Daniel Hayes: Second Attempt of Access via the Ohikanui River, March 2010
Monday we got 7 miles down the Ohikanui and my mate rolled his ankle , decided to sleep on it but by morning it didn't improve so we walked out yesterday taking our time . Arriving back at Christchurch around 1am this morning . I was asleep in the car from about Arthurs Pass
Apart from the disappointing turn around the tramp went well , we have beautiful weather and we discovered an old hunters track that lead up the side of the river . We only discovered this walking up about 6 miles in so we didn't benefit much then but walking out we looked more for it. Times where the cliff was too steep for any track but we walked about 2 miles on this track. One minute you'd be walking on formed track and then next second it would disappear and you'd be back on the river again , its mostly not there due to the rugged steep terrain but the parts where its level its mightily helpful. We came across a number of camp sites where hunters had left their belongings so I think its used fairly often. More towards the road it becomes more formed for about a mile , and that was our biggest run. About 4 miles from the bridge we came across 2 fisherman . Good to see its being visited.
Mark Church: Attempting Access from the Perseverance Mine 5 June 2010
We had to give up on the search yesterday, it was incredibly tough going.
We parked on the road as fallen trees across it in a couple of places prevented the van getting to the mine (photo 4552). We walked up the road to the mine then went down into the creek, going upstream until we found a suitable place to cross. It was quite hard boulder hopping with a heavy pack on one's back (photo 4554). We climbed out of the creek bed and up into the bush which was very steep and mostly slippery exposed tree roots underfoot (photo 4564). Also we couldn't always see our feet underneath the waist-high ferns (photo 4569). The terrain above only seemed to get steeper and it was disheartening to see how long it had taken us (40 minutes) to go a very short distance. At this rate there is no way we would have made to or near King Solomon stream that day, maybe even not the next day so I decided to knock it on the head and we returned to the mine.
One of the problems was we didn't go far enough upstream to get past a steep lump of hill that looks like part of a fault-line or something that runs almost from the Buller River to a kilometre or two South of Perserverance Road. What we should have done is gone further up the creek to where the ground flattens out a bit, although as I said before it was difficult in the creek as well. Another option could be heading uphill from the mine without crossing the creek. Whichever way the bush is very hard going and if attempted again the best idea would be to wait until Summer when there are more hours in the day. Going up the Blackwater River from the Buller River could be an option although it would eventually get all rocky and difficult and navigating could be more difficult than on the tops. After we left the area we drove to the Blackwater River bridge to check it out but it was getting dark and we couldn't see much anyway.
Helicopter may be the best option after all.
Back to the drawing board!