Three Fingers – Bob’s Spur
Ruahine Forest Park
Saturday June 15, 2013
The Wednesday tramping group did this trip recently, and suffered much blood-letting. We therefore were all prepared and most of us wore our thermal leggings. The temperature was down to 1C outside when we arrived at the farm’s car park on Gull Flat Road.
We crossed the farmland and headed up the Three Fingers ridge, following the blue spray paint on the bush track. On the exit from this bush, it looks like it could have been a collection point, as some huge numbers were sprayed onto the rocky, grassy ground. Then the blue markers stopped. The track, however, was easy to follow, if a little slippery after the recent rain.
You soon pass the first trig at 692m, and then continue up. We stopped for a breather, and to take in the farmland views and the Wakarara Ranges.
At one point the track sidles, but another track continues uphill GPS 840/104. Five of the group took the uphill, and therefore split from the rest of us. We continued the sidle, and then a very small drop down into a stream, with a hunter’s bivvy next to it. All looked in good order.
We continued up, emerging from bush onto the scree, and spotted the other group on the knob south of us. They spotted us too, and decided to backtrack. Once we were regrouped on scree where the top trig is visible on the skyline, we continued up together. At the trig (1212m), we started to sidle over boggy tussock towards the bush-line. Geoff opted to go to the high point 1264, from where he took a bearing to Bob’s Spur. We all met at the point where you re-enter the bush-line GPS829/099, heading for Bob’s Spur. There were several different markers, some left by my last time we did this trip. We lunched early here before heading off, keeping to the ridgeline and spotting markers in the bush.
The top section of the bush track is obvious, and at one point you can get a great view of the Golden Crown track, heading up to the Ruahine tops. But when we got to 840/092, we were drawn by what seemed a well-used track off the ridgeline.
We backtracked, and then bush-bashed our way through regenerating scrub which is getting to be waist- to shoulder-high in places. We all wondered who Bob was, and which part of the tramp we were enjoying most. The young golden totara, and Dracophyllum subulatum with its needle-like leaves on twiggy branches gave a wonderful autumnal feel to the day.
Once we had gained the right ridgeline again, it was easy to follow it down to the shingle slide which we were all looking forward to running down (well, maybe not all).
There is a tricky steep bit before you get to the shingle, but once there, it was smiles all around.
At the bottom, some heaved a sigh of relief, and then we made our way through more regenerating bush to the farmland track 848/091 that took us back to our cars.
A great day out.
Trampers: Paul Exeter, Marc Marchal, Geoff Donkin, Jude Paton, Sue Marshall, Sue Martin, Elly Govers, Gillian Dalton, Kay Marshall, Les O’Shea and reporter Julia Mackie