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Sunday, September 3, 2000

Bobs Biv (Mt Thomas) 3rd September 2000

Uncle Roddus tramping diary: Tramp No 1
Bobs Biv (Mt Thomas)3/9/2000.

This report concerns  the very first tramp that I participated in as far as my serious tramping career is concerned. Before this time I just use to do short bush walks or hill climbs with friends or by myself. usually not more than 2-4 hours walking and always on well formed tracks etc...(apart from doing the Milford track back in 1991).I had always wanted to get more serious about tramping and so finally decided to find a club to go out with and get some more experience. This trip, with The Christchurch tramping Club was the first of many with that club of which I have been a member for almost 10 years now.
This particular trip to Bobs Biv was a last minute change of plan as the weather forecast wasn't too good for the planned trip and the trip leader picked this one as an alternative. I meet the group at the Mt Thomas picnic area, as I live not far from this place, on an overcast and drizzly morning. Leaving at 9:15am we headed up the Wooded valley track, which is a pleasant winding and undulating track up through Beech Forrest. According to my diary, it took us about 2 & 1/2 hours to reach the junction track to Bobs Biv. From the junction we travelled in a westerly direction away from Mt Thomas, traversing an open spur of rock and tussock before re-entering the bush of lovely moss covered stunted beech. During this time it started to rain. Further along the ridge we encountered a swampy open area of tussock and I seem to remember having a standing lunch somewhere along here, hiding  under trees with steady rain falling. We re-entered the Forest and arrived at the Biv after another 100 or so meters. Bobs biv is a lovely spot with a fire place out side and a basic old two person forest service Biv. It took us 5 hours to get to the biv. 
After a rest to enjoy the tranquility of the spot, we headed back the way we came heading for No.2 track to take us back down to the cars.I was in the front of the group chatting with a fellow Sparky who was a club regular and experienced tramper. We had gotten ahead of the rest of the group and suddenly we  found ourselves at a fence and style. I was sure we had not encountered this on the way in but my companion wasn't so sure, so we stayed putt until we heard the leaders whistle behind us and discovered we had  been so engrossed in conversation that we had missed the junction and started to head off down to Pinchgut Hut.We re connected with the rest of the group and headed off down track No.2 through more Beech, then a  cleared patch with great views of the Canterbury plains, before entering the last leg of our descent through the commercial pine forest.Arrived back at the cars about 5:45PM. Quite a long day for my first serious tramp, but I wasn't in too much pain afterwards.unfortunately I have no photos from this trip.


Honora said...

I remember that day well. It was a substitute for our Benmore Hut circuit (Frank's idea)!. We did a 1400 m height gain which was far more than the hard trip people did that day. Beth in particular was quite tired and Frank concentrated on boosting her morale. I've got one photo from that day. I'll see if you're in it! Ruth Tramschek is.

Bob's Biv was a campsite established by a well-known hunter who had only one arm. Ron Boocock told me about him. Ron was an honorary ranger around the area. The biv there was taken from the upper Salmon Ck. Frank and I saved the lower biv from the same fate by recutting and marking the track to it from Black Hill.

Now DoC have cut a helicopter site, replaced the toilet and replaced the mattresses as well as doing some cutting and (unnecessary) remarking of the track. But it is good that they're doing this stuff as it means the biv is well and truly saved. Frank and I still go in and keep an eye on it, and cut windfalls etc.

Roddus said...

Awesome that you remember this so well. Of course it was the first time we met. I remember being pretty knackered myself as I certainly wasn't tramping fit, but of course i was a vbit younger then.

Interesting info on the upper salmon creek biv. I have visited the site where it was. I didnt know that it ended up there. Still haven't stayed the night at Bobs Biv, must do it one summer nighht.