Rivers play a important part in outdoor recreation in New Zealand.
They provide waterways for the canoeist and rafter. They provide natural lines of approach to the mountains for trampers and hunters. Routes often follow river banks and may go through gorges. On some popular tracks there are swing bridges or cableways, but in this country it is often necessary to ford quite big rivers. This can be a risky business which requires skill and judgement.
A Wanganui Tramping Club group had an issue with rivers on a recent trip to Sutherlands Hut in the Haurangi Forest Park. The group took a high track into the hut and made three small crossings to reach the hut. But continuous rain meant the next day's return to the van along a four-wheel drive track posed some problems as there were seven river crossings.
Two or three of these required particular care but by linking up the seven trampers crossed without incident, despite some powerful currents. Had we passed this way a few hours later it may have been a different story. No wonder advice on how to handle rivers takes up 16 pages in the NZ Mountain Safety Council's bushcraft manual.
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With a cold month ahead, the emphasis is on day trips, with four scheduled along with one weekend outing to an alpine hut. The club's full programme for August is:
• Saturday or Sunday, August 7 or 8, Kahui Hut - leader Dave.
• Saturday or Sunday, August 14 or 15, Tongariro Alpine Crossing - leader Esther.
• Sunday, August 15, Old Timers' Afternoon - leader Dorothy Symes.
• Saturday or Sunday, August 21 or 22, Maketawa Hut - leader Garry.
• Saturday-Sunday, August 28-29, Whangaehu Hut - leader Mike.
• Saturday or Sunday, August 28 or 29, Taihape Explore - leader Pam.
Make all inquiries about trips to Barbara, phone 348 9149, or Dorothy, phone 345 7039.
The midweekers have a full programme of interesting trips every Wednesday. Those who get out on Thursday are in two groups, with a longer walk on August 5 and 19 and shorter ones for the TT2 group on August 12 and 26. The Wednesday contact is Victoria, phone 027 6888 190, and the Thursday contact is Anne, phone 345 4776. Call both by 6pm the night before for day trips.
To join weekend trips call the leader by the previous Tuesday at the latest. Call by the night before for day trips. As some trips have limited numbers, leaders have the final say about who to take as they are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of everyone on their trips.
For further information contact Barbara at 348 9149 or visit our website www.whanganuitramping.org.nz
The next club meeting on Tuesday, August 3, at the Veandercross Lounge at the racecourse at 7.30pm will feature an illustrated talk by club member Pam Phease on life in Oman. All welcome.