Edwards - Otehake
I haven't considered this route seriously before as the common advice seemed to be "stay out of the Otehake". Anyone been down the Otehake valley in recent years?
The DOC description matches what I experienced when i did it years ago, 8 hours slog from Otehake hut to Lake Kaurapataka track junction, it was an uncleared route.. http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/canterbury/places/arthurs-pass-national-park/things-to-do/tracks/edwards-otehake-route/
Do you remember the section they mention where you might want a rope?
never got so bad for us we needed a rope.. , you cant see anything most of the time because you're in thick bush, trying to find the track, head down watching every step, scrambling up and down the side of the gorge
there's an account from last year of the valley from Koropuku up. https://tramper.nz/16357/coast-to-coast-christchurch-to-hokitika/ About half way down, day 3/3/17 Permolat have a work party going in mid December. Not sure if they atre clearing down from the hut tho as the conversation I saw agreed chainsaws were needed for that.
The plan is to give the track line a trim down as far as the hotpools. Maybe add some markers. No highway - just keep it pass-able. I like the idea that the Otehake gorge keeps some of its reputation :-)
Thanks for the replies. Hugh if the track does get some attention, I'd be grateful if you mentioned it here.
Will do Chris. Facebook, Permolat and the FMC website are all good places to keep up developments.
Hugh and co cleared the track 1km I think it was on each side of the hut just this week. It needs a lot more work though. You may be keen to link up with them and give them a hand with the track clearing. It's all good fun. Last time I went up there the place with the rope had turned into an easy slip that just required nimbleness. We put that rope in about 10 years ago but it was wiped away with the slip. Big improvement.
BTW my 14 year old brother and his mate did the Otehake Edwards trip way back in 1970 all by themselves. He'd done the trip with our Dad and our 2 other brothers the year before. I think the mate's parents had no idea what these young lads were doing! It took them 3 days but I've done it as a weekend trip. Just make sure you go from marker to marker and retrace your steps then fan out backwards and forwards from the last known marker when looking for the next marker. There will be false tracks parallel to the real one. There's some technique involving going 90 degrees from the last found marker to find the track but I've forgotten how it goes. Someone on the forum may recall how to use it. It may involve a 90 degree bearing from your direction of travel for so many paces (if you can pace and then a 90 degree change of direction for an equal number of paces). and then if you haven't found the track, an equal number of paces back to your marker i.e. you've done 3 sides of a square and travelled a certain number of paces 'parallel' to your direction of travel. Complicated, sorry...
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