Kaweka J – Boulder Stream, Wednesday February 17 2010
Trampers: Kelvin Shaw, Peter Slagter, Julia Mackie, Keith Moretta, Alison Greer, Paul Exeter, Vic Bullock, Les O’Shea, Ken Ross, John Marshall, Viv Bramley, Sue Martin, Alan Lewis, Manfred Hausler, and guest Edgar.
Low cloud and occasional drizzle started as the group of 14 began up Trials Spur from the Kaweka road car park. A small stream at the start of the trail, which normally is easy to cross, has now become a metre-deep channel due to heavy summer rain. Of the group, four limited their day to reaching Kaweka J, while the remainder continued on the Boulder stream loop.
Low clouds hung over the surrounding hills, creating a wonderful sight as we quickly ascended to Dominie Bivvy. Covering the Kawekas was an abundance of hebes, brighteyes, daisies and many more flowers. The occasional drizzle quickly cleared to maintain the picturesque views below. After a short break at the bivvy, the group climbed to the ridgeline of the Kawekas. Heavy drizzle, cloud, cool winds and poor visibility resulted in a short visit to the Kaweka J trig and the Heretaunga memorial cairn.
The group quickly headed northwards as the poor conditions continued. A planned stop at North Kaweka ridge was abandoned, and we dropped down to view the tarns and stay out of the cool winds. After the tarns, we descended further to the start of an unnamed spur (named by the club as Paul’s Spur) not to be confused with Pinnacle Spur. An early stop for lunch with a view of the Makahu Spur which we had ascended.
After that, we descended down the spur. This was a beautiful and rugged ridgeline, where softer sandstones have eroded quicker than the harder rock, creating curving and jagged ridgelines. Further down, we began to hit pockets of beech trees, until we came to a cairn, signalling the start of a disused beech forest track. After a steep descent through the beech forest, we crossed Boulder Stream. Again, summer rains had eroded the stream, making it difficult to enter and exit.
Although not maintained by DoC, the beech track is still heavily used by hunters and was easily visible, with the occasional marker to reassure that we were still on the track. After an hour’s walk from Boulder Stream, we intersected the Kaweka Flats track. A further 30 minutes along Kaweka Flats track, we reached the Kaweka car park and our vehicles.