Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary: Tramp No 168
Black Range - 11 October 2019
Hadn't been able to get back out tramping after my initial run of three trips in September due to other commitments and weather considerations, but my friend Bryce was leading this trip on the Black Range, near Bealey and I always enjoy his trips and company. He was running this trip to fill in some blank areas on this short range that he had not yet traversed.
Being a CTC club trip, there were 17 keen trampers, all hoping the weather forecast of supposed light rain in the afternoon was going to hold off until we completed out traverse.
Leaving the cars at the Broad Stream bridge, we headed up broad stream to McKay Stream, then up McKay stream looking for a track that climbed up onto the ridge on the true left.The start of the track was steep but easy enough to follow but higher up we kinda lost it of it petered out and we had to bush bash through young regrowth. The 400+ meter climb through the bush was quite tough and with such a big group, took quite a while and about two thirds of the way to the bushline, the back part of the sole of one of my boots decided to part ways with the rest of the boot.. Went the bush thinned out about 100 odd meters from the bushline, the group stopped to regroup and I presented my boot dilemma to the leader. I suggested I could head back down to the cars but Bryce looked at the options and we found one member of the group had some duct tape which we used to tape the b00t back together.
We continued on to the bush line and stopped for lunch on the open tussock, with the sun tentatively trying to poke it's head out to warm us. After lunch we donned jackets to protect us from the cool breeze and headed onwards and upwards along the ridge to point 1854, hitting patchy but soft snow on the way. The group again got quite spread out with one person in particular falling well behind even me, as I was struggling with my energy levels on this trip. Turns out the straggler was having an even worse time with energy levels than me and when we caught the rest of the group waiting on point 1854, a review of the time we had left and how people were feeling was discussed. It was decided the the person who was struggling at the back was not going to make it in the time we had lest all the way to Mt Misery and so some of the group decided to drop off the tops earlier while the rest continued on to Mt Misery before dropping down. Partly because of the condition of my boot but also because I was feeling a bit sluggish also, I decided to go with the group that was going to drop off earlier, although I did not realize that we still had to get to point 1911 via a second point 1854 before we were to drop off. I found this tough going on this day but slogged on, after waiting for the last member to catch up and was finally relieved to be heading down after point 1911.
The trip down the ridge from Point 1911 was not bad and we found some soft bits to speed the descent although I did have to re tape the floppy boot at one point but the scree soon took care of that and I had to live with my floppy boot for the rest of the descent. The bush bash down the last bit into the unnamed stream below point 1911 was very open and quite steep and slippery and was tricky getting down and I got quite dirty from sliding on my butt etc. This second group had also splintered in the way down with the others taking a different route down and actually getting back to the vehicles well before us. The Mt Misery group hit the highway just up the road from us at a similar time.
On paper the trip didn't look too taxing and although I suspect I climbed over 1500M we actually only covered a distance of about 12Km over about 9 and a half hours, but I found this trip quit tough going.