13-Mar-2007 -- Continued from 46°S 167°E
After two failures we had one very last chance to reach an unvisited confluence in New Zealand. This time it actually didn’t look so difficult at the first gaze. From the township of Haast (13km beeline from the CP) we drove to the gate (7.27 km beeline) which had been the point of return from the previous visitor.
We were prepared to hike from the gate all the way up to the confluence, when a friendly local resident picked us up near the gate and drove us to the end of the track (5.5km beeline). He suggested that we should try to reach the mountain grade as quickly as possible, because the low lands are difficult to pass through due to their dense canopy of shrubs combined with swamps.
On our hike, we first reached the Boil Hole (marked on the topographic map Haast 260-F3, 1:50000). This is a famous bent of the Okuru River. From there, we had to leave the river and find our way through the forest.
We crossed a couple streams and soon got soaked with water. Progress was extremely slow. It was just a question of time until our willingness and hope was broken. As the difference in height was still more then 1600m, there was no chance we could find our way up within one day. At 4.56 km beeline we finally gave up and started our way back.
The Moir’s Guide (a comprehensive guide book for tracks and routes in New Zealand) gives some advices how the Browning Range (this is where the confluence sits on top) can be crossed on foot. This confluence is unfortunately just on the mountain ridge near Mount Warren. An easier - but unathletic way to visit the confluence would be do rent a helicopter in Haas and fly on top of the mountain. As the confluence is above the tree line, the pilot should be able to find a spot to land on.
CP visit details:
- Time at the return point: 11:29 a.m.
- Distance to a track: 5 km
- Distance to a road: 12 km
- Topography: Almost on the top of a mountain. Probably on a steep grade near the ridge.
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 4.56 km
- Vegetation: dense forest, at the CP probably grassland
- Weather: overcast and rain, 15° C
- Given Name: The Browning Range Confluence
Story continues at 43°S 173°E