Monday, February 02, 2009
Chamberlain's Creek and beyond
Today is the first anniversary of the day I started walking down the river. As I am on leave, I celebrated by walking up into the bed of the Ruamahanga from Roaring Stag hut, venturing further upstream than I have ever been.
It is about a 150 minute climb up and over a steep hill from Putara to get into the river at Roaring Stag, and then another 75 minute clamber to get as far up the river as I went today. The river gradually gets narrower and, at the place I stopped, it is in a gorge. I even walked past the dreaded Chamberlain's Creek, the most dangerous little creek in the ranges according to some. Looked calm with summer flow, of course.
I did not need to swim on any of the pools, but I would not venture past the point I finished at without a party to help.
I have talked to others about the last remaining section of the river – and none of my tramping friends have ever been into the upper gorge, which suggests it is not a place for the fainthearted, and perhaps not a place for a nature-loving bushwalker – much less a 56 year old one.
Time will tell whether I am spurred to clamber up to Cattle Ridge, for example, and then drop down through untracked country into the southern arm of the river, then out through the two upper gorges.