Classic Westland wilderness: Boulders, dense bush and passing showers. Waitaha River heading for Ivory Lake



  • glennj glennj Hugh, mainly from about 15 mins above Moonbeam for half an hour or so heading up valley. Also saw the odd one which didn't get me heading up valley from Kiwi beyond the slips. Maybe they got a cursory snip as you guys were walking out & then got covered by fern. Bmackz, yes half day or quicker from Ivory Lake to Price Basin hut. Wouldn't call it straight forward when the bypass of the buttress is iced up though.(I copped half an hour of step cutting this month) Rest is good going. Take an ice axe all year round & crampons as well outside summer/early autumn.
    15 April 2012
  • bmackz We went over to PB from Ivory Lake in Feb 2009 and found it straight forward. Did it in an afternoon. From PB into Whitcombe was easy enough or would have been if we had read the remotehut guide more carefully and had not been seduced by glorious day. Our "deviation" had a silver lining, a Tuke hopped around at a discrete distance as we ate lunch. Travel is slow but not particularly difficult compared to say the Waitaha valley at that stage.
    13 April 2012
  • Hugh vN Hugh vN I agree - excellent is not a good choice of description for the Waitaha track and possibly misleading - put it down to post cutting euphoria. Stakes..? we were all certainly aware of the possible issue at the time and its disconcerting to know we obviously missed some. )-: Was it in any particular area?
    10 April 2012
  • glennj glennj Yes, from Sept. I got dinged around the knees or higher 6 times all from pruner cut stakes while heading down what I thought was the middle of the track. What has happened is that there has been prolific growth in places of mainly "water" fern obscuring what would have been visible immediately post cutting. High flat cut stakes well to the edge of tracks have their place as handholds but nothing that got me was needed as a handhold. I don't know why they were left high as I could have taken them off just above ground level with pruners. Track cutters need to remember that potential hazards they leave may be obscured by just one spring season of growth if grasses & ferns are involved. The important thing here is that the tracks are negotiable again and are well marked!
    27 March 2012
  • Andrew Barker Andrew Barker Glenn, where have the knee high stakes come from! Hopefully not Permolat cutters???
    26 March 2012
  • glennj glennj Hugh it is a bit of a stretch to say the Waitaha tracks above Moonbeam are in excellent condition! Very well marked, yes but in excellent condition, no! Windfalls, except for ones you can step over or duck under have had a path cleared through or around them but the track is choked in places with lighter vegetation such as hook grass, flaxes, fern spp. & wispy scrub. Occasional knee high stakes now obscured by fern are a hazard. I highly commend the work you guys did & I would have helped if I could have finished a contract job sooner. The track is heaps better than it was in 2009 but to say that it is in excellent condition could be misleading!
    26 March 2012
  • Ancient Tramper Thanks to a tramping buddy with a good camera, I have the whole hut book and its predecessor on Picasa3. I see only 4 parties from 03 to 08 from PB hut, via both Steadman Ridge and the Lange Range. 'East of pt 2056' was commented, and 'long day' featured in most. Sounds like the odd spot of real rock climbing.
    24 March 2012
  • Ancient Tramper From memory, the IL hut book 2 years ago had notes from a handful of parties which have come over the tops from the Whitcombe via the Prices Basin hut. Extremely rugged going, needless to say.
    23 March 2012
  • Hugh vN Hugh vN as of november 2011, the track up the waitaha is in excellent condition, to where it ends at chainman creek. The last 4k is beside the river as it has always been, as per the photo - depends on the water level.
    16 February 2012
  • Andrew Barker Andrew Barker Hi Johnboy. What was the state of the tracks above Moonbeam? Permolatters cut these in August 2007, then we had the big snow fall in 2008. Cheers Andrew
    8 June 2009
  • Andrew Barker Andrew Barker Hi Mad Pom. See remotehuts.co.nz, lookup Prices Basin Hut, and look at route details. Cheers Andrew Barker
    8 June 2009
  • madpom madpom Looks tough going. Any routes over into the Whitcombe from the Lake to Prices Basin?
    9 May 2009
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Added 8 May 2009 by johnnboy. No revisions.
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