Lawrence to Lotkow Road (and return), Wednesday, July 2, 2008. Map: U20
John Gray, Alison Greer, Garry Whincop, Ted Angove, Paul Exeter, Vic Bullock, Alex Stevenson, Ron Morrison, Keith Morreta, John Mason, John Marshal, Peter Youren, Arther Mead, Kelvin Shaw, Dianne Hill, Lorretta Pearson, Gordon Tapp, Graham Bell, Jeanne Van Den Hout, Manfred Hausler and Ken Ross. Report by Ken Ross
Twenty-one of us set off from the Lawrence car park in better-than-expected conditions for a mid-winter tramp. All but three, who personalised their tramp, intended to walk to the Lotkow Road end and return via the alternate route, along the road and up through the pine trees. And all did, what’s more.
The track involves a steady climb after crossing the Tutaekuri, over a low saddle, then follows a stream up to the road end. Last time we used this route, the upper section of the track was in poor condition with overgrown undergrowth and wind-throw impeding progress. Not so this time.
After reaching Lotkow Road, we headed north along it for about a kilometre to a track up to our left. I was glad we had some old hands with us, because from the road there was no indication of a track at all. It made me wonder whose track it was. Who should maintain it? Should we do more to replace track markers?
We followed a reasonable track up through contorta and had a quick lunch at midday; quick, because the wind was getting up and the rain closing in. After following down a ridge for a while, we picked up (again with the help of the old hands) the track, which drops off quite steeply to rejoin our outward track at the stream below. We had our raingear on by this stage. We then ‘undulated’ our way back to the swing bridge and up the hill to the car park in, by now, steady rain.
Tramping is said to be a bit like banging your head against a brick wall. It’s good when you stop. We’d all had a good day’s tramp, but what a great way to finish: a steep uphill climb in pouring rain. Dry clothes and hot coffee are then a real delight.