Sep 07 2016

Pump House, Tunnels, McRaes Weir, Racemans, return

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers

7. 7/9/2016. Both. McRaes Weir – Racemans Circuit. E. Leaders: Ian, Doug and Arthur H.
GPS of route

GPS of route. Nike App switched on at swing bridge. Sorry! Tramped 10.5 km.

Well! It was a most successful tramp for the first Wednesday of the month for both groups together – four trampers and four hikers, to be precise. So sorry the REST of you didn’t come along.

We enjoyed a sunny sheltered tramp around the McRaes Weir

McRae's Weir. (Helen pic and caption.)

McRae’s Weir. (Helen pic and caption.)

Circuit. (This reporter sticks to the implication of Hamel’s terminology, despite thought-provoking signage at its Racemans’ end.) From there we went further up the Racemans, past the Steve Amies Track turn-off, to reach the point where the Powder Creek Circuit comes across-stream to join the Racemans. Then we turned back, in view of the promised impending storm, till we reached a clear sunny spot to lunch at 12 noon.

Lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch View. (Helen pic and caption.)

Lunch View. (Helen pic and caption.)

From there we returned, via the shorter Racemans track this time, eschewing the lengthier  McRaes Weir Circuit, crossing the swing bridge …

Silver stream looking lovely. (Helen pic and caption.)

Silver stream looking lovely. (Helen pic and caption.)

… to the Silverstream’s true right (we had initially entered by way of it’s true left to that point),  but of course in consequence suffering the foot-soaking (for some) ford to arrive back at the cars just as the predicted storm’s rain began to fall at 1.00 p.m.

Oh, did we mention? We had prudently cancelled the scheduled Traquair tramp the night before, lest the storm caught us in the afternoon while still exposed up on the hills. And we DID promise there could be morning’s sun for a sheltered Racemans’ tramp in the morning. Happily 8 of us took full advantage of the opportunity. Again, we’re sorry the rest of you missed out on our rewarding time together.

P.S. The trampers’ carload enjoyed a post-tramp birthday toast  to one of their own back at The Wooden Table.

Coffee Wooden Table. (Helen pic and caption.)

Coffee Wooden Table. (Helen pic and caption.)

The hikers’ carload returned home out of the rain. – Ian.

6. 25/5/2016 Waiora Camp, Whare Flat Road, Pump House, Mcraes Track, return. Leaders: George and Peter H.
Nike GPS map of Hikers' route.

Nike GPS map of Hikers’ route.

It was a dark and stormy night … nay, ’twas a cold and frosty morn, giving way to a perfect calm and sunny winter’s day. However, an early winter rain-fest on the Monday had put a damper on the Leaders’ plans for Wednesday. Flooded fords at each end of the day’s hike sprang disappointments at both points; the first resulting in a refusal to follow the leaders’ urging, the second, – planned for but only because the lesser of two evils – a boots’ soaking.

But to begin. With on a little confusion, all drivers negotiated the Waiora Scout Camp roads to reach its central parking area. (George had arranged this alternative to the usual spot because on an earlier occasion he had returned to find his car had been broken into.)

While in the camp, we visited a nearby lookout point, remembered by some, only to find the its outlook reduced by healthy bush growth. After that, it was back out the camp gates and up the Whare Flat Road, only to find a strong flow of water streaming over the first of the road’s two fords, blocking our progress. Despite the leaders setting up a rope railing and encouraging group members to take the plunge, no one wished to get cold wet feet so early on a frosty morning. However, before turning back, George recounted the history of the Whare Flat School , whose school house was further up the road, attending to the education of the children of the water race families and settlers in the area. Also, Chris told us of her mother being a former pupil at the school, and also of a relative who had worked on the race. All most enlightening.

So, plan two. Retrace steps back down the road and enter the pump-house area. Back at the pump house, the ford here was equally flooded as shown here in Sharyn’s photo.

Flooded ford. (Charyn pic.)

Flooded ford. (Sharyn pic.)

So it was along the track that followed the fence-line on the stream’s true left and up and over its hilly ridge. The climb is steep, and several turned back, but the majority persisted on. At the track’s outlet by the swing bridge, we circled round …

s-Frost melt vapour. (Sharyn pic.)

Frost melt vapour. (Sharyn pic.)

… to ascend the nearby track that took us to the end of the Tunnels Track – the other end of the one the leaders had originally planned to take.  But  we turned left and took the water race track leading along to McRaes Weir.

About half-way along, we reached the site of the short (dry) water pipe taking the race through a small ridge. Challenged upon learning that it had been scrambled through on previous occasions by many of the older hikers, three new heroes ‘took the plunge’, so to speak, notably Bruce, (who broke the cobwebs for the others, Adrienne, …

Adrienne by pipe exit. (Unknown photographer)

Adrienne by pipe exit. Success. (Unknown photographer)

… Peter …

Peter emerging from water race pipe. (Adrienne pic)

Peter emerging from water race pipe. (Adrienne pic)

… and Janice, …

Accomplished! Bravo Jan. (Adrienne pic)

Accomplished! Bravo Jan. (Adrienne pic)

… emerging from the other side of the hill to the applause of the lesser souls who had preferred the climb over the ridge.

We lunched in the sun …

Lunch. (Sharyn pic.)

Lunch. (Sharyn pic.)

… just a bit short of McRaes Weir, and afterwards continued along the track, past the 1913 storm-damaged wreck of the raceman’s hut, to reach and view the weir and also the challenging steep climb out on the other side of the stream. Either respectively too wet and too steep for the day.

All that was left now, was to return out the way we had come in, but avoiding this time the steep ridge we had negotiated on the way in in favour now of the swing bridge …

Swing Bridge. (Sharyn pic.)

The Swing Bridge. (Sharyn pic.)

… and the soppy ford …

Sloshing across the ford by the pump-house.

Sloshing across the ford by the pump-house.

… by the pump-house. So it was back to the cars in squelchy boots, a change of foot-ware, and then sociable coffee at a cafe for some. – Ian.

5. 7/11/2007. Pump House, Tunnels, McRaes Weir, Racemans, return

Peter, Sabina, Doug M, Joyce, Neil, Wendy, Pat, Bill

Tea break. Identifiable: Peter, Sabina, Doug M, Joyce, Neil, Wendy, Pat, Bill

As this was another first Wednesday of the month, 25 Hikers and Trampers combined for a delightful walk in the Silverstream Water Race area. Joyce and Lesley led us on a round tour of part of the Racemans track area. Because the pedestrian bridge by the Pump House is now a casualty of the large 2006 flood, we kept to the stream’s true left the entire day, appreciating the new track that took us to beyond the swing bridge further up where we stopped for morning tea on a sunny grassy area. We had enjoyed bush rich with bellbird song on the way. Then a gentle climb took us up to the

Rest stop. Peter, Pat, Bill, Bob H, Neil

Rest stop. Peter, Pat, Bill, Bob H, Neil

Racemans Tunnel Track and level all the way along to the old McRaes Weir, which we were shocked to find badly flood-ravaged. Along the way however, Lex pulled a leg muscle. With pain-killers, he was able to return with two supporters to wait for us back at the cars. We crossed the little McReas side- stream and made our way along the McRaes track , admiring some quite large Pungas on the track-side until we reached its junction with the main Racemans Track. At this point we enjoyed

Ken, Wendy, Joyce, Neil, Margaret, Chris, Who?

Lunch. Identifiable: Ken, Wendy, Joyce, Neil, Margaret, Chris, Who?

a leisurely lunch-break in beautiful sunny bush. Then it was down the main access track, past the old Silverstream weir, past the Pump House water intake, along the newer first part of the track, past the Pump House itself and back to the cars to find Lex and his companions waiting for us in the sun. His leg was still sore but not excessively and he looked forward to returning home and getting cold compresses on it. The day proved a good social outing with both groups enjoying each others company. Ian

4. 7/11/2007 Leaders:
3. 13/9/2006. Trampers. Tunnels, McRaes Weir, Steve Amies, Little Coal Creek, Racemans. Medium+. Leaders: Bob H, Athur H.
2. 19/10/2005. Hikers. Racemans, Tunnel Track. Leaders: Nancy, Eleanor B
1. 10/11/2004. Both. Tunnels, Raceman Tracks. Leaders: Bob H, Victor, Nancy.
Weir

Old Weir. Lance, Lois, Anne, Who? Who? Dot, Pat? Bill, Sabina.

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