Photo; Alistair and Don finally at the end of the track on the Pylon road, after 9 hours on the track.
Another Tararua track clearing job has been knocked off. The Mt Frith track links the Tauherenikau gorge camp ground with the Pylon road, behind Featherston.
The track was added to the list of tracks managed under agreement with local DOC and was in urgent need of clearing. Gareth Thomas runs the 100 kms endurance race, Wai2k ultra marathon that takes in the Frith track along the way. Gareth was keen to get the track tidied up before the race in December, so we got stuck into it. Little realizing how much work was needed to get the track to a reasonable standard.
The track was originally formed thanks to the efforts of local tramper John Rhodes in the early 1990s through lobbying DOC and the Conservation Board. DOC approval was eventually given, and John and several local tramping clubs memberspregressively cut the new track, a big undertaking considering the vegetation and access. DOC staff occasionally provided help with the cutting.
We averaged nearly 10 hours a day on the track, including the walks in and out, which was 1 to 2 hours each way. Total length of the track cut is 9.6 kms. Total work time worked was 256 hours. The Stihl scrub bar provided by local DOC was in constant use for over 8.5 hours daily. Gareth also arranged with Stihl Shop Greytown who generously loaned a second scrub bar for a couple of days.
All up, 6 volunteers, Gareth Thomas, Gerald Leather, Tony Spittal, Alistair Barr, Don French and Derrick Field hleped put in lots of effort, and long days to get the track cut.
The GWBN are supported by Stihl Shop Masterton. An additional scrub bar was generously loaned by Stihl Shop Greytown, also. Our main scrub bar, a Stihl FS 460 has been given to the GWBN by local DOC Wairarapa.
The track hasn’t been getting much use by tramper’s. Probably due to the poor condition of the track. Parts were getting near to being impenetrable. There’s several options that make it a good day tramp. By leaving a vehicle at one end, and doing the whole route, or a shorter option by descending one of the unofficial tracks that lead down to Featherston. Or continuing to Remutaka Summit, or even down an old route off the Pylon road to the Puffer track at Kaitoke.
The Tauherenikau Gorge track from the Bucks road entrance is an easy walk into the scenic gorge area of the river. Hopefully more locals will take advantage of the good tramp the track provides. With great views of the Tarara’s and the Wairarapa plains.