Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Ruahine Tramping Club

The Ruahine Tramping Club was established in the year 2000, by Nigel Robson and myself, as a way to mark participation in, and accomplishment of, a crossing of the Ruahine ranges. The idea originally came to Nigel as he tramped over the Mokai Patea to meet Gustav Risberg and Robb Kloss who were completing the first multiple day crossing amongst the future club members. Meeting high on the Mokai and relishing a few still cold Mac's lagers carried up by Robson, the idea was put forth as a way for like minded people to enjoy the ranges and each others company, and heartily agreed upon as a fine concept. The badge pictured, kindly provided by Nigel, is an actual World War One regimental badge of the now defunct Ruahine Regiment, which we managed to procure a number of from an Auckland trader. Somehow I think the spirits of those now gone men would not disapprove of our use of them.
The original members, in addition to the above mentioned, were John Nash, Gustav Risberg, and Taylor Kloss, whom at age 7 had ramped up a large number of tough trips so as to be included in our ranks as a mark of respect.
Members Kloss and Robson had initially crossed the ranges in the south at Maharahara, a tough one day affair of around 8 hours through the Leatherwood belt. We did this twice in the early days, whetting our appetites for further exploration. The first overnight crossing involved Robson and Kloss climbing over the eastern Rauhines to Leon Kingvig hut, then out via the Ngamoko's and Knight's track, a real learning curve, but a great experience in 1998. The first multiday crossing was done in 2000 by Kloss and Risberg, going up Sunrise track, across Armstrong Saddle to Top Maropea, downriver to Maropea Forks, then over Puketaramea to Otukota hut, and out the other side via the Mokai Patea. The sight of Nigel emerging out of the Mokai mist to meet Gustav and I is something we will not forget. Soon after Kloss, Robson, and Nash went the same way to Maropea Forks, then veered off another ridge to Unknown Campsite and Lake Colenso, then out via Iron Bark hut and the Mokai. The year 2001 saw the addition of two members to our ranks in Rick Parduhn and Steve Davidson, visitors from America. On a wet and wild crossing they joined Kloss on the now familar route to Maropea Forks, then veered off over another ridge to Wakelings hut, then climbing high again to Rongotea and dropping down to Crow hut, before climbing out on the Hikurangi range and Kawhatau base. Their badges were well earned. A few years later Nigel returned from South Korea with his new bride, Young Hae, and along with John Nash, repeated the Lake Colenso crossing, making Young Hae the first female member of the RTC tribe. So the number of members currently stands at 8, and includes Americans, New Zealanders, and Koreans, true international flavour. And while we have no annual dues, no agenda, no meetings, and no rules, we do encourage members to stay in touch and renew their connection to this wild and wonderful place.


Gustav said...

Hello All!

This is Gustav from the Land Under Down Under (also known as Tasmania).

My journeys have taken me to many wild places including Alaska, Wisconsin, Canada, Wyoming, Washington, Orgeon, Australia, Asia, Europe and of course New Zealand.

The North Island and Rob's beloved Ruahines is off the beaten track of the often touristy tracks of the South Island.

On my 4 journeys into the Ruahines I have only seen a handful of rugged indivuals along the trails or in the huts.

The land of the Ruahines keeps out the weak minded so if you seek solace from mediocrity and wish to push the boundaries of wildness come and see what the Ruahines have to offer.

For I the Ruahines gave me insight into what it is to be alive.

The rubbish of our city landscapes are washed away by the currents and clouds of the mysterious Ruahine mistress who seductively urges one on into her womb and then in the same breath, tosses you out into the cold, cloudy unknown.

On my first crossing I got lost, broke my hand, fell in the river, and then went on to become a proud RTC member.

I'll never forget the end of my first crossing. Rob and I were walking down from Mokai Patea feeling wonderous and in tune with our surroundings.

My mind had become one with Nature and my consciousness had blended into my surroundings.

After 5 days in the Ruahines I was no longer separate from Nature, I was Nature.

Then suddenly out of the misty whiteness came a figure that initially terrified me. It was a human walking at me like a lord of lightness waiting to take me to the other side.

That lord was Nigel and he had brought a six pack of cold frosty beers and the warmth of his laughter and his shining eyes. We had made it across the back of the Ruahines and now it was time to celebrate.

Thanks to Rob I have returned many times to the Ruahines and I pledge to return to the Ranges for Rob's 50th for a reunion of all members from all parts of the globe.

In the mean time I may return for a few visits and welcome all to visit me in Tassie where a third of the State is a World Heritage area and you can explore what it means to be wild.


RTC Member

Anonymous said...

Interesting to know.

Hell Mission Tramping Club said...

Added Mt. Doom and three Ruahine stories plus photos (includes our 9 day 120km circuit into and over most of the Mid-Northern Ruahines!)

Thanks Phillip

Anonymous said...

yo gustav, roaster here. call me soon - I hear you are in the states! we must wilderness together soon. the Olympic interior awaits, off trail in the high country and we must Alaska before we die! yowser!