Mt Starveall – Sunday 11 November 2018
This trip really started with the paperwork to get the key and entry permit for the forestry roads from Action Forest Management in Richmond. We were required to email evidence of all three cars having WoF, current registration and insurance with minimum cover of $10 million liability. Not so bad when you know exactly what is required but it was not clear whether we would get the permit or not until the Friday. If this trip is run again then it would be best if everyone booked in by the Monday prior, to give time for these details to be gathered. You can’t work out how many cars you need until you know final numbers attending.
We drove up Lee Valley Road and over the Lee River bridge taking the first right onto Mead Road, through the locked gate, then Long Gully Road, Bush Road and finally Serpentine Road. We parked in a large skid site and could have driven another 500m but some of the passengers were against the idea. The road was in reasonable condition and suitable for vehicles with good clearance. A few rocks needed to be moved.
From the carpark we headed along the road to join up with the track coming up from Lucy Creek. It is a relatively easy walk to the hut where we had a slightly late morning tea. One of the party decided to stay at the hut while the others headed up the ridge to Mt Starveall. The botanist amongst us was delighted to find a minute fern (adders tongue) and a very small native forget-me not in the browsed turf around the hut. The weather was cool with a bit of low cloud obscuring the view at times. Our group made it up to the top and had lunch in the shelter of a rock pile at the summit. It was disappointing to see a mob of eight goats browsing further along on the tussock tops. The Richmond Range seems to have high numbers of goats at present. It was rather cold going back down, with most of the party donning parkas as wind protection. On the walk back down to the hut we met a lone tramper from South Africa doing the Te Araroa south-bound. We took a steep short cut back to the cars arriving there soon after 3pm.
Those on this trip were: Chris, Jo, Lesley, David, Geoff, Robert, Colin, Pete, Di, Marian and Robyn.