Monday, June 4, 2007

A return to Mt Gray and the West Coast

West Coast Tramping May 27/28

Narv and three of our friends from Ilam; Amy, Annika, Caitlin and I took a trip over to the West Coast just outsite of Hokitikka to do an overight tramp in the rain forest.

Sunrise over the Canterbury Plains

Rata, an epiphyte, (parasitic plants that start their lifecycle above the ground) started growing on the side of a lone Rimu or Totara tree in a field about 75 years ago. As it matured it sent shoots from its mossy perch to the earth. The shoots, over a long period of time, developed into stalks, and soon enough trunks, encompassing the whole of its host. The old tree may have been starved off, or just succumbed to old age, but all that's left is the stag, barely poking through the new canopy. If you study the base of the Rata however, you can see other epiphytes living on it. That's life in the rain forest for ya. This comes compliments of my time in Forestry 218, who said I wasn't learning anything here.

Heading up the Toaroha river towards camp under a typical West Coast sky

Sunset from just below Cedar Flats, where we spent the night.

The first bridge across the Toaroha to the flats at twilight

Camp at Cedar Flats

Hot Pools, 20 minutes from the hut

Gone are the clouds, tomorrow's forecast; brilliant

Sunrise over Toaroha peak


True blue in the Toaroha, gorge above the flats

Second bridge back across the gorge

Adventure Ridge Track, definitely doesn't see to many adventurers, don't know why.

Adventure Biv, should have someone in this pic for scale, my sister had a bigger playhouse than this, would definitely be a cozy night.

From above the biv site

Look at the way this little Pahautea (cedar) grows with the wind.

team shot

We had to keep it moving on the way out, and this is what we saw upon emerging from the rain forest...

May 25, Mt Gray round 2

The two American's from team Skidmark took the lead and scoped a new route on the backside of Gray.

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