JT – track done
This last week, three days were spent clearing the track from Smiths Creek Shelter to Tutuwai hut. The Hutt Valley NZ Deerstalkers have taken on maintaining the track. John Taylor (JT) of HVNZDA and myself took over night gear, fuel, scrub bar and gear into the valley and fly camped at the bridge. Spent two days on the track, the afternoon of the first day. The track to Tutwai was completed, from the swingbridge. in lower valley. Second day was bit long, 9 hours on the track then getting out to Kaitok carpark at 9pm.
Bit of track marking needed and quite a few tree fall on the track, needing chainsaw work that will get done later. One area of tree falls needs new detour cut. The weed Spanish Heath has infested lot of the upper valley flats, and its also taking over the tramping track in a couple of sections.
A third day trip into the valley needed to finish the track around Smiths Creek Shelter and bring the scrub bar and fuel, gear out.
Total effort for the three days was 54 hours. The Stihl FS460 scrub bar was kept going for about 15 hours. Total track cut was 8 kms.
This completes the track work in the Kaitoke end of the forest park for this year. In December-January we cleared the Smiths Creek, Puffer and Dobsons track. Mainly in the heavy gorse areas. Total track distance cut in Aorangoi and Tararua since December 2021 is 80 kms.
The Smiths Creek track has another slip on the tracks, needing a detour uphill. Yellow tape was placed at each end. A better detour will be needed.
Below – Tracks cleared in the Tauherenikau valley 2022.