Hakatere Conservation Park, Canterbury - October 2020
The popular Mt Somers Track encircles Mt Somers – a prominent peak near the Canterbury town of Staveley. While trampers have been visiting the area for a long time, only in the last 20 years was possible to walk right around the mountain, when the South Face Track was completed by memberS of the Mt Somers Walkways Society.
As parts of this South Face route are boggy, society members led by Brian Senior organised half-round posts, made into corduroy, and attached by Number 8 wire. Over time however, parts of this construction had slumped, and the fine square mesh used for boot grip had deteriorated, making the track unsafe for trampers – especially in icy conditions.
A year ago, Society members decided to fix the problem, and were supported by a grant from the Backcountry Trust.
In September 2020, a helicopter lifted two tonnes of timber in four loads onto site, and a team of volunteer Society members began work.
It had been decided to leave the original timber in place, and screw new treated boards on top. This was packed in places to level the surface. The deck is now 750mm wide, as apposed to the 600mm previously. Cleats were screwed on every 750 mm, and galvanised rabbit netting stapled on.
Work was completed on three different sections, totalling 130 metres, each an hour’s walking distance apart. The job was completed in time for the Round Mt Somers race.
The team included: Barry Austin, Alan Ayers, Colin Bellamy, Marian Bellamy, John Corbett, Phill Everest, Bryan Humm, David Mavor, John Milne, Charles Ross, Robert Schikker, Paul Severins, Nairn Stuart and Alan Wakelin.
Altogether, they spend some 250 person-hours doing the work.
Many thanks also to Evans Lumber, who supplied the timber at mate’s rates.