Garry River Track
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Hi, I was up on Mount Richardson yesterday and noticed a well cut track leading down from the 797m trig on the Blowhard Track. Apparently this was cut by CTC members some time back. Wondering if anybody has followed this and where you went next. Could be kinda fun to head up Pioneer Stream and then up to Bob's Camp.
I never noticed that track when I was up there three months ago. Probably too busy marvelling at the tui up in the branches beside the 797m beacon amongst the trees... CTC did cut it and even started up the other side to 100m according to the report: http://www.ctc.org.nz/index.php?option=com_tripreport&task=view&id=379 Would be great to see a route of sorts to Bob's Camp Biv - and make a loop of it. That would also require permission from Matariki Forests to access Garry Road through the plantation back to Birch Hill... Currently all North Canterbury Matariki Forests are closed due to fire risk. The CTC did a trip up the Garry River: http://www.ctc.org.nz/index.php?option=com_tripreport&task=view&id=702
Cool! Thats on my planned rangi-hokitika crossing. One bushbash fewer...
Funny! We were planning to check out that track today but the rain is over to the east a bit more than originally forecast - 3.5mm at Ashley Gorge so far today. A few years ago Emma Richardson, Gareth Rapley and I went down another spur to the Garry. The one 1.5km upstream with the slip on the southern face. This spur is more defined and I think because of that, the vegetation on it was quite scratchy. It would be good to explore up the track that Sue and Doug hadn't finished and do a bit more snipping and marking sometime.
Fascinating. Will head back for another look when I get a free day. So I followed the track for about 200 metres before turning back. It was easy walking and quite obvious. There is also the other track near the summit of Richardson that leads down into the Lees. I haven't tried that either. Not so sure on access. The top end looked like it had traffic.
That track into Lees Valley almost follows along the line of a paper road and terminates at a reserve and then one could walk back to the bridge via the marginal strip alongside the Ashley but you'd probably have to criss-cross the river. Have a look on wams.org.nz and you'll see what I mean. I've often thought about doing that track too. One time we walked along the tops from Bob's Biv to Mt Richardson and then back via Blowhard and the forestry roads. There was a wee car-case type bivvy on the way to Ashley Hill from Bob's Biv. There's a track that goes up to Ladbrooks Hill from the Lees Valley Rd and it would be possible and legal to walk along the ridge to Mt Richardson then one could go down that 4WD track as described and make a circuit of it or do it in reverse and take MTB's for the downhill run. It is only 3.5 km to the Upper Ashley bridge from where the Ladbrooks Hill track comes out onto the Lees Valley Rd. I think permission would be obtained from that Landcorp Ltd crowd: [Email address removed]. They need a week's notice for permissions but it may not be required if you can stick to the legal areas. I think they would only be funny about hunters going in there.
Ladbrooks Hill, I seem to recall a local tramping group had some access problems not so long ago... the landowner was very put out when the group crossed his 'patch', despite the group thinking they were safely on public land. WAMS is very useful at such times but isn't gospel. Bobs Camp Biv is on a loop track but it always seemed odd to me that Salmon Creek Biv was at the end of a track with no obvious exit/connecting routes? Primarily a hunter's hut? NW of there are the Waimak Gorge Huts... used by jetboaters presumably. Danilo Hegg did a circuit which included Ashley Hill: http://www.southernalpsphotography.com/Tramping/Canterbury-and-Kaikouras/Bobs-Camp-Biv/i-9hzSRw3
Yes, the farmer was right, there is a 200m section at the bottom of this track that is on his land. If you nip around the corner 300m along the road to the east, you can access the track legally. WAMS is right and LINZ is right too as Frank GPS'd the section of the Ashley Lees Valley Rd very carefully from the data that LINZ provide to Freshmap. I'd say the farmer doesn't want hunters accessing his prime hunting grounds via this public land. Notice the security camera warnings along the road - yeah right. What we need to do is cut and bench a track in a nice steep bit of terrain round the corner to the east. Frank and I are highly motivated to do this ourselves as he has the gear e.g pickaxes and mattocks etc. Anyway, the sunny side start to the present track is very gorsey and the first few metres are very steep.
Some folks do a circuit involving Salmon Ck by visiting Puketaraki Biv or Chest Pk. You can go along the ridge via Red Saddle or use the stream. Real masochists e.g. Neil Sloan and Shona McKee have gone down Salmon Ck and then crossed over to Walker Hut in the Waimak Gorge. Neil enjoyed it so much, he repeated the stunt and then realised he must have forgotten all about the horrible scrubby sections. I heard a rumour that Murray Hills, (the hermit of Woodstock who got booted off to Woodstock Downs for ratting on the farmer for overstocking and starving his deer), had cut a track through this route. But Murray is a little shy and notes I've passed to his mother have never borne fruit.
That loop via Ladbrooks looks like a good one to try. Thanks!
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