Mt Nimrod 3 March 2018
It is a long, long way to the summit of Mt Nimrod!
A group of ten of us began at the Reserve carpark at 8 am, initially following the
Scenic Reserve track. Before descending to the stream on that track, a sign points the way to the Hunters Hills Easement Track which opened in November 2017.
The track passes through several newly-built gates and follows old 4WD tracks. After some time we looked down on Matata Reserve and over to hills that lie in front of the elevated crest of the Hunters Hills. Mt Nimrod summit was clearly visible for most of the way but after two hours of steady uphill plodding the summit was still a long way off!
By 11 a.m., after a steep uphill section, new views to the west appeared and had the distant mountains not been cloud-covered, we would have been looking at Mt Cook and the Southern Alps. After being led to believe that there were no streams at which water bottles could be refilled it was surprising to find, just after entering the Conservation Area, a stream with a good flow. Some of us had carried up to 3 litres of water to last the day and had no need to top up water bottles, but most were very happy to be able to do so and certainly we were all pleased to top up bottles on the way back.
Additional orange DOC markers put in on the Easement Track since its opening meant that there was little or no risk of becoming lost on this section. Once inside the Conservation Area there were no markers and we needed to check our maps to find the best way to the summit. We continued to walk on a 4WD track for about 100 m and then (correctly) turned up the first old track we came to. It continued steeply uphill. At 12.20 pm, an hour after leaving the stream, we stopped for lunch and viewed the clearly defined track up to the top ridgeline.
After six hours we finally reached the trig on Nimrod’s summit! It was 2 pm. Since mid-day some cloud came and went, mainly filling the valleys and there was a little wafting over the summit at times during the 20 minutes we spent there. At no stage was it a worry however and we had some good views of farmland in the Kurow direction. A bite to eat and some photos, then the long descent began. The Easement Track has a number of ‘downs’ as well as ‘ups’ so after having already walked for nine hours, all the ‘ups’ on the way back were particularly noticeable!
Eventually we passed through the last gate and were soon back on the Reserve Track. At 6 pm we were at the carpark where Robert (Birks) and Owen (Morrison), who had gone part of the way on the Easement track and completed the Reserve circuit, were waiting for us.
Those who ventured to the top of Mt Nimrod were Catherine Thomas who kindly organised this hike, Russell Grant, Wayne Keen, Barry Robinson, Judy Blakemore, Ali Valkengoed, Hazel Marshall and Dorothy Tomlinson