good smoko spot. The worms had been biting and we didn’t really care where it was. Luke turned out to be a hard task master as we were only five minutes into smoko when he reckoned we needed to be on our way.

Eleven am found us sheltering in the bush at the foot of the sou west ridge gearing up for all it could throw at us, all the while coming and going in swirling cloud. As we ascended the wind grew in ferocity, the rocks became coated in ice resulting in extreme care not to face plant.

The summit arrived around twelve thirty and it didn’t disappoint with one just able to stand while being peppered with the odd flurry of snow. It felt like minus ten and surprise, surprise, there were no objections to abandoning lunch atop and high tailing it down the nor west ridge and dropping over the edge of the basin to find the hut and eat in more convivial conditions.

We had settled nicely into the hut for the long haul but Luke wasn’t having a bar of that and gave us our marching orders yet again.

Sadly for us two of our more adventurous members were departing, Lukas being given a job opportunity in Germany he couldn’t refuse had already departed and Jess was following in a few weeks time.

Trip stats 23.32 ks return with a vertical ascent of 1563 meters over nine hours and five minutes

Mt Freeth

13 trampers left town to walk up Mt Freeth. We parked by the primary school and walked up to the quarry at the start of the property. After a chat on the intercom the owner arrived. We headed up the road and to my delight were accompanied by his Jack Russell called Jack who came all the way to top with us, running all the way. We had morning tea up near the top taking a few great photos on the way. The road had a lot of ruts, slips and damage from all the recent rain. We were back at the car about 11.30 so decided to go for a short walk up Essons valley. We stopped for lunch and then headed up to Barnes dam and could see why there was concern about it possibly being damaged during the 2016 earthquake. Certainly a huge amount of water if it ever was damaged.

Trampers were Paulette, Peter. Steven V, Jane, Geoff, George, Gordon, Jill, Linda, Roy, new trampers Neil Coalie and Sue Johnstone and leader and scribe Sue McKenzie.

Plus our guest, Mr Jack Russell. He forgot to bring lunch but I bet he didn’t miss out!