Show Weekend 15-17 Nov 2013

The weather forecast was bad for the proposed Faerie Queene trip so a visit to the Seaward Kaikouras was substituted. After an early meeting at my Dad’s (Douglas’) place, the party consisted of me and five blokes. A good sleep in the front seat and then it was necessary for a ‘Raymond coffee stop’ at Cheviot. Arriving at the start of the track; let the tramping begin! Day one consisted of about 4 hours up the Hapuku River. After leaving the Hapuku River for Stace Saddle the plan was to keep going up Surveyor Spur until we could find somewhere suitable for camping and had snow as our water supply. We reached the spot at about 1560 metres where Gary and Aarn camped last time, taking 3 hours. At this stage it was about 5 o’clock. I got my hopes up that we were done for the day, but there was no snow! So, we had no choice but to keep going up. I must admit I felt rather zombie-like as we continued for another hour or so to just under 2000 metres. In the end, it was well worth it, the higher camping spot was far superior and of course it meant the next day’s climb of Manakau would be easier, even if it did mean carrying our heavy packs for a lot longer and higher. We did not muck around and dinner then bed shortly followed. Day two entailed sidling to the upper basin and then Bill trail-blazed ahead in conjunction with plugging great steps for the rest of us up to the main ridge. We followed along the ridge and used our crampons for about the last 20 minutes. Reaching the top in about 4 hours was a great feeling. Manakau became the tallest mountain I have climbed, by a long way. The views were fantastic towards the ocean and the Kaikoura Peninsula and also in the other direction towards Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku. The trip down Manakau was relatively quick and fun. Douglas claimed it was one of the best bum-slides he’d had. It was a good couple of hundred metres. Back at the camp, we packed up and headed down to the Hapuku, aided by a couple of good shingle screes. We arriving at around 6 o’clock—about 7 hours from the top—and decided to camp for the night dining on the usual soups, dinner and dessert.

The Manakau campsite

Doug, Gemma and Raymond crossing the Hapuku River

We were away before 8am on day three and walked out in about 2½ hours, led again by Bill. It seemed we were able to find a lot more shortcuts than we had when walking upstream. Tiredness however must have been setting in as I fell over about 5 minutes away from the cars. After a well-deserved post tramp meal at Kaikoura (Hislops Café) we were back in Christchurch by mid-afternoon. Thanks guys for a great tramp. Given this was my third tramp with the club I can now officially be a member so hopefully will see everyone again soon! We were: Gary Huish (leader), Raymond Ford, Aarn Tate, Bill Templeton, Douglas Woods and Gemma Woods. (GW)