From the President…in August

August has seen the real snow arrive up at the WTMC Lodge and some very cold, wet and windy days which have hindered a few tramping trips more locally. The wintry conditions call for additional caution when planning but if you choose wisely, there are often some wonderful trips in among the weather if you are prepared to be flexible…sometimes the best option might just be to stay home and prepare your dehy meals for that big summer trip or write a trip report for the club newsletter.

Film festival fun

Thanks to everyone who bought tickets for the NZ Mountain Film Festival Wellington showings, and extra thanks to those of you who came along early to help with ushering etc, especially Juan for his rousing intro and interval speeches! And, of course, huge thanks to Megan who made the whole thing happen and coordinated things with the Vic Uni Tramping Club. Hopefully we’ll now be able to re-open the scholarship fund with the proceeds from this fundraiser….watch this space.

WTMC is helping FMC take the lead…

As a club we have committed to helping FMC run some leadership training for members of tramping clubs around the Wellington region. The plans are starting to form, thanks to Matt and Tony who, along with some help from TTC, have stepped up to organise this training. We will be needing more club members, especially those with trip leader experience, to help out nearer the time so please let Matt or Tony know if you are able to help.

Making it easier for members to get involved with running the club

One of the committee priorities for this year is ensuring we maintain our club community spirit by spreading the load of running the club. It’s easy for much of the work to fall to a small number of people, but with a 700-strong membership it’s important that everyone chips in at some point in their WTMC member lifetime.

We know sometimes it’s not always clear what help is needed where. While we ask you what you’d like to help out with when you join, we’re not great at following up on that because at the moment we don’t have an easy process to maintain contact lists for getting hold of the right people when there is something that requires volunteers. If you are able to help us setting up some good process then let me know at .

Paua Hut working party – logistics/organiser volunteer wanted

Paua Hut is needing a bit of maintenance so we have scheduled a working party for 24-26th January. What we really need now is someone to organise this working party – you don’t need to be handy with a hammer, but you do need to be organised to get the logistics arranged. It would involve things like making a list of the jobs that need doing, arranging materials to be delivered and promoting the event so we have plenty of volunteers to help out on the weekend itself. This could just be the one-off opportunity that you have been looking for to give back to the club for all those nights you’ve enjoyed out in the hills with WTMC. Let know if this sounds like you.

Are you an FMC ‘top-up’ member?

This is an FMC scheme by which individuals who are club members can pay to ‘top-up’ their FMC membership for additional benefits. Look here if you want to know more.

If you are one, or decide to become one, then please let know so we don’t send you repeat copies of Backcountry.


August has seen me mostly driving back and forth to the Waiohine Gorge Road end with a day trip to the newly-plaqued centre of New Zealand on the Mt Reeves track and an overnighter gourmet trip to Totara Flats hut which you can read about here.  

The newly-installed plaque at the centre of the continental shelf of New Zealand – on the Mt Reeves track

We’ve had a good run of home-grown Wednesday night entertainment recently with Elodie’s fascinating talk about bees (complete with waggle dance demonstration), Andrew‘s philosophical reflections on spot-height bagging in the Tararua, and Aimee and Marie recruiting for afterwork rogainers under the guise of explaining how to plan one. And if you missed the screening of ‘Fools & Dreamers’ recently it is well worth a watch and is available for free on YouTube.

Don’t forget there’s always the post-clubnight trips to the Hopgarden (most definitely not exclusive for alcohol drinkers – everyone is welcome) if you want to further digest the talks or swap trip stories.

Happy tramping (if you manage to find a weather window long enough to get out)!


WTMC President

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