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Heels 1967

Queen's Birthday Weekend 1967 - Totara Flats

Queen's Birthday Weekend 1967 - Totara Flats

Inspied by John de Joux's leadership, Mike Clear, Stephanie Fraser, Dierdre Lewis and Neil Maddocks thought themselves fit enough to attempt a trip from Bannister to Kaitoke. Bravely ignoring forecast wind, rain and snow, we set out on the Friday night railwar to Masterton, where we quashed the taxi driver's doubts about intellectual condition by triumphantly completing the Post crossword.

Despite an unhurried start on Saturday morning, the pace had slowed to a standstill within an hour - ostensibly to admire snow@covered peaks, among which Mt. Holdsworth stood temptingly clear. However, "medium fitness" wouldn't get us there, so regretfully, we pressed on the Totara Flats. This was crossed by a 'flying fox' of (initially) fearsome appearance; sufficient anyway, for two shooters to elect to ford the river. For the remainder of the afternoon advice was given on stew, while the evening was filled by Bill, Keith and Ron of VUMTC raving on views from Mt. Holdsworth - received in silence.

On Sunday, naturally, we lay in, but as no new excuses for staying there were put forward, we emerged about 10-45 a.m into light, cold rain. Views today were mainly the mud-caked heels of the person ahead - or, when climbing Cone Saddle, some times merely their footprints. Lunch about 3 p.m at Cone Hut, and oh, the agony of leaving the fire to the 20-odd assorted occupants. 1½ hours later at A-D, we also found space limited, 42 others having arrived before us. However, their appearance improved as we dried out, and had some stew (which had obviously not seen Stephanie's wooden spoon). Eventually we found we had scared any competitors away from a bunk and sizeable piece of floor, so spent a more satisfactory night than we had first expected.

We sloshed out to Kaitoke on Monday, in welcome sun. In search of a view, John popped up to Dobson's, while the remainder plugged up the Puffer. On the final stretch, the slippery clay track allowed Mike to prove spectacularly the accelerating effect of gravity. Nevertheless, all arrived safe, though not necessarily sound, by 2.45 p.m and 5 bruised, scratched, and muddy individuals, together with mementoes of animal, vegetable and mineral nature, were returned to the concrete jungle by Mr. Fraser.