Colenso Spur, Sparrowhawk Biv, Gold Creek.
Saturday, February 13, 2016. Map: BK36/37
Three-way split report:
Jude’s report: The day looked promising, with brilliant blue sky and sunshine. Three fisher folk set out with hopes of landing a trout or two and making it to Barlows for lunch. The more ambitious group of six were intent on conquering Colenso Spur and beyond. Memories of long ago, hauling myself up a precipitous cliff face, clutching onto handfuls of vegetation, were unfounded bar the one big heave up from the river. Our reward was morning tea in the shade to refuel for the steep climb ahead.
We never did spot the Colenso Spur track and recover my hat, left behind earlier in the day, and instead were very surprised to find ourselves back at Gold Creek. Looking back up the river from the farmland, we could see the rain sweeping down and caught a brief shower while ominous dark clouds hung around the tops.
We arrived back at the van at 5.30 to find the fisher folk relaxing, with two trout to show for their day. The others made it back at 6pm. It looks like I’m not done with Colenso Spur yet!
Trampers: Juliet Gillick and reporter Jude Paton.
Geoff’s report: After lunch, the group consisting of Amy and the two old fogeys continued on, climbing up to the high point Te Atua Mahuru (which proved to be further than expected). From here you could see the Hikurangi Range and across the tops to the turnoff to Sparrowhawk Bivvy. Our route included a long, reasonable flat section which looked promising.Heading across the tops, Amy was soon in front and proved to be very good at finding the unmarked trail. There were plenty of mountain flowers such as gentians and harebells and – surprisingly – lots of white butterflies. At next high point, Orupu, we took a while to find the track; heading towards the track turnoff, unfortunately we got stuck in the leatherwood for a while.
At the Sparrowhawk Bivvy, we stopped for a drink and a brief rest before heading down the spur where a few little climbs slowed us down. Just before we reached Gold Creek, there was a shower. Then it was across the farmland to the van, arriving just before 6pm. Thanks to the others for patiently waiting for us.
Trampers: Amy Hutchinson, John Dobbs and reporter Geoff Donkin
Julia’s report: I foolishly decided during our bushline lunch-break that I would just to up to the tops and then return for some swimming/dips in the deep pools of the Makaroro River. Letting the three others go ahead who were doing the round trip, they had a five minute start. I never did catch them up, but reached the tops junction sign and then descended for my much anticipated cool down. Next time I get up to the tops again, I will check out the track that John Montgomery, Les and I marked down to the Remetupo Stream, and onto Colenso Hut.