Dorset Ridge Hut

Way cool a trip with a fellow walker, Carl, who can. We set off with a single aim of getting to Dorset ridge hut and having a beer or two and some whisky and then getting back in a weekend. And we did.

The whisky for Dorset Ridge Hut is a whisky that needs to be taken for a walk in the hills to be enjoyed. At home in the city it was too sweet and heavy with sherry. At Dorset this whisky became awesome Bunnahabhain 'Signatory' 2001 58.1%

Friday 28/10/2011
Left much later than the planned lunchtime, it was more like sometime after 4.00pm. Eventually we where at the Holdsworth car park and we headed off to Jumbo hut. The millipedes where out in force, from Aitwhakatu to Jumbo; you could see them almost every step of the way. Perfect conditions for them, damp and a bit claggy.
And there was a snail out, photoed by Carl.
We got there before midnight and as there where others already there in their sleeping bags we sat on the verandah and looked at the distant city lights whilst drinking our beer and whisky.

Saturday 29/10/2011
It was a nine hour day from Jumbo Hut to Dorset Ridge hut with interesting travel over the Broken Axe Pinnacles and the ridge we went down to get into Dorset Creek. We tried to go a way that would not be common, even so we found some tape markers in the forest on the ridge we went down. We still had a great time bush bashing and climbing thru tree fall and sliding down steep near bluff sections.
The route we did on Saturday from Jumbo Hut to Dorset Ridge Hut:
Its all a normal well traveled wander to the broken axe's, usually some good views today just clag and shapes.
The clag cleared a bit as we got to the north side of the Kings, just when we started down the ridge to Dorset creek.
The wander thru the bush before the creek was very easy going except for the last few hundred meters. Good slip sliding bush bashing but made easy with the fine weather. The creek is a steep rocky slippery place, not deep and this weekend was easy to travel. Our last trip here was with deep cold swift water from snow melt.
The "track not maintained" up to Dorset was overgrown still easy to follow as it is marked with an assortment of tags and it is mostly on the top of a narrow ridge.
Eventually the hut comes into view, it is a good exercise ridge, gives a good pump out.
Once we where at the hut we got together firewood, made very difficult due to the axe being broken, finally got enough chunks to warm us and dry our gear out. As we had the hut to ourselves we turned it into a comfortable lounge room.

Sunday 30/10/2011
The going home day and we set an alarm for 7:00 am because we decided on a long walk out. So we got out of bed at 10:30, because sleeping was good. Had a bit of a tidy up, and found a perfect axe in the hut. Had coffee and food and finally headed away after 12:pm. What's with the Tui can built into the long drop?
As we headed away got a view of the hut with the Broken Axe Pinnacles in the background.
Took our time and had lots of stops for views as we left Dorset Ridge Hut and wandered up onto the Dorest Ridge and then up Girdlestone. Carl heading up the Pinnacles onto Girdlestone.
Looking into South Mitre Stream.
View looking North to Girdlestone from near the top of South King.
View of the Broken Axe Pinnacles as we head down toward Baldy on our way back to the car.
From here it was approx 3 hours out to the car. We had no rain while we walked and the wind hardly ruffled us. Another great wander in the Tararuas.

Travel Times
2011 Left Holdsworth car park.
2151 Aitiwhakatu hut.
2158 Left Aitiwhakatu hut.
2334 Jumbo Hut

1000 Left Jumbo Hut.
1022 Holdsworth turnoff.
1128 McGregor Biv turnoff.
1326 South King
1426 Mid King Biv sign.
1533 Taking ridge North of North King down to Dorset Creek.
1705 In the creek of Dorset.
1851 At Dorset Ridge Hut.

1222 Left Dorset Ridge Hut
1300 At Dorset Ridge Hut sign.
1408 On the main range.
1429 Girdlestone.
1645 Mid King Biv sign.
1709 South King.
1813 Bush entry off Baldy, stopped for a meal.
1838 Off again.
1916 Saddle.
1926 OVer the swing bridge.
2005 Aitiwhakatu hut.
2134 At Holdsworth Road end.

Map of the Walk
For this area we walked; maps NZTop50 BN33, BN34, BP33, and BP34 are needed.

High Ridge

Last month I wandered along High Ridge but headed off the wrong side of the ridge and never completed the entire "Track not Maintained"; back for a second go with Carl. We headed off on Saturday afternoon to Holdsworth Road end and then up the hill to Powell Hut for the Saturday night. Sunday up to the top and then along High Ridge to Totara Flats hut and then back out to Holdsworth Road end.

Saturday 15/10/2011
We left Wellington Saturday afternoon and drove to Holdsworth car park, stopping in Carterton for a plate of food. Headed off from the car park to Powell Hut some time after five pm. In the open spots before Rocky Lookout had good views of both Powell and Jumbo huts. Could even see Mitre in the distance.
Stopped at Rocky Lookout to yak on the phone and have a general look at things. Ring thing in the rock.
Got to the hut and a group of people where having a birthday party there. Nice and warm. Relaxed and while having a beer snow flakes began to fall.

Sunday 16/10/2011
When we got out of bed we noticed that there was a light snowfall outside. Not too chilly. The snow was more noticeable at the High Ridge sign.
We dropped off our packs here and carried on up to the top of Holdsworth. The cloud clearing as we neared the top.
Carl on the top by the Holdsworth trig.
Headed back down to the High Ridge turnoff and then off. Good view looking back along High Ridge to Holdsworth.
The following is the view SW along High Ridge.
At Flaxy Knob, sign and cairns, this time was different to my last trip; we kept on the western side wherever there was tree fall. As last time I gave up and headed into Red Rock creek.
It was a good walk down to Totara Flats hut as the track is well used and easily followed. We stopped at the hut for a meal. Nobody there, big empty hut. Carl in good humor at the Totara Flats turnoff.
Looking towards the Kings from Rocky Lookout.
Not too far to the car and a drive home,

Trip Times
1722 Left Holdsworth car park.
1803 Rocky Lookout for hone photo etc.
1822 Left Rocky Lookout
1843 Totara Flats turnoff
1859 Mountain House turnoff
1958 Powell Hut

0942 Left Powell Huy
0954 Dropped off packs at High Ridge turnoff.
1024 Holdsworth trig.
1056 Heading off along High Ridge.
1312 Flaxy Knob and sign to Totara Flats.
1445 Cairn on the track
1447 At the swing bridge.
1451 At Totara Flats hut.
1558 Left Totara Flats hut.
1754 Totara Flats turnoff.
1857 Holdsworth car park.

Map of Walk

View Larger Topographic Map

Angelus Hut

First visit to Angelus hut in Nelson Lake National Park this year. Doing the trip with daughter Tariga for her first time and we got sub optimal weather. We aim to go to Speargrass hut for the first night and then up Speargrass to Angelus Hut for the second night. Final day is to be a walk out along Robert Ridge. Depending on the weather.

Monday 10/10/2011
Left Nelson and drove to the Robert Ridge car park and headed off in ok weather for Speargrass hut. Meet two people coming out and they told us there where about ten people in the hut. Got us thinking of options as its a twelve bunker and by the time we got there it may have been full. We decided sleeping on the floor was ok. Tariga on the boardwalk thru the trees.
Tagz on a walkway
Just crossed the creek and at the junction, minutes from the hut.
Tagz on the old green sign
The hut as seen just as leaving the trees, didnt look full. Had two bunk spaces left. Nice, no floor.
Speargrass Hut
With two families and their four young kids playing cards we decided on having a evening snack of health food somewhere else.
Tuesday 11/10/2011
I slept until most people had left as the walk for Tuesday is three to five hours depending on fitness, weather, and the snow.
We headed off up the Speargrass valley to Angelus Hut. A good day for walking, not hot at all. The open area after the trees with plant life and low hanging cloud.
Just thru the forest at the start
Looking back at the forest we came thru.
Tariga on edge of bush
Began to get claggy after headed up the valley for a few hours.

After being in a white out for a while we eventually had enough visibility to know where to go and got to the empty hut. Got a fire going and we slept in front of it a very warm and comfortable night.
Wednesday 12/10/2011
The clear blue sky that was forecast Sunday night was somewhere else.

Trip Times
1243 Left Robert Ridge car park.
1529 At Speargrass Hut.

Total: 2h46m

1155 Left Speargrass Hut
1230 Out of the bush and into the open valley.
1340 Into the snow, a few clear bits, easy walking stuff, not need crampons. 

Map of the Trip

View Larger Topographic Map

Railway to Nowhere

Brian took us on a days explore of the remnants of the Nelson railway.

Old railway dodad
Its open
Brian and Jaryn
Heading to the Tunnel

Looking thru

Other End


The inside of that tunnel

Map of Journey