Hartbreak Ridge – Mt Richmond Forest Park
Saturday 26 November 2022
Hartbreak Ridge used to be a popular trip through the Mineral Belt, but it had become very overgrown when, a couple of years ago, Nelson and Waimea tramping club members re-marked and re-cut it. It’s a long day out, but it gets easier the further one goes.
The day dawned fine for eleven of us to brave the ridge. We set out along the Hacket Track, crossed the newly reinforced footbridge and headed towards Whispering Falls. After wading back across the Hacket River, we climbed up the steep, scrubby spur to point 447. It’s a slight, rough track, but Maria, who had walked it before, showed us the way.
Then on along the undulating ridge over point 596, through patches of bush and open clearings, across Bottle Flat (we found the bottles!) and up the final bush slope to point 822, where the tape markers ended. It had taken us five hours from the carpark, plus our lunch break.
We came upon Te Araroa sidling round the hilltop and set off home again, now on the well-worn track to Totara Saddle and Browning Hut. Then down the Browning River, crossing to the main Hacket Track at the confluence. Getting back out to the cars took us just four hours.
The group was Rob, Maria, Eric, Esther, Sue J, Edward, Marian, Jenny R, Yumi, David (scribe and leader) and Ivan (visitor).