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Heels 1973

Carkeek Ridge - At Last

page 9

Carkeek Ridge - At Last

The more acute reader should be able to cast his mind back to "Heels" of years goneby and, with diligent racking of the brain, remember the frequent attempts by a few determined stalwats to tame Carkeek Ridge.

After some arm twisting by the chief-guide I was foolish enuff to agree to go on a trip with that worthy and so one Friday night found me wet and cold at South Ohau after having twice sampled the charming waters of the Ohau. I ask you dear reader to picture El Capitaine reclining in the Ohau, can you imagine anything more degrading? Wot? Piking at Te Hatawai? Rubbish - anyway I didn't pike there (though thats not to say that I didn't try).

Anyway Saturday morning found El Capitaine grunting up the Yeates 500 - grunt grunt collapse, gruntcollapse, gr.. collapse. I will not bore you with the time taken from South Ohau to Te Hatawai. After a second breakfast at Te Matawai and a gallant attempt to persuade the party to salube down the Otaki, the dirty swine calmly announced that they were going on up to Pukematawal and that El Capitaine could go down the Otaki by himself. Needless to say I didn't fall for this artful attempt to get rid of me, and so after a short interval to let then think they had been successful I sneaked up on then.

Tim and Joe decided to grab some red line along the main range and the rest of the party took off to have lunch at Arete Biv. Visibility was piss-poor and the Chief-guide made another attempt to get rid of me by leading the party to the brink of a bloody great precipice. After some caustic comments about whether or not Lauchie could navigate his way out of the proverbial paper bag we set off and actually travelled the entire length of that elusive ridge. (It stayed put while we were on it.) 5.30 p.m. or thereabouts found us at Park Forks getting ready for the grunt up to Nichols. After an hour Nick and I arrived at the hut to find everyone there - except who? the Chief-guide again. Being sceptics the rest of us ignored the sign on the top that said "to hut" and pointed back down into the Waiohine and Lauchie soon remedied his mistake. More caustic comments and the Duff recovered sufficiently to lead us all out to Otaki Forks the next day in rather shit-house conditions.

Us was: Lauchie Duff, Nick Logan, Tim Stern, Paul Clark, Andy Wright and Joe Crofton.