Jul 17 2013

Swampy from Access/Rollinsons Road

Published by under Trampers

17/7/2013. Trampers. Rollinsons Rd, Rollinsons Track, Swampy Ridge track along to Hightop, & return.
4 trampers set out from the locked gate On Rollinsons Rd. which was a little icy in places & there was still some snow showing in parts as well. We were all amazed at the amount of destruction that the snow had caused, with 15cm Manuka splintered like matchwood, & everything sort of flattened.
We had morning tea in the shelter by the picnic area, & then climbed up to the elbow, where we went straight ahead on Rollinsons Track, which was running with water in parts, & covered with snow in other areas.
After reaching the Swampy Ridge track we set off towards Hightop, but soon found our way impeded by fallen Manuka. We negotiated this for a kilometer or two before arriving at a very large & difficult blockage, so as it was almost mid-day, we decided to have lunch, & then return to the cars. – Ken.
31/3/2010. Trampers. Rollinsons, Swampy Ridge, Hightop. Leaders: Ria, Ian

The tramp differed from intentions. For one thing, the leaders had done no recce due to a failure to find a date suitable to both. For another, it had been four years since we had last tackled the track, and memories were a little hazy. Going in from the elbow of Rollinson Road, we were first surprised to find the Rollinson Track sign missing, replaced by one announcing “Tarns”. We wondered at this, but were pleased to find the track fairly well marked by fluorescent pink tape.

Early part of Rollinson Track

These led us helpfully deeper into the swamp. The dry summer had left the track beautifully only damp where there would normally have been mud.

Deeper into the swamp.

Second surprise. The helpful pink tapes had led us down to Swampy Lagoon. Obviously the “tarns”, or one of them. Were there others?

Swampy Lagoon

Oh dear. Where to from here? With reflective hindsight, we should have resisted the seductive tapes way further back and sought out the true Rollinsons, once upon a time indicated with Les Murcott’s green markers, some still there in places but now very faded. We should have paid them more attention. But we had been suckered by the pink. So what to do? We knew we were well off the track, and that anyway, up at the top was Swampy Ridge track. So we set off up a vertically vertical ridge, pulling ourselves up with tufts of tussock and grass, to eventually gain the track, after much heaving and huffing.

Looking back down steep ridge we had just climbed

Later on, northwards to where the Ridge Track had considerably descended (!), we found the pole indicating where Rollinsons track DID emerge onto the ridge, by way of a MUCH easier climb.

“R” pole indicating Rollinsons track junction with Swampy Ridge.

Near the north end of Swampy Ridge Track,

North end of Swampy Ridge Track

we attempted a climb of Clump Peak on our right, as our way  to Hightop on our left had appeared too scrubby.

Clump Peak viewed from the west

5/10/1988. Swampy from Access Road gate. Average Climb. Great views around summit (bring binoculars. Return by Flagstaff weather permitting. Car shuttle if required. Leaders: Bob H, Ria L, Jean Y
See Flagstaff Name for its origin.


But even here a thick belt of gorse blocked our way so we hunkered down for lunch interrupted by a VERY light shower which was magically terminated by dint of one or two of us donning parkas.
Back then, along Swampy Ridge and up to swampy summit topped by the Airways VHF receiver station. Descending the Rollinson accesss road to the elbow completed our extended circuit. Six of us had come out for the day. – Ian.
5/10/1989. Swampy from Access/Rollinsons Road gate. Average climb. Great views around summit. Return by Flagstaff weather permitting. Car shuttle if required. Leaders: Bob, Ria, Mary.

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