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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rocky Creek hut - Griffin Creek hut 21-22 April 2012

Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary:Tramp No 119
Rocky Creek hut - Griffin Creek hut 21-22 April 2012

Another slightly epic weekend tramping adventure as Uncle Roddus and Brendan headed off to the West coast to do the Rocky Creek hut/Griffin Creek hut circuit. Left the car at the Taipo River bridge on a mild and partly overcast day at about 9:20am and headed off along the short stretch of four wheel drive track before hitting the marked route along the grassy flats. We soon hit the bush track and followed a well cut and marked track through the bush, climbing up onto a terrace and travelling along that terrace untill we sidle around and drop into Rocky Creek. this took us about an hour and 30 minutes. Had a pleasent rest and refuel amongst the rocks of Rocky Creek, before bolder hopping up a moderatly difficult river, due to the size of some of the rocks, the very slippery nature of the rocks and the flood debris littering the creek bed. Although it appeared to be only a couple of kilometers up stream from where we entered the creek bed, to the hut, it actually took another 2 and 1/2 hours to negociate the rocks and acheive the Rocky Creek hut and Uncle Roddus was starting to wonder if we had missed the track taking us to the hut. Eventualy we found the track entrance, and although it wasn't a convincing route to start with as we followed a very small stream, we soon found out selves on a track that led us to the hut and also found that the 4 and 1/2 hours it took us to get there was about right. After a quick lunch, we headed off again continuing on past the hut and dropping back down into rocky creek. The time to the saddle was mentioned at about 1 hour but with the rocks being so slippery we were a bit slower than that but it was easier going that lower down. After some time rock hopping our way up stream we came to an impassable waterfall, I had been warned about this waterfall and wasn't sure how we were supposed to get around it. After further exploration we came to the conclusion that we had taken a wrong turn and also were now unsure as to the exact route up to the saddle. After deciding that we were now going to run out of daylight to get over to Griffin Creek, we did some more exploring of the probable route to the saddle and concluded that it looked a bit too difficult due to all the overgrown trees and that we wern't hardcore enough to take that route, and anyhow were were running out of daylight as all this had comsumed about 3 hours.
 As were were just starting to head back to Rocky Creek hut, who should we see tramping up stream towards us but Frank and Honora, tramping friends and the couple who had been maintaining the track into Rocky Creek for the last few years. We explained to them what we had done and were doing and they said they were going over the saddle now and why don't we come with them. This would involve some considerable after dark travel, but I had an exceptional headlight and Frank & Honora were vastly experienced at night travel and also knew the way over to where we were going. The soon confirmed the route to the saddle was indeed the route we had explored earlier and the going wasn't as bad as it had looked. We soon arrived at the big slip further up the stream and then frank located the start of the track upto the saddle. This track is pretty overgrown now and with fading light we lost it for a while and tried a couple of ways up but didn't quite get to the saddle, but we eventually got there and started the long slog carefully down the unnamed creek towards Griffin creek. As it was now dark, going was pretty slow as we rockhopped down stream, missing the track entrance where we were to sidle round above Griffin creek, but instead we hit Griffin creek its self and with Franks knowledge finally found the hut about 8:30PM.
 Sunday was another plesant day and after leaving the hut around 9:30am backtracked along the track and back into Griffin Creek, which we followed down stream untill we found the track which takes us on a short but very steep climb up to point 974 on the Griffin range. After a rest at the top we left Frank and Honora as they were going to do some track maintence on the ridge track down to the road, although the track itself was in pretty good shape and bloody steep in places. We arrived at the road by about 2:30pm after taking our time and a couple of good breaks as well as cutting away some small windfall. A challenging route finding trip and another lesson on the ruggedness of West Coast tramping.

Random Photos due to bloggers inability to put them in the order from my folder when uploading multiple pictures.

Uncle Roddus in Rocky Creek.

Blue Ducks in Griffin Creek.

Heading down Griffin Creek on Sunday

Looking down on Griffin Creek while climbing up onto the Griffin Range.
About to enter the forest  in the Taipo

The track heading down to the road off the Griffin Range.

A pigeon.  

A little fatty.

Log jam in Rocky Creek.

Large Rock in Rocky Creek

Rock hopping in Rocky Creek.

More Rocks in Rocky Creek.

Uncle Roddus at Rocky Creek Hut.

More logs in Rocky Creek.

The route NOT to take to get to Rocky Creek Saddle.

Uncle Roddus at Griffin Creek Hut.

Our Saviours.

This is the creek we follow to the saddle track from Rocky Creek.

This is the waterfall we shouldn't end up at. 

Uncle Roddus early on Saturday on the Terrace above the Taipo.

The Bath below Griffin Creek Hut

A nice shot looking up Griffin Creek.

And there were some trees.

Looking down on Rocky Creek with the Taipo in the background.


honora said...

Great photo of the blue ducks!

Roddus said...

Thanks Honora, that was the only one with both ducks showing their bills. I took about 20 photos and 75% of them were good. I'm sure Frank got some good shots too.