Monthly Report

Club Meeting November 2018

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

The November meeting was attended by 28 people. A reminder was given about the Herbert Forest Guided Walks Day on 14 April 2019.

Some interesting trips had taken place: to Glenorchy at Labour Weekend where trampers stayed at an excellent new eco camping ground.Walks went up the Glacier Burn in the Humboldt mountains, and they spent a day up Mt. Judah exploring sites and remains of old scheelite mines. There was also a walk around Lake Sylvan.Other trips were a Waimate mountain biking trip and up Dromedary Hill off the Lindis Pass.

Wednesday Walkers went to Herbert Forest and had a very windy walk on Mt. Miserable. They also went to Shannon(near Outram) for a farm walk and from Andersons’ Lagoon to the Shag River, seeing many shags and their young nesting in rows along the cliffs. There was also a walk from Otekaieke to Kurow partly on the A2O trail and mostly along the Waitaki.

The main part of the evening was Marion Shore’s account and photographs of her recent trip to Nepal where she trekked for 28 days in an area with no road access in Phoksundo National Park. Her group of 13 was accompanied by 35 mules, some horses and 13 guides and helpers. The trek began at Jephal (altitude 2,500 metres). The highest pass the crossed on the trip was 5,560m. from where they could see the Anapurna Ranges.A day’s trekking was between four and a half and nine hours, covering between 12 and 23km.daily and often accompanied by some altitude sickness.Trekkers walked up towards the Tibetan border and back down to departure from Jomsen.

Among many notable features was the masterly dry stone walling often for terracing for buckwheat and barley cropping. Potatoes were also a staple crop in many areas.Many stone chortens(shrines) and prayer wheels – one made from Budweiser cans- were passed en route. At higher altitudes were houses where the men lived while taking yaks for summer pasture,trading and carrying milled timber while the women tended crops and wove yak hair for tents and also spent months making traditional woollen blankets which could be sold.These areas were home to the last examples of a nomadic way of life.. Yak trains were usually between 10-20 animals although they met a caravan of 30, and the yaks and drivers shared narrow paths with the trekkers.

Phoksundo Lake,the deepest in Nepal, was a stunning sight – brilliant blue within a cup of mountains.Apples were grown and dried all through Upper Dolpo, and when they reached Mustang there was bush and lush growth, a result of careful water harvesting.
Medical care was scarce but schools were funded by overseas agencies with trained volunteer teachers.

We were given a picture of such a different way of life and stunning scenery, experienced and seen by few people in this world and we were fortunate to have the opportunity to share some of this adventure.

Club Night October 2018

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

The Club intends to hold another Herbert Forest Guided Walks day on Sunday 14 April 2019. This is a family day for those who would like to find out more about bush walking, with walks of different lengths in this podocarp forest remnant.
Trip reports;
2 car loads did a circuit from Sullivans dam to the top of Mount Cargill via the difficult north route. Map reading skills were practiced on the way.
9 members climbed the Little Kyburn Track to the Mt. Buster shelter and from there to the white gravel Kyburn diggings and Mt. Kyburn.
More work has been completed on the Swallows Track in the Herbert Forest with a 20m boardwalk installed plus more graveling over wet areas.
Coming Trips;
The head of Lake Wakitipu, with day walks including Mt. Judah and Mt. Alfred.
A Waimate walk or bike day.
Dromedery Hill. A 1000m climb on a 4WD Track in the Lindis Conservation Area. This website has more details for these trips on the “Whats On” page.
The Wednesday Walkers had day walks along Katiki Beach with fascinating rock formations, Dave’s track in Trotters gorge, Glen-Ridges beside the North Waiho River and a 15k there and back walk up the Timaru Walkway to Centenial Park.
Our Guest speaker for Club night was Rob McTague from the North Otago Sustainable Land Management group. He told us how they are working with farmers, regulatory authorities such as the Otago Regional Council, North Otago Irrigation Co. and community groups, to improve the quality of North Otago’s rivers and streams.
Farmers have water quality testing sites at strategic positions on their farms which enable them to make suitable decisions, such as where to do riparian planting and how much fertilizer to apply, so as to meet the ORC thresholds. He pointed out that it is not just farmers who can pollute rivers, but also urban areas and wildlife such as seagulls who can cause problems.
NOSLAM is also working with Tourism Waitaki to enhance the A2O bike Trail corridor with suitable native tree plantings. Funding for this type of community work is available from the Otago Regional Council.

Club Night August 2018

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

The committee has been working on amendments to the Club’s constitution mainly to enable it to become an Incorporated Society. This will be voted on at a special meeting at the next Club night.
Trip Reports:
July saw a mystery bike ride which entailed visiting a series of local attractions, including Devils Bridge wetland, the reservoir mountain bike track, Glen Reserve, the Oamaru Historic Precinct and Harbour, the Art Society Gallery and concluded with a refreshing visit to the local brewery.
In early August 7 members did two day walks below Dunedin. The first up the Taieri Gorge from Taieri Mouth and the second on the next day, up Berwick Forest’s Government Track near Waipouri Falls, both return trips of 18k each.
The Wednesday Walkers climbed Elephant Hill, returning via Mussen Hill, a Tapui farms round trip and another round trip on Roseneath Run near the Waitaki Dam, returning down the Awahomoko Creek.
They did 3 short walks near Waikouaiti of the Hawksbury Lagoon, Matanaka historic site and the Karitane Peninsula and last week a new Blackcap Scout Hill circuit. All walks were in the 12-18k range.
A new group are doing short, up to 4 hour walks, doing sections of the A2O bike track at the moment.
Coming Club Trips are Station Peak from the Waitaki River returning via the Kowhai Grove which should be in flower, a cross-country ski day on the Pisa Range snow-farm followed the next day by a walk to Diamond lake and walks at Mt. Nimrod Reserve and Hook Bush. On Labour weekend there will be 3 day trips in the Glenorchy area. The “What’s On” Page has more details.
Guest Speaker was club member Jane Green on her and Graham’s bike ride in Central America. She started off with 3 vivid video clips of the inside of a live volcano, leaf-cutter ants carrying their loads 150m home, and a howler monkey doing his thing.
The cycle trip was 15 days with some bussing in between starting in Nicaragua, going through Costa Rica and finishing on the Panama Canal. Temperatures were around 30 degrees with high humidity.
We saw pictures of bright coloured buildings, some modern, some just shacks, rubbish everywhere, high fences and tall mountains with no snow because of their proximity to the equator. In Nicaragua the average income is just $2 per day. Bikes are the main form of transport with freight cartage by anything from horse and cart to large trucks. Navigating around is not easy as there are no street numbers or names.
The best photo was of a squirrel eating a large nut with its head buried inside the nut.
The most stressful episode they had was getting left behind by the bus at the first border post, though luckily someone eventually noticed and the bus driver came back for them.

Club Night July 2018

Monday, July 9th, 2018

The Club is looking at providing a picnic table and seats at strategic points on the Herbert Forest tracks. Some track maintenance tools have been purchased.
The Podocarp track will be closed later this month for 2-3 weeks for tree felling operations. The Swallows and Hoods tracks will remain open. There will be closure and reopening notices on the NOTMC website.
Trip Report:
The Quaiburn Saddle was changed to the Otematata and Benmore Walkways because of forecast heavy rain. A good 5-6 hour 19k walk with views of the two lake Benmore arms before drizzle arrived.
Wednesday Walkers had day trips to the Enfield Escarpment with its unique limestone rock formations, Pringles Gully gold diggings, Otematata and Benmore Walkways with half doing the Benmore Loop and the other half walking across the dam and back, and last week a 19k Kuriheka farm walk.
Coming trips are a mystery bike trip from Weston and two day walks based from Dunedin.
Guest speaker was Lewis Hore who showed a video on his Sutherland Sound kayaking trip in June last year to look for the South Island Kokako. This was his fifth trip to the area where he believes he may have heard and glimpsed the almost extinct kokako.
Sutherland Sound is a marine reserve with a narrow shallow entrance that prevents fishing boats from entering. He flew in and out by helicopter with his kayak, camping near the entrance.
Apart from a few thousand hungry sandflies it was an idyllic spot with large numbers of native birds and huge Rata and Fuschia trees. There was also a midden near a large rock shelter. He enjoyed exploring the Sound and its head-waters in his kayak during the winters settled weather.
No kokako were heard or sighted this trip but Lewis is planning another trip shortly.

Club Night June 2018

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Members, old and new, filled the NOSAR rooms in Severn St. for the Clubs Monthly Meeting.
Trip Reports:
4 members explored the Silver Peaks with rain forecast later in the day. Their route was along the Green Ridge track, turning down to Possum Hut and down the Waikouaiti River, before heading up the Direct Spur track. After lunch it was off down Rosealla Ridge track to the river again and back up to the cars just as the rain arrived.
Queens Birthday weekend saw 4 members drive to Mavora Lakes for 3 days of exploring. Day 1 was down the TeAraroa trail to the Kiwi-burn hut. Day 2 followed the loop track back to the road and then a walk along North Mavora Lake on a badly rutted 4wd track to Carey’s Hut. Day 3 was a walk out to the car and back home. A cold but enjoyable weekend in a new area for the Club.
The Herbert Forest tracks got another trim and the bait stations checked by 15 members. The catch over the last month was 1 ferret, 4 stoats, 11 rats and 1 hedgehog.
Wednesday Walkers day walks were the popular Tapui 3 peaks and 2 tunnels circuit, Kurow Hill circuit, using the new bike track past the cemetery for the first time, Mts. McKenzie and Trotter behind Waikouaiti where the basalt columns were inspected, and a small group explored Cape Wanbrow on a very cold windy day.
Trips over the next month are to Lake Minchin in the Arthurs Pass area and Quailburn Saddle to Egg lake near Omarama. More information is available on the “what’s on” page.
Guest Speaker was Mark Smillie who was just back from a visit to Qatar. Qatar is a small country on the Persian Gulf, with a local population of 113,000 but with an expat population of 1.3m to do all the work. It has the world’s 3rd largest oil and gas reserves and the highest “mountain” is 103m asl. We were treated to an insight into life there where the port of Doha was built in a year, fresh water comes from desalinization, petrol costs NZ 62c a gallon, camel racing is the popular sport and the police drive Ferraris and Lamborghinis.