The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1925
" Let the wise ones grow wrinkled and furrowed of brow
In their feverish chase of the lucre,
But give me the peace of the lonely outback
And a bed in the fragrant manuker".
Certain it is that poetry and tramping-are the two noblest activities if man; whence the reason we preface our few remarks with the above immortal quatrain. Not that the simple creed of the bard is altogether adequate to our present weather—the manuka may have a perfume of much delicacy and elusive charm, but on a cold night with the rain driving down give us a convenient-sized hut with a large fireplace and plenty of wood, with wire-netting bunks and an extra blanket, and our luck holding out with a fine day to follow. Give us plenty of stew and a good lot of bush, and the wise ones, lucre, fever, and all can go hang. So much for poetry; let us get on with our tramping.
Our activities march forward on unwearied feet, though some of the brightest and best of former days we see reft from us by a hard fate or their own increasing age. But the band of brothers and sisters who remain cling with unexampled courage and pertinacity to the high ideals of the Club. The number and magnificence of the tramps carried out make enumeration difficult and description impossible—can one analyse the sunset over the South Island seen from the Makara coast, or communicate the thrills which animated the breasts of two young stalwarts as they edged their way up a crumbling perpendicular cliff with only the cold sea and the jagged rocks a hundred feet below? We can, however, tell the Melancholy Tale of the Abandoned Billies, of the Wakatikei bush and the evening on the bank of the river round the fire while the Prof. and Sammy read "Too Many Books," of the tragedy of the missed spur, and the long trek down the river (cold, cold as it reached over the chest to neck), of the comfort of Draper's Hut and the cold drenching hiss of the rain from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. as we strode an unknown road to the first train at Trentham. We can tell of the history made anew on the Peak (scaled for the first time), the wild magnificence of Matthews seen from its freezing windy top, and the descent in the pitch dark with torn shins down precipitous gravel slides; of the aching void next day and the noble feed which filled it, of the singularly attractive charms of that very mild-mannered young frog, Palliser Bay Percy. We can tell of the rejuvenated snugness of the hut at Cooley's Creek (how different from last year), with the sequent ascent of Climie and the marvellous fruit-salad that was evolved (with what peculiar mystery!) on top. We can relate the rainy joys of Smith's Creek, its excellent bush and its peerless hut, its gelid plunge in the flooded Tauherinikau in the morning, its darkling plod (somewhat drunk in the tunnels) along the seven miles of cinder track, wet and chilled to the bone, to the Upper Hutt. We can relate the sunny joys of Open Bay and Pipinui Point; the chapter of accident.; that was McKerrow (but, ah! place against that so hardly missed boat and the gibes of Muritai yokels, the loveliness of the Turiri and the sardines on toast of Saturday night!); the tale of the so ingeniously pitched tents at Oterongu and the arguments on the nature of God and the Purpose of the Universe, with divagations on the morality of parsons and the ethics of personal insult in debate; we can tell of the record lengthy accent of Mt. Dick; of the singularly insane start of our tramp to Hutt Forks and the reward which was ours from the weather and Mr. Phillips; of the under-provisioned and (by all accounts) remarkable trip to the Pinnacles; of the valiant episode of the Belmont Trig; the chief adventures of our Te Kaminaru Bay Sunday we remarked on initially—truly the sunset was unprecedented, never to be rivalled—truly that cliff ascent was a miracle of nerve.
Of all these extraordinary and wonderful adventures we could enlarge ad infinitum. Alas! finite pages bound us—cruel, cold is the eye of P.J.S.— we clutch our inadequate garner of recollection and stride into the future. There follows our programme for the next three months:
July 4th and 5th, Pipinui Point. Meet Wadestown tram terminus at 1.15 p.m. and tramp via Kaukau, etc., to Pipinui Point. On Sunday return via beach and Makara.—Leader, Mr. J. Tatversall.
July 12th, Pencarrow. Catch 10.30 a.m. boat to Rona Bay (Return fare 1/9), and walk to Pencarrow, returning in time for 5.10 p.m. boat to town.—Leader, Miss J. McGregor.page 72
July 18th and 19th. Maymorn. Catch 1.20 p.m. train to Upper Hutt (return fare 2/6) and tramp to Maymorn. On Sunday explore upper reaches of tramline, or go up river to Hutt Forks, returning by 7.10 p.m. train.—Leader, Miss A. Lysaght.
July 26th, Mt. Fitzherbert. Catch 9.10 a.m. train to Silverstream (fare 1/8) and tramp along ridge to Mt. Fitzherbert (1,230ft.), thence down to Lower Hutt to catch evening train to town (fare 11d.).— Leader, Miss E. M. Holmes.
August 1st and 2nd, Orongorongo. Catch 1.20 p.m. boat tu Kona Bay (fare 1/9), tramp via Catchpole to the Orongorongo River. On Sunday go up river and back to town via Petone (fare 10d.).—Leader Dr. J. S. Yeates.
August 9th, Colonial Knob. Catch 9.30 a.m. train to Porirua (fare ¼) and walk to Colonial Knob (1.540ft.), thence over the ridges to town. —Leader, Mr. R. F. Fortune.
August 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th, Tararuas. On Friday catch 4.16 train to Woodside (fare 5/5) and walk to Wall's Hut. On Saturday cross over to Alpha Hut, and next day go on to Field Hut. On Monday, walk into Otaki, where take train to town (fare 5/1). Those who cannot spare Monday can walk to Otaki on Sunday. Those also who are unable to take Friday evening off could catch the early morning train Saturday to Kaitoke and go up the Marchar.t track, meeting the main party at Alpha Hut. This is the best tramp that Wellington can offer, but, unfortunately, it is dependent on the weather.— Leader, Mr. S. A. Wiren.
September 5th and 6th, High Misty. Catch 1.20 p.m. train to Silverstream (return fare 2/6). Follow the Whiteman's Valley road into the Maungaroa Valley. Climb Mt. Misty and return to Silverstream to catch evening train to town.—Leader, Mr. H. R. Holt.
September 13th, Butterfly. Catch 10.30 a.m. boat to Rona Bay (return fare 1/9) and explore the headwaters of Gollans Stream. Catch evening boat back to town.—Leader, Mr. W. H. Jolliffe.