Along the Chief Guide’s Trail

2003-chief-guideSummer has passed and the autumnal temperatures are coming as a shock, yet the air is clearer, the wind and the rain less frequent. I hope you’re getting the opportunity to explore the hills.

It’s the time of the AGM and with it I’m stepping aside from the Chief Guide role as my university study gets into full gear, but I would like to thank a band of merry helpers. Throughout the year Becky has looked after the Assistant Chief Guide’s role and filled in while I holidayed. Also a sub committee of Gerard Galvin (Huts), Andrew McLellan (SAR), Toby Regan (Skiing) and Paul Abbott (Transport Money) have done many tasks behind the scenes to keep the club ticking. There is also thanks to Stuart Palmer, Gerard Galvin, Wayne Stevens and others for the work with the new Mountain House shelter. I write this as I get ready to head into the Tararuas on a work party for the shelter.

Coming up are many opportunities to head into the hills – the new schedule has been finalised. Take a look and think about the trips ahead before the time rapidly passes you by. Hoping you all have fun in the hills and wishing Andrew Chisholm all the best in the coming year as Chief Guide.

– Grant Newton

April 17-21 – Easter Weekend

This Easter the bus heads north to Te Urewera National Park with John Hickey leading a group paddling on Lake Waikaremoana, while Helen McDermott leads a group of trampers into the Lake Waikareiti area. Down south Sylvia leads a trip to Nelson Lakes and a bunch of 10-day trips are set to take place to incorporate ANZAC weekend. Your truly sets forth on Stewart Island for the North West Circuit, while Stuart Douce heads almost as far south with a group for the Dusky track. Closer to the middle of the South Island, Simon Ward and Yibai He lead trips from Arthurs Pass to Lewis Pass – Yibai’s trip is a fit trip in search or gnarly terrain, while Simon goes soft in search of hot pools.

April 24-27 – Anzac Weekend

ANZAC weekend sees the club bus head to Tongariro National Park with 3 options on offer. The Tongariro Northern Circuit offers an easy graded trip led by Peter Bates, while the medium group led by Paul Hughes will head around Mt Ruapehu. For those looking for day trips, then the lodge will be available for use as a convenient base. Back closer to town, the Sunday Walkers head around Wairaka Point from Plimmerton to Pukerua Bay.

May 2-4 – Wellington Based Day Trips

The new trip schedule starts with a variety of day trips around Wellington. There are two day walks, rock climbing, sea kayaking, mountain biking and the Sunday Walkers head to Belmont Regional Park. For those looking to improve their tramping skills there is a risk management course run by the Mountain Safety Council

May 9-11 – Ruahine FP

This weekend we head into one of our regular spots in the Tararuas with 3 tramps on offer and a day trip to practise the navigation skills. This weekend sees the beginning of the work parties for the rebuilding of Mountain House.

May 16-18 – Kaweka FP

The southern end of the Kaweka ranges offers some great tramping this weekend. The steep climb to Kiwi Saddle hut offers good views for the easy/medium group, while the mediums carry along the tops before descending to Kiwi Mouth Hut. Those keen fit punters have the opportunity for the excellent Back Ridge circuit. Closer to home Sue Walsh leads a trip to Mana Island for some exploring and tree planting – you can come along for the day or stay the Saturday night on the island.

May 23-25 – Tararua FP

Heading in from Mangaterere there are 3 trips on offer. The easy medium trip heads into Totara Flats to see the new hut, while the medium/fit group head into Cone via Cone Ridge and finally the fits head into Neil Forks Hut. On the other side of the range Wendy Shuker leads a day walk around the Kapakapanui circuit.

May 30-June 2-Queen’s Birthday Weekend

The last long weekend for a while. Get in quick to book, as this weekend is always possible. This year we head to Abel Tasman to catch it while its quiet and to Nelson Lakes National Park. In Abel Tasman NP, there is the easy coastal track for the trampers and two sea kayak options based on fitness level. Further South in Nelson Lakes NP there are a variety of tramps an maybe some time in the snow. The easy/medium trip heads to the stunning Blue Lake, the medium tackle the Speargrass track with a detour up Mt Misery while a medium alpine trip heads to Angelus and through to the Hopeless via Sunset Saddle. The medium/fit trip tackles the spectacular Moss Pass while the fits tackle some alpine rock with a climb of Kehu peak and then Mt Travers.

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