Oct 26 2011

Leith Saddle and Morrison Tracks

Published by under Trampers

Location: 25 km.
Click Swampy ridge track for background information.
26/10/2011. Trampers. Cars at Thompsons Road. Sullivans, Leith Saddle, Swampy, Morrison Tracks.

GPS. Courtesy Ken. Sullivans Dam Leith Saddle track Morrisons

7 of us met at the parking spot opposite Thompsons Rd. with one ‘lost’ tramper sitting at the top of Thompsons Rd. After a quick phone call the “lost” tramper was located, & quickly joined the rest of us. We then walked up the road & over the bridge before going down the steps onto the pipeline track. We followed this to Sullivans Dam where we had lunch in the sun.

Morning Tea at Sullivans Dam. (Ken pic and caption)

We followed the side of the dam to near it’s Nth. end, where we took a side road back onto Leith Valley Rd. just before the saddle.

After stopping to chat with a small group who came down the Leith Saddle Boardwalk, we made our way up there with a few short stops for regaining our breath. As we got out into the more open spaces above the bush line it got rather cold & windy, so: on with some earlier discarded clothing. We hurried across the ‘shortcut track’ which is actually a cable track for NZPO, …

Exit of short-cut onto Pole track. (Ken pic and caption)

… & had lunch in the shelter of the tussock/scrub lining the side of the Pole Track road.



Lunch at side of Pole track. (Ken pic and caption)

After lunch, we made our way down to the top of Morrisons track, & after a few grumbles about the slippery condition of it, we concentrated on our foot placement to negotiate this part of the tramp.



Morrisons--wet & slippery!! (Ken pic and caption)

It was with much relief from some, when we reached the fenceline around the paddock section, & from there it was quite good going all the way to the 4WD track leading back to Leith Valley Rd. where it was a short walk to the cars.

We all enjoyed the day, with only two small mishaps: Hazel’s boot lace hooks tangled, bringing her to a jolting painful fall while walking up the Leith Valley Rd. in the morning, before we had really got going; & Doug had a short ‘sit down’ while negotiating the slippery Morrisons Track. Hazel’s effort required a little bit of first aid, & a clean of her glasses, which were covered in blood on one side. – Ken.

8/10/2008 Trampers. Cars at Thompsons Road, Sullivans, Leith Saddle, Swampy, Morrison Tracks Leaders: Leonie, Ian

Was it fine snow or fine hail? We curtailed our lunch stop just a tad below the transmission mast on Swampy when a brief flurry of the finest of white flakes came sprinkling down.
Four of us had parked just below Thompsons Road on the Leith Valley Road and walked up to the motorway overbridge. We descended the steep steps on the other side to make our way up the pipeline to reach Sullivans Dam. We noted that at long last the spraying leak in the high pressure pipe had been repaired. We skirted the edge of the dam with Leonie noting suitable fishing spots for a later occasion. Then it was up the pipeline at the far end of the dam,….

Bush by Sullivans Dam inlet Pipe track

Bush by Sullivans Dam inlet Pipe track

… a track our club had not attempted for several years at least. Although muddy, the bush was lovely and a far better way of reaching the Leith Saddle than the road.

At the foot of the boardwalk steps we enjoyed morning tea, looking out at the motorway and Waitati in the distance. Then up the boardwalk steps.

Leith Saddle Boardwalk

Leith Saddle Boardwalk

The sun was warm but the bush kept us from overheating. Out into the tussock and up to Swampy Spur trig.

Swampy Spur. Leonie, Ria

Swampy Spur. Leonie, Ria

We savoured the wonderful views

Blueskin Bay from Swampy Spur

Blueskin Bay from Swampy Spur

and the pleasant weather before setting off across the dip to reach the transmitter rise.The lunch-stop was in the shelter of flax a bit below the mast because a cold norwester had sprung up. Then came the flurry of snow and strong wind so we hurried down the phone-cable track to the FWD pole track and on down that to where it ended above the twin bush tracks, the Pole and the Morrison. Descending the Morrison was very slippery due to rain last night but extreme care taken in placing our feet got us safely down to the Leith Valley road at Stoney Ford. A short walk up around a corner and we were back at the cars again. Another good day. – Ian

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