Dun Mountain - Mt Richmond Forest Park20230211 Dun Mountain

Saturday 7 October 2023

This day trip was organised at short notice to replace a weekend trip to Rocks Hut.

It was mostly cloudy as four trampers left the carpark at the Matai Dam gate and headed along the Coppermine Trail up the Maitai River South Branch. As we ascended the zigzags up from the river a few showers of rain caused us to don raincoats but this soon stopped.

Further up the track we were surprised to encounter some small pieces of machinery beside the track from Easy Trail Services, being used for upgrading the rougher parts of the Coppermine Trail. The most interesting piece of gear was a small rock crusher being used for resurfacing the track and the result of all the work is amazing to see. The upgrade is expected to be completed in the New Year.

We then turned off onto the track up to Dun Saddle, which in complete contrast to the main track was more like a dry riverbed than a track. After 30 minutes we reached Dun Saddle, which for once was not windy, where we enjoyed a brief stop.

From the saddle it was a steady climb amongst tussock then it soon levelled off as we reached the summit ridgeline. We arrived at the small Dun Shelter near the summit after 4┬╝ hours altogether and had lunch there. Built in 1935 the hut used to have three or four bunks and a woodburner until these were removed some years ago and is now only an emergency shelter. In those days any firewood would have needed to have been carried in, the nearest bush over a kilometre away.

We continued on from the hut to the summit at 1129m, taking a further ten minutes. We did not linger very long here because of the cool conditions, but we enjoyed some views amongst a mixture of cloud and sun.

It was a quicker descent returning the same way, clearing the wooden box drains of debris as we went. We arrived back at the cars in 3 hours and 40 minutes to complete a nice day out, totalling about 22 kilometres return. An iconic Nelson tramping trip.

The trampers were Robert (scribe), Karen M, Maria and Rob.