Club Meeting November 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.