Sep 04 2019

Double Hill Road, Hightop, Swampy

Published by under Trampers

3. 4/9/2019. All. Hightop, Semple Road, Green Hut track loop.

K.new meeting place wc

New meeting place. (Judy K pic and caption.)

Trampers. M. Leaders: Arthur and Gordon. M.

Hightopc

Route map highlighted, courtesy Arthur.

A new tramp. Parking on Semple Road, 16 Trampers followed the old, original track in to the Silver Peaks to begin a circuit of Hightop. Quite muddy at first, the old track hadn’t been cleared for many moons, but was well defined.

G.1.Mud-glorious mudc

Mud-glorious mud. (Gordon pic and caption.)

G.2nd -- Heading to renddezous with hikers for morning teac

Heading to renddezous with hikers for morning tea. (Gordon pic and caption.)

We caught up with the Hikers at Sleepy Hollow for smoko together. It was a combined day, but they were heading for Green Hut.

G.3rd -- Bit damp to sit down for smokoc

Bit damp to sit down for smoko. (Gordon pic and caption.)

Fifteen minutes took our group back to the Swampy Ridge Track, which we followed through the muddy patches, made worse by wild cattle in the area over winter. And then on a good track, climbing now.

G.5th -- Nearly there 6thc

Nearly there 6th. Gordon pic and caption.)

The day had been sunny to start, but by 11 a.m. the north-east wind was bringing in cloud on upper Swampy.

In cloud, and with a cold wind, lunch was taken in the shelter of the Airways building at the north end of Swampy top.

G.6th -- Lunch; but mainly shelteredc

Lunch; but mainly sheltered. (Gordon pic and caption.)

 

Faint mutterings about mud and hills were heard, but dismissed as inconsequential bay the leader. A kind offer to describe the views from there was declined!

We started off into the cold wind on the return journey, but it was downhill and were soon into the shelter.

E. 1.Heading back down from Swampyc

Heading back down from Swampy. (Eleanore pic and caption.)

Going downhill all hopped and skipped merrily through the mud,

E.3.Muddy patchesc

Muddy patches. (Eleanore pic and caption.)

E.4 .Muddy patchesc

Muddy patches. (Eleaanore pic and caption.)

to arrive back at the junction to Sleepy Hollow for a group photo.

G.8th -- The HAPPY tramping groupC

The HAPPY tramping group. (Gordon pic and caption.)

The last leg of the circuit about Hightop took us, on a lovely piece of track, back to our cars. The cloud had lowered. 12 km, or little more, for our day’s adventure was good.

Thanks to all, especially Phil and Gordon for doing the recce of Hightop with me.

A refreshment stop was made at Blueskin Nurseries on the way home.

Home to clean our boots! – Art.

Hikers. Semple Road to Green hut. Leaders: Clive and Alex.

After conducting a recce of the track to Hightop this Hiker deemed it too boggy for the hikers and lead a recreational hike from Semple Road to the old Green Hut site.

22 hikers set off in good hiking conditions of around 13 degrees and sheltered from any wind by high kanuka trees.

C.1) setting off from Semple Roadc

setting off from Semple Road. (Clive pic and caption.)

We met up with the trampers at sleepy hollow for a shared morning tea

C.2) the combined hikers and trampers at morning teac

Tthe combined hikers and trampers at morning tea. (Clive pic and caption.)

and the more intrepid trampers then set off for swampy’s and we set off for green hut.   A couple of the climbs had several hikers blowing hard at the top (Leader included), but the underfoot was good with evidence of recent clearing and maintenance by the ‘Green Hut track group’  (see ‘Keeping up with the Green Hut Track Group’).  By midday we arrived at the site of the old green hut and enjoyed a sociable half an hour over lunch.

C.3) Lunch at Green Hutc

Lunch at Green Hut. (Clive pic and caption.)

C.4) Great view across the forest and bushc

Great view across the forest and bush. (Clive pic and caption.)

The more downhill return to Semple Road meant we were back in the cars by 2pm and at Blueskin Nursery Cafe shortly after.   The trampers were not that far behind. – Clive.

Ramblers. Semple/Mountain Roads. E.  Leaders: Mutual.

Seven of us contented ourselves with a road trip, going on a good bit further beyond the locked gate to lunch in sunshine – turned cloudy and windy – turned cold, before returning back to await the Hikers’ return. Did something like 4 km. All good company and chatter. (Interesting point to note: sign posts have extended Semple Road quite a bit beyond the Green Hut parking spot to where it eventually turns into Mountain Road.) – Ian.

2. 13/11/2013. Mountain Road Entrance. Sleepy Hollow, Hightop track, ret. Leaders: Judy, Ian, Bev.

Where to start? Well, a map would be good.

Hightop Map

Hightop Map

Then, a recce, before we go any further. Ian wasn’t a likely starter because of problems at home, so Judy recruited Bev, but in the event Ian was able to come, but the recce had to be fitted in at the last moment.

We entered in at the Mountain Road entrance and made our way up to the first junction with the top track on the map that runs roughly parallel to Semple/Mountain Road. Only a short way in and solid gorse blocked the track. But a short loop down to the left and back up again recovered the track, much more open. Up and over the top to the fence line and here our troubles started. Snow fellings of the scrubby manuka from that heavy winter snow-fall plus the gorse made for much ‘bush-bashing’. Still hopeful of getting to the next junction we pushed on. But no. Time was passing, so back out again and on to the Sleepy Hollow junction.

This was well-cleared, but we had lost quite some time by now. We lunched on the way and nursed our gorse-pricked legs.

Gorse-pricked legs.

Gorse-ravaged legs.

We pushed on to the Swampy Track junction, also well-cleared, where a majority decision was taken to turn back, with the Swampy route to be the one taken. So we didn’t explore the less inviting Hightop one to the left. Time was running out.

Now to the tramp. All went well till we came to the Swampy Track junction. Ian had still wished to have at least a wee look at the Hightop track to the left, so general consent was given and he and several others set off on it, only to find it was nicely cleared and seductively inviting over a clear rise. So much so, that he phoned back to Judy an invitation for the remainder to follow. But several didn’t wish to come, asserting the Swampy track was the one that had been planned. On the other hand, Ian and the others with him were so reluctant to give in that a grudging assent from the nay-sayers was won and the two groups were reunited. The cleared track led us out onto Semple Road but we could find no sign of the emergence of the bush-bashed track anywhere.

Anyway, we lunched back up at the DoC sign indicating Silver Peaks Conservation Area that we had passed earlier before retracing our steps back to the cars. But Ian still doubtless remains unforgiven for his ‘splitting the group’ and adopting a cavalier ‘Trampers’ attitude. His phone call did put fellow-leaders Judy and Bev, who had both remained behind, in an invidious position.

So, we had made it 3/4 of the way around Hightop but the last side still awaits a good track-clearing day. 21 Hikers out on the day. A good overcast tramping morning, getting quite hot in the afternoon. – Ian.

1. 16/9/1992. Hightop, Swampy. Start Double Hill Road. Average. Leaders: George, Doug M, Penny & Peter

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