2021 05 22 editor hill

Great rocky viewpoints

Editor Hill – Saturday 22 May 2021

Eleven members met at the Paruparu Road carpark and enjoyed a very pleasant drive to Opouri Saddle with early morning mist enhancing the scenery along the way.

We started walking at 9am along a track which is not well marked at first, but there are blue track markers along the way. Obviously it is not an official DOC track but one put in for the DOC staff working on snail monitoring etc. in this area. The track keeps mostly to the ridgeline and along the top of the unnamed high points 945, 977 and 935. We enjoyed morning tea at a spot with an opportunity for good views but morning cloud obscured the views most of the time.

The forest is mainly beech forest, changing from red beech lower down to silver and mountain beech on the higher slopes. There are scattered kaiwaka on the high ridges and some mountain totara. A couple of predated empty Powelliphanta hochstetterii snail shells were also noted along the way (see: inaturalist.nz/observations/79742417). There are some 28 different species, mainly plants, recorded on the iNaturalist website from this trip.

There is a locked DOC Hut just past the peak marked “935”. About 600m past the hut there is a fork in the track with one option taking a sidle to Editor Hill. We decided not to go to the top of Editor Hill but instead go to the summit of the hill marked “1040” which is 8m higher and has better views. We arrived at the summit in time for lunch. A light breeze and cool conditions encouraged us to put more layers on but it was a great time of the year to do this tramp with a climb of more than 500m. The track is one which is not especially difficult but certainly requires care and there are a few steep spots where roots are useful handholds.

There were some better views over the Marlborough Sounds on the return trip with most of the cloud having cleared. We also enjoyed a magnificent sunset over Tasman Bay as we drove into Nelson at around 5.30pm.

The group consisted of Di, Marian, Sue, Chris (scribe), Kerry, Bernard, Maria, Rob, Tony, Colin and Anne.