Dobson - Hopkins via Sth Reticence Col

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For many years I've been idly looking at map G38 trying to reconcile Moir's words 'there are no straightforward crossing of the Neumann Range north of Mt Glenmary' with what looks like an entirely do-able col south of Mt Reticence. Finally got round to taking a look this weekend, and can confirm there is indeed a technically straightforward tramping climb on the sth side of the creek above Kennedy Hut to the col. The south side of the valley dropping to the Hopkins was also easy, except for a 50m section of scrub above the beech. The trip would be far harder in reverse as routes up tussock guts and terraces through a section of bluffs between 1700m and 1800m on the eastern side, whilst obvious to those climbing, would be harder to pick on the way down. The snow gully leading to the col held snow this weekend (late Jan) on the northern face - so iceaxe and crampons were handy - but loose scree on the southern face would be another option in late summer (now) for those without crampons. The route is on routeguides, for those interested. A gpx file will follow as soon as I get a product key out of the manufacturer to reinstall the software. Grrr. http://routeguides.co.nz/routes/1219

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Thanks madpom. The chances are as the years tick by I'll never get to do the hard-core trips like this again. But hell I do enjoy reading your route-guides. Almost the same as being there ... and easier on the knees :-)

@madpom Looks like a great trip. What does the ridge up to Mt Reticence look like from the Col? What is 4wd access like after Station Hut please?

@1strider. Re 4wd - passed Station Hut at 11pm in pitch dark (walking) and immediately lost 4wd track. Riverbed very channelled but maybe better on track if you find it. Re Reticence. Summiting from east was my objective. Sadly never got a clear view of ridgeline. Slab rock faces on east face in places - ascent direct from base of snow gully would have been doable with more snow but too much bare rock for me last weekend. Ridgeline from saddle -lots of rock outcrops so sidling high on east face reqd. Probably doable but as i say never got to see enough of it to be sure. Knackered after fri night mission to Kennedy and wimped out of trying. Enough energy to summit but not enough to nearly make it, fail and return via col to either valley. In hindsight should gave tried as good camping options in head of valley to west of saddle if I had had to turn back.

@madpom, thanks for the detail. Not surprised you were knackered that's quite a night hike. The guide books list grade 1'ish climbs from the upper Hopkins but, on paper at least, the east ridge looks straightforward. Probably better as a winter/spring route but I note your mention of avalanche chutes/zones. My next question was about camping options around the saddle so thanks for answering that in advance :)

From what I can gather from climbnz it'd be the first recorded summit from the Dobson. Would be nice to have just one of those ... even if it's a simple tramping climb that no-one else ever got around to yet!

Interesting. I've gone over from the Hopkins (Richardson Biv) to the Dobson via Tragedy Col, en-route to Barron Saddle-Mueller-Mt Cook Village.

Added my elcho pass route, which could be used in conjunction with your reticence col route, for those cutting across the grain. BTW which reminds me theres something that trips me up everytime i try to remember how to add a route. You have to first add a start and end place (using main menu). Then (again main menu) add the route. Clicking the route segments pen icon, click out the route from the start place to end place, double click to end the line, then straight away click the route segments pen/tick icon. If you dont follow this drawing procedure exactly your trace gets easily lost. Can this be any easier at all? I traced that route 5 times before i got it right, getting more and more rough each time.

@zoneblue. Thanks for the alternative Elcho Pass route. Will get over that one one day and look at that pass ... probably in conjunction with Upper Otoko or Mueller over to the Coast. I think the 'standard' route heads down McKerrow creek (TL) as there's a DOC-triangled route comes down there and hits the Landsborough. Only followed it a few hundred meters, but I assume it heads for Elcho. As for your points about adding routes. Steps 1 to 3 (Add start place add end place, add segment) are all combined in one workflow if you use Add Route. Click Add Route then either the arrow icon to select, or the plus icon to create the start and end points. Regarding the drawing of routes, there's less I can help you with there. The drawing is handled by openlayers, and without delving into their code there's not much I can do to change it. BE aware that ctrl+z can be used to undo any mistaken points whilst you are drawing the line. See the (?) on the draw route field for that and other tips. Is your frustration with mistakes made during drawing meaning you have to start again? (which ctrl+z will help with). Or the fact that you have to click the arrow to turn on drawing, draw the line, then click the tick to save what you've drawn? Manually turning on drawing will always be required because there are multiple different map interactions in the screen and the system needs to know which one you're wanting (select place, draw line), but the click 'tick' to save could probably be eliminated if that's your frustration. Let me know.

Im not certain what happened, just that i lost my trace several times in a row. For insight into things like this there is nothing quite like getting a couple of random strangers to test it while you watch silently over their shoulder.

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Forum Tracks, routes, and huts
Started by madpom
On 31 January 2016
Replies 16
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