Gordon’s Knob – Mt Richmond Forest Park
Sunday 9 January 2022
The first day tramp for 2022 saw 15 enthusiastic starters, heading off from Inwood Lookout up a steep forestry road from Wai-iti Valley Road.
We ascended a ridge through patches of bush and reached the first bushline after 20 minutes. Above us the summit was capped in cloud but was slowly clearing. Then we had a drop in the ridge followed by a steady climb amongst scrub, reaching a rocky outcrop requiring some scrambling. Just after the rock outcrop we turned off the ridgeline and followed a well-worn and cairned route, sidling across to the main ridge leading to Gordon’s Knob. We continued along the undulating ridge through patches of bush then out onto a very broad ridge across tussock and snow grass at a steady gradient. Just left of the ridge was the almost dry headwaters of the Left Branch Motueka River. We reached the summit ridgeline and veered left along to the 1685m highpoint taking us 3¼ hours altogether.
A warm day was forecast but a strong SW wind kept us cool. Grand views were enjoyed from the Richmond Range and out across the Waimea Plains and Tasman Bay. Research said Gordon’s Knob is named after William Gordon Bell who purchased land in the upper Motueka Valley in 1852. Belgrove also originates from the Bell surname.
We retraced our steps and met up with two of our group waiting a few minutes below the summit. It was quite hot on the sheltered side of the descent before we got back into the cooler windy open ridgeline. A very satisfying day for everyone.
Thanks for coming: Robert (scribe), Paula, Jenny, Tony, Maria, Rob, Sue J, Marian, Liz, David S, Bernard, Di, Esther, Eric and newcomer Janine.