Mt Evans – Abel Tasman National Park
Sunday 28 May 2023
A downpour as we assembled in Richmond did not deter a group of 11 trampers as “showers clearing” was the weather forecast (or was it that the leader did not want to make ten phone calls?). All we wanted was for it to stop raining at the start of the trip.
By the time we departed from the Canaan carpark the weather gods had complied, but we were still suited up in our wet-weather gear. We walked on up to the Wainui Saddle for our first stop where we sheltered from a stiff breeze blowing through the clearing. Back in the bush, it was a steady climb up to Evans Ridge and along the Inland Track to Moa Park. This section of the Inland Track consisted of many tree roots amongst puddles which needed care to negotiate.
We turned off onto the Mt Evans Track just before reaching Moa Pack Shelter. This track is not signposted but is marked mostly with orange tin lids. It was one hour from the turn-off to Mt Evans at 1156m. The mountain is probably one of the least-hard mountains to climb, really only a rock outcrop after moderate climbing up a bushy ridgeline. We did not clamber the final 10 metres up the rocks to get a view because of the cloudy weather and some wind which was gusty at times.
After lunch below the rocks we continued following the track along the ridge which eventually descended to a broad saddle then sidled around and swung up, emerging from the bush onto grassland. We turned left and followed a fenceline for ten minutes and re-entered the bush as indicated by orange markers on the fenceline. We were glad to see some blue sky show up as we went up over highpoint 960 which had some interesting table shaped rock formations beside the track. Then finally the track descended to cross a small creek, then up to the Canaan Road taking six hours for the whole day.
This entry point is obscure and is not signposted, only marked by a red marker post and a few markers. This is a few metres up from culvert marker post 34, about 300m over Canaan Saddle, 5.2km along the Canaan Road. We had left one vehicle here for us to shuttle the car drivers back to Canaan carpark, then all the cars returned to pick up everyone, a wait of about 20 minutes.
The Mt Evans Track was last shown on the 1986 map and suffers from some regrowth but with experience is OK to follow. We were well satisfied a good traverse in pleasant bush.
The group was Robert (scribe), Maria, Rob, Jenny R, Diane, Jamila, Robyn, Marian, Gael along with Esther and Guy from Nelson TC.