Waitaha Track Clearance

Sunday 6 to Thursday 10 September 2015

This was a 5-day task for Phil Novis and I. Geoff had Phil and I choppered in to Kiwi Flat Hut to work up-valley toward Moonbeam Hut and walk out on Thursday. While Geoff, Andrew Buglass, Andrew Barker and Sven Brabyn flew in to Moonbeam to work further up-valley, including County Stream. Then down-valley to stay at Kiwi Flat before walking out on Sunday 13th.

By 3pm Monday, Phil and I had cleared and re-marked up onto the terrace, along the terrace and up around to the junction with Headlong Spur. We then needed to walk on to check out the state of the big slip into the Waitaha that had been putting everyone off in recent times. We could see why, with multiple recent slips. Climbing up the slip we found a good exit near the top to take us back west. So we sidled back, taping as we went and climbing higher as necessary to emerge a little up the Headlong Spur track, returning to the hut by dark.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we walked back in, marking and clearing a route on the eastern side of the slip down to the Moonbeam track and finished marking and clearing from the slip back to Headlong. Thursday morning we cleaned up at the hut, cut firewood, then walked in damp conditions back to our vehicle. Two days later when the Moonbeam four walked down valley, Andrew Barker explored and partly taped a lower sidle than ours that would save the height-gain up on to Headlong.

The sequel to this happened over Labour Weekend when the weather was pretty good on the Coast. Andrew Buglass and Doug Forster walked in to Kiwi Flat to cut and mark Andrew Barker’s lower sidle. All done!