Another missing tramper in Tararuas

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I'm glad there can be some closure, but I'm sorry to hear of the outcome.
@nzbazza - that makes for some reading. Thanks for sharing.
I didnt get this from the articles I found, but does anyone know if he WAS found in the Arete headwaters? Oops - no i had another look - yes he was found here. Would be good to know how far down the Arete headwaters he made it. That area looks pretty gnarly on the map.
Damn. I was still hoping for a miracle, but that's exactly where a few of us imagined he would be found. Sincere and heartfelt condolences to his family and all those who put so much into the search. The Tararua's are so damned unforgiving when they turn against you, and yet at the same time so enticingly accessible. This will not be the last time this sort of sad tragedy happens. Those little dashed lines on the map look so doable, yet the weather and terrain so treacherous.
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@si-dog - my interpretation was that the pen in this image was pointing to the site:
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He was found bit further upstream, about the 1000 metre contour in the main creek. Bivvy is more or less directly above, some steep bits on the edge of the tussock bench (old bivvy used to be there) Very sad, was a big search in a complex and difficult area/conditions. RIP Darren also an interesting read. is about right, for many who try the route
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That's a very odd spot to end up. Almost looks like he had no intention to go past the pinnacles, but decided from the hut to go down into the valley.
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I'm just guessing but I could imagine maybe he backtracked and walked past Arete Biv without seeing it, perhaps lost his bearings and was just trying to get out of the wind and cold. If he had a map or some rough knowledge, he might have known about Arete Forks Hut and thought he had a chance of reaching it if he continued down, or at last something he could camp on. Thanks for the extra info, @TararuaHunter.
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I went down Arete Stream, in good conditions, many years ago. What I remember most are the very thick leatherwood, the big waterfall sidled on true right (very strong deer trail going the only possible way), and the gorge where the last true left stream enters. It's a difficult route, judged by the fact that I would never go UP it (because of the dense leatherwood growing horizontally) but have been happy to go up other rough routes like South Mitre Stream. Arete Stream is a much more difficult route than some other streams into the head of the Waingawa, like the "dip" that cullers used when coming to Arete Forks from Dorset Ridge, or the valley between Girdlestone and Brocket. In the Tararuas and Ruahines, in many places the only viable route through the leatherwood belt is where there is a slip / rockslide, or where the microclimate has miraculously allowed tussock to dominate rather than leatherwood at this altitude.
The obvious escape route from Arete Biv is down the cut route over Pt1295 to Arete Forks, but the dropoff to it from the main ridgeline is very easy to miss in low visibility. You have to know that you are at Pt1470 and then head east down a very undistiguished slope into the cloud. I agree with izogi, he headed south along the main ridge, either intending to get to Tarn Ridge and got turned back at the Pinnacles, or he was trying to find the Arete Forks track and missed that in the cloud. At that point he decided to go back to Arete Biv and missed that in the folded and bumpy terrain. Every time I've been to the Biv it's taken more than one go to find it. Then he overshot the Biv, went down the ramp northeast of it, and landed up way lower than he expected, and by now his priority was to get down out of the wind. Apologies if this is all speculative, but it is playing on my mind. I love the area, but every time I've been there it's played a trick on me.
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Forum The campfire
Started by TararuaHunter
On 3 June 2019
Replies 87
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